Yep! Now the Center for Science in the Public Interest has come out with a proposal to tax soda. President Obama has said it's not a bad idea so far as he is concerned.
If such a tax ever passes, I'll definitely feel the pinch because I drink more than my fair share of Diet Pepsi (or Diet Coke or Diet Store Brand Cola if it's cheaper).
But, you know what?
I'm OK with this tax.
It might hurt financially. I might have to cut down on my soda consumption. I might gripe some about the nanny-state. (OK, I'll probably gripe a LOT!)
But I do know that cola drinks are, in no way, necessary to my diet or my budget. They are a luxury. If I'm not willing to give them up, it shouldn't kill me to pay a little more for them, particularly if it will go to providing needed public services.
For the same reasons, I don't mind taxes on cigarettes or alcoholic beverages. Of course that's easier for me to say because I don't smoke and I drink only occasionally.
As one might expect, The American Beverage Association strongly disfavors the tax proposal, never mind that several states already have one in place.
The American Beverage Association is only interested in our constitutional rights, and has no personal interest in the proposal (and, um, could I interest you in some beachfront property in Arizona?) To quote them:
"This kind of thinking is exactly why Americans
don't want government using the tax code to tell
them what to eat or drink. Furthermore, there
couldn't be a worse time to raise taxes on people.
In an economy like this, the last thing government
should be doing is raising taxes on the middle-class."
When it comes to raising revenue, I tend to oppose taxes that impact the poor and middle class more than any other.
So gas taxes bother me, even though I would like to see the auto industry become more environmentally sound, and our citizenry use public transportation to a greater extent. Unless one lives in an urban area, cars are a necessity for rich and poor alike.
Taxes on food generally gall me. Nothing strikes the poor more unfairly.
Taxes on soda? Not so much. I don't know if taxing sugary drinks (or even the diet ones, which aren't good for us, either) would truly make a dent in obesity, but it's a fast, easy, not very onerous way to raise revenue on an item none of us have any actual use for.
So do it!