Non-Diet Tax Proposal

New York Governor David Paterson is aiming to propose a 15% tax on non-diet sodas in his state; an “obesity tax”.  Read the Article Here

“Margo Wootan, director of CSPI [Center for Science in the Public Interest], said a modest tax on non-diet sodas was unlikely to have a significant impact on consumption levels. But she said it was “a reasonable way to raise money . . . It is totally a luxury item, an extra that people do not need to have in their diet”.”

Taxes on “unhealthy” items are nothing new in our country; cigarette taxes to fund children’s health programs are all the rage; but do you ever stop to think about them?  The Governor’s answer to his promise of not raising income tax in his state is, rather, to tax his constituents’ right to drink a particular kind of soda.  The reason for choosing to specifically tax non-diet drinks is because it is bad for our health.  Of course, as the government (in the name of our “right”) becomes more and more involved with providing health care, realize that we are subsequently giving them the right to have more control over what we choose to digest.  Aside from government interference in Health, however, lets look at another angle of the article.  The CSPI director seems to almost applaude Obesity Tax move, as it is “reasonable”, commenting on the sodas being a total luxury.  I would ask why the government ought to have more of a right to your money because you choose to spend what you have earned on that luxury non-diet soda at the end of your work day?  In this case – because New York simply needs the money.  Health is merely an excuse, and one that I think is wrong to begin with.  If you’re going to take my (or in this case, NY citizens’) money, at least be honest about it.

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