Sunday, March 07, 2010

Mayor Bloomberg Pushing Soda Taxes Again To Balance Budget

Once again, Mayor Mike Bloomberg is pushing another of his nanny state ideas - taxing sodas. This time, he's explicitly linking the soda tax to the dire state budget situation.
The higher the fructose corn syrup, the higher the charge.

Thats Mayor Bloomberg's pitch to the beleaguered state government as it grapples with steep budget problems.

Bloomberg - who uses his office to promote a healthier lifestyle for New Yorkers - urged Albany to tax sugary drinks by one cent for each ounce in his weekly radio address this morning.

He estimated a nearly $1 billion windfall from the tax, which Gov. Paterson considered in the past but dropped amid stiff opposition.

Bloomberg said the levy would help stave off childhood obesity, while raising money for education and Medicaid.
Did Bloomberg ever wonder what it would do to one of the state's biggest employers - Pepsi, which is headquartered in Purchase, New York? Did he ever wonder what it would do to Pepsi's bottom line?

Did Bloomberg ever consider that portion control or exercise (or lack thereof) has much more to do with obesity than the consumption of soft drinks? It's just a whole lot easier to tax soda than to mandate portion sizes.

With the state and city in dire financial shape, this tax is getting a serious look even though it is unlikely to change the bottom line for the waist lines of New Yorkers.

Moreover, any tax on carbonated beverages will ignore that sugar is omnipresent in all manner of beverages - including juices, milk, and energy drinks, which aren't likely to get taxed even as immoderate consumption can just as surely lead to obesity as with soda.

Also, there's the regressive nature of the tax that will adversely affect those in lower income tax brackets than those who are more likely to absorb the changes without changes in behavior.

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