Critics of a law virtually guaranteeing U.S. sugar cane and sugar beet growers do not have to worry about foreign competition point out it is costly to American consumers. To help about 5,000 growers through price supports and import limits, the measure adds about $3.5 billion a year to what U.S. families pay for sweeteners.
Yet the U.S. Senate on Wednesday voted 50-46 to retain the program. Sens. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va.; Rob Portman, R-Ohio; and Sherrod Brown, R-Ohio; voted against it. Sen. Jay Rockefeller, D-W.Va., was among four senators not voting on the measure.
Most U.S. industries - steel, for example - enjoy no such subsidies. Year after year, however, the sugar industry has found it as easy as taking candy from a baby to keep its sweet deal. Voters should start saying "no" to lawmakers who force the bitter pill on them.