Tuesday, March 09, 2010

Soda Taxes Aren't Enough; Now Come Proposals To Tax Pizza

Where will the nanny state insanity end? There have been repeated calls for taxes on soda, carbonated beverages, or sugared beverages, but Reuters is now reporting that there is a proposal being floated that pizza should be taxed.

Really? How exactly are we going to justify that one versus dining at any dining establishment or home where portion control is out the window.

Pizza is a quick meal. When done right, it's an amazing dining choice and tasty beyond belief. It has the elements of a proper meal - including fiber, vitamins, minerals, and yet the proposal is being floated to tax it?
Duffey's team analyzed the diets and health of 5,115 young adults aged age 18 to 30 from 1985 to 2006.

They compared data on food prices during the same time. Over a 20-year period, a 10 percent increase in cost was linked with a 7 percent decrease in the amount of calories consumed from soda and a 12 percent decrease in calories consumed from pizza.

The team estimates that an 18 percent tax on these foods could cut daily intake by 56 calories per person, resulting in a weight loss of 5 pounds (2 kg) per person per year.

"Our findings suggest that national, state or local policies to alter the price of less healthful foods and beverages may be one possible mechanism for steering U.S. adults toward a more healthful diet," Duffey and colleagues wrote.

In a commentary, Drs. Mitchell Katz and Rajiv Bhatia of the San Francisco Department of Public Health said taxes are an appropriate way to correct a market that favors unhealthy food choices over healthier options.
This is the nanny state in action. Never mind that pizza and other food choices are reasonable when done in moderation. When you load up a pizza with all the trimmings and works, it can be an artery clogger just as much as a double bacon cheeseburger (or worse).

Still, it is up to the individual to choose their food items, not a nanny stater who sees tax revenues as a way to fund pet projects.

Here's a word to the wise - anyone projecting revenues from this or the soda tax will find that their revenues will likely fall well short of expectations putting whatever programs they hope to fund at a disadvantage and in need of more funds from other sources.

It also has the potential to kill small businesses, such as local pizzerias, who will have no choice but to pass on the costs. In the end, such taxes will harm businesses and not affect the waist line of Americans who will continue eating as they always have - without regard for portion control.

No comments: