Fat Is The New Smoking: Chicago Considers Sin Tax On Soda
For years those of us who opposed prohibitionist anti-tobacco policies such as smoking bans and sin taxes warned that once the nanny statists were done with tobacco they’d move on to other things.
And that’s exactly what’s happening. Fat is the new smoking, and the nanny statists would be happy to tax you into a healthier lifestyle:
On Tuesday, the Chicago City Council is hearing arguments over a proposed tax on sugary drinks.
Ald. George Cardenas (12th) wants Chicago to charge a 15- to 35-cent tax on drinks to reduce consumption and lower obesity rates. …
The Yale Rudd Center for Food, Policy and Obesity has a calculator where cities can learn how many gallons of sugar-sweetened beverages are consumed by residents, and how much a tax would generate. Their calculations find that a 1 cent per ounce tax in Chicago could bring in $129 million/year.
What’s more troubling than this policy itself is the seeming acceptance of tax policy as a means to enforce certain types of behavior.
If the government were to pass a law limiting the amount of soda we could buy at one time, or limiting the number of sodas we could drink in a day, there would be widespread objection to overbearing government policy. And rightfully so. Yet, for some reason, if the government institutes a tax with the same goal – limiting our consumption of soda – there is little outrage.
Why is one policy any more acceptable than the other? Should we not reject the very premise that the government should manipulate our lifestyles in such a way?
Taxation exists to raise revenues for the government. When the government uses it for the express purpose of manipulating our lives (and they do it with everything from tax credit for hybrid cars to sin taxes on tobacco, alcohol and soda) they are misusing policy.Tags: big government, nanny statism, sin taxes, soda, Taxes, war on fat