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Report: 23 government policies that drive up food costs and “hurt the poor”

(AP Photo/David Goldman, File)

Many turn to large government programs to improve economic opportunities in America, however, a new report suggests the opposite may be a better approach.

The Heritage Foundation’s new report titled “Trump Administration Should Address Federal Policies That Limit Opportunity and Hurt the Poor” exposes several federal programs that limit opportunities and drive up costs for all Americans.

The report lists 23 policies that drive up prices of basic goods.

A U.S Bureau of Labor chart broke down after-tax household spending by income groups and found that low-income families spend the most money on basic needs such as food and electricity. Thus, these regulations disproportionally leave the poor with less money.

One only has to travel to their fridge to find harmful policies. The federal government restricts the U.S.’s sugar supply, raising sugar costs 41 percent higher than the rest of the world. This costs taxpayers up to $3.7 billion per year.

Farm subsidies raise prices across the board by restricting supply to stabilize prices. The United States Department of Agriculture bought $20 million worth of cheese, $27.5 million worth of cranberry concentrate, and $13 million worth of blueberries in August of 2016 alone. This all comes at the cost of taxpayers and consumers.

Corn is no different. The Energy Policy Act of 2005 required ethanol is mixed into gasoline, though it provides one-third less energy than gasoline. Higher mandates lobbied by special interest groups diverted 40 percent of America’s corn supply to ethanol, pumping up corn prices as much as 68 percent. The CBO estimated ethanol subsidies raises general food prices by 15 percent.

The Agricultural and Applied Economics Association also found that Federal Milk Market Orders, intended to stabilize milk costs, actually raised milk prices by 15.5 percent.

These laws are just a few driving up the standards of living. Combined, the Heritage Foundation found these 12 policies cost the average household $4,400 per year.

Heritage Foundation

If President Trump truly wants to “drain the swamp,” then these regulations are a good place to start. The report ironically concludes that Trump should appoint an inter-agency commission to target and repeal harmful laws, which would benefit taxpayers and consumers.


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