The Spectacle Blog

Sweet… Sickly Sweet

By on 5.15.08 | 10:35AM

The thing about cotton candy is that it looks nice and fluffy – It's pink! It's poofy! – but as soon as you actually take a bite, unless you're a four-year-old with a serious sugar-tooth, you realize how awful it actually is.

That's kind of how the U.S. sugar program works, too, except instead of sugar-addled kids, the folks who like it are sugar-growing farmers who benefit from the program. The problems with federal sugar subsidies are well-documented, but year after year, the sugar lobby keeps the pressure on and taxpayer money flowing. And lo and behold, it appears that's exactly what's happened, once again, with the new farm bill. Seems the bill's authors weren't content merely to stuff it full of pork; they also decided they needed to add to the subsidies and favors our sugar program already gives to Big Sugar. Rep. Paul Ryan's got the gory details.

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