Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Junk Food Tax - The Cost of Sin Goes Higher and Higher

Are You Going to be Paying Higher Taxes for a Bottle or Can of Soda?

The smokers were saying that the government would be gunning for the rest of us soon, and they were right. After adding huge taxes to cigarettes and slowly raising the price of alcohol, they are now looking to tax soft drinks (as well as energy drinks like Gatorade).

The way more taxes are justified is (as with cigarettes and alcohol), the government is selling this plan as a way of helping us all get healthier and for funding health costs for all. They're pulling out statistics showing that overweight people have more health issues. But, they aren't noting that obese people also have shorter lifespans. So, the costs are short term and likely balance out in the end.

Also, I would note that if "the plan" works as stated in getting people to quit buying sodas and other junk foods (and who will define what's junk?), then where is the government going to get money to support health care? Seriously, they benefit only because people are using products that can be demonized. So, when they price out with the bulk of the population, then they will have to go hunting for something else to tax.

It's also worth considering that the poor bear the heaviest burden on this tax. While you may say, "She/he ought to buy healthier food then," junk food is denser in terms of calories and provides more energy for fewer dollars. That's unfortunate but true.

Moral: Once big brother starts to meddle, you better watch your Twinkies and Ranch flavored Ruffles.


teeg701 said...

"Big Brother" seems like a bit of a dramatic conclusion to jump to since the government is only proposing a 2 cent tax increase.

I am not looking forward to dealing with a stressed health care system that will be on the verge of crumbling in 20 years.

Diabetes alone cost the government $191 billion this year- a disease that is almost completely diet- related.

For more information about why we need to think about regulating the fast food industry check out www.valuethemeal.org

Grill Girl said...

That's what they said when the government went after smokers. Now, they can zing smokes with $1 per pack.

I am familiar with the problems and arguments on food. And, I generally cook at home and also buy local.

My question: Where do you draw the line? The government gets way too involved in what people do on their own time and in their own spaces.