Soda tax may be used to pay for health care reform

Posted on May 12, 2009



To pay for an estimated $1.2 trillion price tag on Obama’s health care plan, the Senate Finance Committee will begin hearing proposals to generate funds. One idea being floated is an excise tax on soda, fruit drinks, and energy drinks that could haul in $24 billion over the next four years if a 3-cent tax is imposed on the beverages.

I know that 3 cents per soda doesn’t sound like much, but the incremental price hikes on the stamp don’t seem like much either until they’ve more than doubled the price to mail a letter. Products as universally enjoyed as soda and energy drinks shouldn’t have more costs built into them, especially to help foot the bill for more bureaucracy. The cost of a soda from a vending machine has already jumped from 50 to 60 cents around here in Dayton, and any further increase will nickel and dime consumers into forking more money over to the government.

But more infuriating is the secondary purpose behind the proposed tax. Soda, you see, isn’t something Americans should be drinking, if you listen to Michael Jacobson, director of the Center for Science in the Public Interest, the group pushing the soda tax. Here’s what he has to say:

Soda is clearly one of the most harmful products in the food supply, and it’s something government should discourage the consumption of.

I’m opposed to the tax based on the sheer inanity of that statement alone. The excise tax, you see, will not only raise money for health care, but also make people think twice about drinking that nasty soda! This is nanny state garbage at its absolute worst. It’s akin to taxing food based on the amount of trans-fat or calories it contains, and it results in the government policing our dinner plates and beverage glasses. Yeah, a fatty cheeseburger or a sugary soda might not be the healthiest choice – but it’s our choice to make, and levying taxes to stop people from eating what they want is the ultimate in ridiculous government oversight and unnecessary restriction of freedom.

Leave the Squirt and french fries alone, Congress, and find some other way to pay for your pet projects.

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