Sweetening the Deal?
The CBO says that CAFTA is going to cost American taxpayers because the flood of Central American sugar will cause $50 Million a year in loan forfeitures by sugar farmers. The total cost to the US treasury is estimated to be $4.4 billion over the next 10 years due to the lost of tariffs on goods from Central America.
The Bush administration says that there isn't a problem, because they can't predict what will happen to the farm subsidies after 2007 since they will come up for renewal then. So never mind what the CBO says because we only can predict what happens the first two years:
"Our analysis suggests to us there would be no cost in 2006 and virtually no cost in 2007," said J.B. Penn, undersecretary for the Agriculture Department's Farm and Foreign Agricultural Services. "We can't go beyond this farm bill. We can only make a commitment for those things we control."
Nevertheless, if CAFTA goes down, it will be because of the same sugar lobby that has so badly affected the Florida everglades. Perhaps they aren't all bad after all.
And on a purely housekeeping note, sorry for the paucity of posts today. I've been under a particularly hard deadline and barely had time to look out the window much less get online.