Soda taxes not-so SWEET
Yesterday, Representative Rosa DeLauro (D-CT) introduced the Sugar-Sweetened Beverages Tax (SWEET) Act (HR 5279). As the title suggests, this legislation imposes a new tax on sodas. (I don’t know about you, but I don’t find new taxes to be SWEET, but then I don’t think supporting warrantless wiretapping is particularly PATRIOTic.)
According to Rep. DeLauro’s office, the new tax revenue:
“… would be used to fund initiatives designed to reduce the human and economic costs of obesity, diabetes, dental problems and other health conditions related to sugar-sweetened beverages. This includes prevention and treatment programs, research and nutrition education.”
Of course, if Representative DeLauro is successful in discouraging Americans from drinking soda, the government will not have that much money to spend on government programs designed to change our health habits. So I guess supporters of the Nanny State will need to drink more sodas if this bill passes.
This bill is not likely to pass this year, but as Nanny State supporter Robert Bittman points out in the New York Times, the first national health care bill was introduced in 1939, and the first federal anti-smoking legislation was proposed in the sixties. So this is definitely a proposal that we should at least keep an eye on.