Friday, July 02, 2010

The Carbonated Beverage Tax Proposal In NY Fell Flat Because It WAS A Tax Grab

New York's budget situation remains an absolute disaster, even as Gov. David Paterson is vetoing 6,900 member items contained within the budget bills. One of the Governor's proposals to close the budget deficit was to impose an additional sales tax on carbonated beverages and other sugared beverages (excluding certain fruit juices).

That proposal thankfully got canned, and while the New York Times wants to blame the beverage industry for the proposal going flat, the truth is that taxpayers have recognized that the state is spending too much money and additional tax revenue isn't the problem. The problem is obscene state spending.

For all the talk about how this is a health measure to reduce calorie consumption, we do not tax foods and beverages based on the calories contained therein. No one would stand for that, but apparently the nanny staters think that taxing soda is perfectly acceptable. Watch for these same people to contemplate taxing candies, cookies, and other junk foods, even as portion sizes at restaurants and within the homes remain super-sized.

The problems with obesity in the country aren't new, but they are getting worse. Taxing soda isn't going to solve it.

Addressing the combination of sedentary lifestyles and portion control would go a long way to reducing obesity and all the health problems that it causes.

Individuals must get out of the habit of the super-size portions, and they can start by teaching their kids of the importance of proper portion size combined with exercise. Adults can also opt for smaller portions. While many restaurants focus on portion size as a way of showing value, they would do much better if they reduced portion size commensurate with a reduced price. After all, a person does not need to eat 1 pound of pasta as a portion, when a proper portion size for a dinner would be a fraction of that.

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