Last week I didn’t want to write another rant about corporate moochers any more than you probably wanted to read one, but as long as these kinds of deals keep getting proposed, we will have to keep ranting.
I mentioned in that column my view that Archer Daniels Midland, or ADM as the firm prefers to be known, has grown fat eating public money. Let us not talk of ADM’s past as a price fixer and an illegal campaign contributor. Let us talk about how the company over the years bought legislative support for: taxpayer-funded farm subsidies that drove down the price of their raw materials; for a 54-cent per gallon ethanol tax credit of which ADM was long the main beneficiary; for prohibitively high duties on imported ethanol that protects the U.S. market for its higher-priced product; for high tariffs and other restrictions on sugar imports that raise the price of sugar in this country so ADM’s high-fructose corn syrup can compete with it in the soft drinks market; and for the Renewable Fuel Standard that ensures that demand for ethanol, thus its price, remains high.
The cost to the public in taxes and forgone revenue and higher prices at the gas station and the supermarket is huge.