Thursday, January 29, 2009

The Soda Tax explained.

Years ago, President Clinton with help from Congress imposed higher taxes on cigarettes under the guise of funding healthcare and encouraging people to stop smoking.  In other words, to control behavior.  Public support for this measure was gained by promising to help "the children."

Conservatives were scorned and ridiculed for not supporting this measure.  We were told we didn't care about peoples health, the children's health.  The conservative position, is one of personal freedom, responsibility and limited government.  Conservatives also warned that if this were allowed it would set a precedent on other items the left will deem unhealthy.

Fast forward to 2009, Governor Patterson of New York is set to impose a tax on non-diet soda.  Soda is a boogeyman for the Left because of sugar, and of course the justification of the tax is so it can help the children.  Looks like we were right, huh?  But is this really about help anyone, let alone children?  I say absolutely not.

Let's look at the "purpose" of these taxes.  The first purpose is to pay for healthcare.  The second purpose is to encourage people into consuming less of these evil items.  One purpose will kill the other purpose.  First of all the "healthcare for children" argument is a joke.  Since taxing the cigarettes for this purpose in the 1990's there has been no significant change in children's healthcare.

But let's look at the real problem.  Let's say that government collects money and allocates it for healthcare.  Fine and wonderful.  Now let's say that tax meets its second "goal" and fewer people consume non-diet soda.  Revenue (for healthcare) collected by the tax will drop.  What then?  I dunno, maybe raise the tax even more like they did for cigarettes?  That may even out the money, but then fewer people will consume soda.  Then what?  They will find something else to tax, that's what.  What will it be next time?  Chocolate?  Coffee?  Or how about tea?  We've been down that road haven't we?

It comes down to this.  Liberal politicians (and a lot of "conservatives") are only interested maintaining and growing government.  To reach this goal they have to get ever deeper into the pockets of the taxpayers.  If Governor Patterson were concerned that soda pop were killing people why would he not just ban it all together?  I mean afterall, it's a health emergency.  The mistake of the governments prohibition on alcohol in the 20th century was that they were trying to legislate morality.

Now, the government just wants more of your money and want to be more subtle about telling you how to live.

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