A Tax On Soda?

In the last month, I have read a number of articles about the Obesity Epidemic , including one titled “City Set To Hear Testimony On Soda taxes”, another on “Chicago Soda Tax Hike: Aldermen Consider New Sugary Drink Tax In Hearing” and one more begging to ask “Should We Tax Soda To Discourage Obesity?

Ever since then I have been bugged by the prospects of such thinking.  Come to think of it, we all should be!

Why?

Chicago doesn’t get it.

The Alderman doesn’t get it.

The City Health Commissioner, a doctor, doesn’t get it.

Here is what to get:  The tax being proposed, which works out to somewhere between 15 and 35 cents per sugary drink, isn’t at all about dealing with the obesity epidemic.  This tax is about raising revenue—for the city of Chicago—plain and simple.  In fact, they’re not afraid to say it…literally!

Their ploy?  To get us dimwitted drones to overlook what they said.

Their guise?  To provide the appearance that they—our representative leaders—truly are looking out for us and our well-being.

Their reasoning?  That raising costs will lead to less consumption, which in turn will lead to less obesity.

My conclusion?  HOGWASH!

OK, maybe, just maybe, the smallest percentage of people might be affected enough by not being able to afford soda pop.  And maybe this could result in some weight to be lost. But in the end, the numbers won’t justify the tax.  Yet this is exactly what they’re trying to make us believe it will do!  More importantly, it most likely will have little impact on obesity in this city, let alone across the state, or throughout the country.

The only thing that approving this proposal will serve to do is to provide for more like-minded ideas to raise revenue…and at all levels of government.

So we all need to ask ourselves: “What’s next then?” and “Where is this going to lead?”, or “When, if ever, will this type of thinking end?”

Honestly, this is just another smokescreen, another ploy for them to put their hands in our pockets, and (to borrow a commonly used phrase these days) one more way to “kick the can down the road.”

Seriously, is this the kind of taxation WITH representation that we really want?

And just a reminder, or for those of you who read the article and inadvertently overlooked what was actually said, it bears repeating: None of the money to be raised—not one red cent—is to go toward fighting obesity.

This is not the type of cure to what is ailing us as a community, let alone as a country.  But if this is the direction we allow ourselves to travel, then we should fear that we’re already lost.

For the weight we really should be concerning ourselves with is the “poundage” put on by this kind of gluttonous governmental gorging.

  • wally

    Great article. To really combat obesity the government should tax all food and liuid products to a point that not even the rich can afford them. Allow only water and fiber to be tax free. Just think in 30 days everyone will be nice and slim even the politicians. Problem solved.

  • Berryraymond

    A new way to look at obesity.  When I was a child we played outside on the playgrounds.  We ran, then we ran some more.  Each year in school, after the second or third day of school, I knew who was the fastest runner in my class.  We played and we played hard.  Boys and girls sweated.  Boys got dirty.  We rolled on the ground and got dirty.  Today children are not competitive, and don’t do half the amount of running we did.  They go out on the play grounds, take a seat, and play their gameboys, or go on line with the latest device.  Don’t tax sodas, tax hand held devices sold to children.  Force schools to allow competition again.   Don’t keep score, someone might  lose and that would hurt their self esteem.   Sure. 

  • robin in fl

    I wonder how I stayed so thin as a child and teen ,even drinking soda and eating sweets????..sure I ate lots of raw veggies and didn’t like much meat,but I also moved around and wakled miles on the beech and in the woods and I swam in rivers and lakes and did not become a vegggie by sitting at a computer playing games or texting all day..pretty simple and to think I didn’t even need the food and soda police in my life!! go figure.

  • LeonaSalazar

    With what’s going on in Chicago and NYC Mayor Bloomberg’s intention of banning large sodas, if anyone doesn’t see how our freedoms are being chipped away every day, they must be living in LaLaLand.  Today it’s soda; what’s next?

    • Nancye

      I wonder the same thing.

  • Bruce A.

    A job is an excellent way to stay active & engaged.  Maybe the obese on public assistance should keep that in mind.