Tax Those Calories Away!
Posted by Max Barron on May 12, 2009
You’ve heard of “Sweatin’ to the Oldies,” “Weight Watchers” and the “South Beach Diet,” all of which claim to help you cut those unwanted pounds and reduce your caloric intake. But soon you could have a whole new diet…”Skimpin’ cuz the Taxes.” Not long ago NY Governor Patterson discussed creating a soda tax – which would tax high sugar content beverages – to discourage their consumption. Outraged, New Yorkers and the beverage industries stomped that idea into oblivion. But not before the Mighty Fedzilla’s super-sonic hearing picked up on it. Now, Fedzilla – oddly aroused by the idea – is contemplating creating a soda tax to help pay for their health care initiatives – a backdoor to single payer, government rationed health care.
The idea behind the tax is, as usual, purportedly for our own good. The idea is to tax the drinks to dissuade people from purchasing and consuming them, in the name of our health. Basically they believe that if they tax those deliciously sugary beverages that it will reduce the amount of obesity and diabetes, thus lowering the costs of health care. Supporters of this kind of tax believe that it will actually curtail consumption… it won’t. Not only will the tax be ineffective, but it will also not produce the kinds of revenues needed to off-set the gaping chasm of a money pit that is nationalized health care. According to the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) this Soda Tax would produce roughly only $24 billion over the next four years. That isn’t even the tip of the currently estimated $1.2 trillion health care initiative iceberg – which I consider to be a remarkably conservative estimate.
From the standpoint of health care funding, the soda tax is completely pointless. It will reach much further than the guilty pleasures of an ice cold Pepsi or Coca~Cola, though. It will dip into numerous other drinks such as Gatorade, Capri-Sun and Powerade to name a few. As the tax is aimed at calorie content… not sugar syrups. And anyone who says that Gatorade and the like cause obesity is a liar and an idiot. Pepsi, Coca~cola, Dr. Pepper, etc don’t either for that matter. No, it is people that make people obese by not observing moderation (people with medical conditions like thyroid deficiencies not withstanding). Again, it isn’t the funding that this tax is all about. Mr. Jacobson, executive director of the Center for Science in the Public Interest, brings that point home.
“Soda is clearly one of the most harmful products in the food supply, and it’s something government should discourage the consumption of.”
It is about some statist oligarch telling the American people how to live their lives. Because they know better than we mere plebes. This isn’t to say that the soda tax will be effective in that mission either. It won’t. People will continue to consume them en masse because they have no personal sense of restraint or moderation. And it isn’t for the government to moderate those lifestyle choices. Which, if this tax slides through, we can all look forward to more of. Look at the bright side, though. When you order a steak, if that you can afford the taxes on it, you won’t have to worry about telling the server how you want it prepared… Capital Hill will have already decided that for you.
To turn a phrase “let them eat cake – let them be fat!”