There’s been some talk of late about taxing soda and using the revenue to support any upcoming changes to the health care system. The basic premise is that soda has no nutritional value at all, so in consuming it, one is basically engaging in a vice, one that happens to promote obesity.
If there’s one thing that governments love to do, it’s tax vice (well, the legal vices anyways). And as we’re supposedly going to make massive changes to our health care system, taxing soda could bring in revenue needed to make the changes work.
Now I’m not a huge soda fan, being that I’m over the age of twelve, but I do like the idea of soda. So from my perspective, any tax is going to affect me only when I’m looking for a mixer for Fernet Branca.
But I have noticed some parallels between soda and whiskey, both can be abused, and both can lead to some pretty nasty health problems. Whiskey is taxed extensively, while soda barely at all.
So my question is this – what does soda bring to consumption that whiskey, wine, or beer do not? If one supports taxing alcohol, should one support taxing soda? Granted, there is the alcohol component of the equation that plays into this, but is there something to the idea that taxing nutritionally dubious (read – lacking in any nutrition) should be separated from foods that are deemed acceptable from a nutrition perspective?
I realize that I’m all over the map here when it comes to questions, but this is the result of the question.
So let me put it to you – do you think that taxing soda is a good idea?
My answer is a dubious “yes”, couched by the caveat that it’s implemented well, and that a definition of what constitutes a soda is clearly and unambiguously defined.
As always, vote in the left column there, and comment below. I’d love to hear well reasoned answers.