Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Now They Want to Gore Grace's Ox!

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!


Anonymous said...

I feel a SUPER rant comming on. When I cannot afford something I don't buy it.

I am a Pepsi drinker to. You do notice that the government in it's effort to raise money from taxes always goes after sin taxes under the guise that it's good for the children, or bad for you.

I wonder what the people would say if they added a dollar tax on toliet paper, like they did for cigarette's?

Then when Feds did it, my wonderful State did the same thing.

When business can't raise prices(I know some do) they cut back. My what a wonderful thought that would be for government. But when the Government cuts back they cut services that are needed...How about they cut Government salaries. They always say that Government employees could make more in the public sector as an excuse for their inflated saleries, so let them quit.

Damn I got smoke comming out of my ears...Time for a Jack and Pepsi, and a cig.

See Ya

Anonymous said...

Gotta agree with you on this one Grace. Totally support the idea of a consumption based tax in which you can choose to participate or not.

Grace. said...

LOL--I DO hear ya, Tony, but my point is that things like toilet paper should not be taxed--unless one has a Sears catalog handy (do they even have those any more?) TP is pretty much a necessity, and a tax on it would unfairly impact the poor and middle class. But Pepsi? Or cigarettes? Not in the same league! I guess I'm not against sin taxes provided that if I want to sin, I can, so long as I pay extra.

Sharon said...

Ugh. I LOVE soda. But, alas, it, like cigarettes and alcohol, not so good for you. The only thing left is chocolate....

Grace. said...

Chocolate? They wouldn't dare, would they?

I'd have to move to Switzerland--oh, wait! They have even higher taxes in Switzerland!

Living Almost Large said...

Boy are we in trouble. The amount of coke my DH drinks funds most people's entertainment funds. Sigh. We're talking at least at 12 pack a week or more. He used to drink a 2L a day. And no he's not fat or diabetic.

He's 22 BMI, super healthy, and just in general great shape?

Me I only cut it out because of the baby. I thought caffeine bad, so I stopped but I was the same.

I wonder if my DH could give it up? I don't think so.

frugal zeitgeist said...

Grace, as long as the revenue is used productively, I'd be just fine with this tax. I see nothing wrong with taxing products that are bought voluntarily, especially those that are known to be detrimental to health. I'd even support a coffee tax, although that one would admittedly hurt.

Anonymous said...

You do realize that there is a tax on bottled water? At least in my state. Is there anything else more of a necessity in this life, other than water? So, yes, already necessities are being taxed. Why do people delude themselves thinking that the govt uses our tax money for GOOD purposes? Do you think this admin or the previous one used our tax money wisely?
The govt keeps raising taxes as a way of avoiding their truth: that they are broke, have exhausted all viable means of raising capital (try buying a govt bond lately? they are paying ZERO interest)and once the Japanese & Chinese refuse to loan us any more money, what do you think the end result is going to be? Have you seen the value of your dollar lately? The Euro reached it's all time high of 1.50 today.
The govt now wants to tax soda and most of you are AOK with that?

People get what they deserve.

Already Grace said she will buy less soda if the taxes are placed on it. Less soda buying means a drop in sales. Next will come the slowdown in production from the decline in consumption. Times Grace by a million other people who will have come to the same conclusion as Grace and you will see plant closings and lay offs.


Things won't be going better with (less) Coke.

Anonymous said...

Who said toilet paper was a necessity? Pepsi and cigarette's may be a necessity for my happyness. And just who deceides what a sin tax is? Should playing golf on Sunday require a sin tax if one skips Church.

What I was trying to say is that government can just deceide to tax what ever they want. Then they just piss away the money.

Morrison nailed it.

See Ya

Shevy said...

@Living Almost Large
I used to drink 2litres of Coke per day, from the time I was about 17 until I was somewhere in my 30s at least.

I stopped and didn't drink any kind of pop for years. I also switched to decaf coffee and decaf tea. Several years ago I started drinking limited amounts of clear pop (like 7Up or Sprite) and A&W root beer (which has no caffeine).

I'm okay with that but don't even allow myself to consider trying Coke (or any other cola) ever again. I know if I did I'd be back to 2 litres within a week. It's an addiction. Really. Sugar is part of it and so is caffeine, but there's also something unique to Coke because no other cola product ever affected me the same way. I'm just not going there.

But your DH could probably quit if it became important enough to him. I finally decided that it wasn't good that I would get up in the middle of the night to go to 7-11 for a Super Big Gulp if I didn't have any Coke in the house, or that I was in a fog all the time, or that I never felt like eating because I had so much sugar in my system.

Retired Syd said...

Of all the things to get upset about in this world, taxing soda is way down there at the bottom of my list. There's a sin tax on alcohol and cigarettes, and you don't see those guys going out of business left and right now do you. Please, spare me the drama. Seems to me another case of the true stakeholders (the beverage lobby) whipping people up in a frenzy over nothing . . .