The soda tax is the next step for New York lawmakers
There is an extremely popular among lawmakers maxim saying: “Don’t tax you. Don’t tax me. Tax that fellow behind the tree.” It seems that when it comes for extra revenue, greedy New York authorities use this maxim to tax everything in order to fill holes in the budget i.e. cover their own expenses.
Several weeks ago New York State Governor David Paterson declared that cigarettes should cost $15 in order for smokers to give up smoking. Hearing that statement, local smokers began thinking about moving to other state, where the Governor is not so obsessed about smoking.
However, smokers may breathe freely because this time New York City authorities consider imposing an enormous tax on drinks containing sugar. Supporters of that tax cite the research recently accomplished by Dr. Dan Frieden and Kelly Brownell. According to the latter research, imposing a tax on sugar-containing drinks by a penny per ounce could help decreasing the consumption by almost 10 percent and at the same time collect $1.2 billion each year. Such unthinkable revenue would be collected since a penny per ounce of drink would jump to almost $3 per pack of 24 bottles. Moreover, thousands restaurants, bars, dives and other establishments in New York City make the prospect of collecting a whole lot of money even brighter. However, health authorities claim that the revenue would be used to finance several health programs for teens.
New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg has declared that the sugar tax was not in their nearest plans, since the City Council is now looking on increasing taxes on alcohol and some tobacco containing products, excluding cigarettes. Meanwhile, New York State Governor David Paterson had demanded to pass an 18 percent tax on sugar-drinks but after a massive public outcry he decided to back the proposal off. Let us remember, that New York City was the first American city to impose a ban on trans-fats back in 2006 and it also is famous for the highest taxes on cigarettes in the United States. Therefore, it seems that City officials are the most careful about pernicious habits of the citizens.
Of course, it is not bad to try to advise people about hazardous consequences for health related to smoking or consuming too many trans-fats or sugars. On the contrary, if taking into consideration the results of recently published study, which indicates that 20% of the country’s adolescents are overweight, it becomes evident that health officials should act as soon as possible to reduce this grievous statistics. However, the major question is that people are indifferent to this problem. It is simply impossible to understand why parents do not make any objections when their children keep eating fries and sodas every day at many public schools throughout the country.
For some reason, it seems even stranger, that the federal government does not make any effort to educate parents that eating pop at dinner is bad and good parents don’t do it. However, instead of educating, greedy bureaucrats states arguments like those of Commissioner Frieden, by saying that they have been unable to change people’s behavior only by education and advises alone, …just by increasing sin taxes the government could significantly decrease consumption.
Therefore, the governmental health fascists would keep increasing taxes, driving people to despair. Simply imagine what would happen when those 65% of low-income smokers across the country would give smoking since they could not afford it any longer. Where the State Children’s Health Insurance Program would be funded from? Or may be those children would stop requiring medical insurance? The answer is rather simple – the burden of paying for this program and other health initiatives would be redirected. Probably, the federal government lawmakers would turn their heads to alcohol or sugar-drinks or unhealthy food. The soda or alcohol tax, as well as the cigarette tax is regressive. It means that the tax burden would hurt disproportionately the poor. Another point is that soda or alcohol taxes are harmful for business and thus, for economy. Do you need evidence? Look at the tobacco industry where many small cigarette shops are forced to get put of business because of significant sales declines. Meanwhile, the cigarette black market is blossoming around New York as well as the sales of tax-free Indian cigarettes, because people are trying to find other option in the smoking dilemma. The same would happen to alcohol or sugar-drinks industry, if those health nuts would not stop their relentless efforts aimed at dictating their will to people.
Remember the following quote from the declaration of Commissioner Frieden to New York smokers since you are going to hear it from time to time but in relation to other unhealthy things:
“Now is the time to quit…Smoking is hurting your health and your wallet. For the many New Yorkers looking to save money during these tough times, this is a great way to do it. You will feel better, your families will be safer, and you will save thousands of dollars.”
Of course, they definitely would feel better and would save money, since Frieden and fat cats taxed cigarettes to the heavens, forgetting that the decision to smoke was taken by smokers without any external pressure. Rather than taxing and taking our rights away in a vicious manner, why not advise parents and children about the dangers of consuming too much fat, sugar, drinking alcohol or smoking.
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