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.