Not so sweet

Not so sweet

June 20th, 2012 in Opinion Free Press

If you've been fretting that your grocery bills just aren't quite high enough, stop worrying!

Fifty U.S. senators recently guaranteed that you will be paying perpetually inflated prices for a whole range of foods.

You see, the Senate rejected, by a 50-46 vote, a measure that over time would have halted federal restrictions on imported sugar. Those protectionist restrictions benefit U.S. sugar growers but harm American consumers by artificially keeping sugar prices high and raising the cost of manufacturing all sorts of foods.

There was unfortunate bipartisan support for killing the necessary measure -- though there was also commendable bipartisan support for passing it.

"This outdated program puts American companies at a competitive disadvantage, and it should go," Sen. Jeanne Shaheen, D-N.H., sensibly declared on the Senate floor.

For the record, Republican U.S. Sens. Lamar Alexander and Bob Corker of Tennessee properly voted for the measure, as did GOP Sens. Jeff Sessions and Richard Shelby of Alabama. Republican Sens. Saxby Chambliss and Johnny Isakson of Georgia regrettably voted to table the reform.

American taxpayers and grocery shoppers did not have a direct vote on whether to continue the costly and counterproductive federal rules on sugar imports.

It looks as though we will have to content ourselves with having a vote in November on who will -- or will not -- continue to represent us in Washington.