Bloomberg.com reports that:
Soft-Drink Tax Could Pare Waistlines, Cover Health-Care Costs--
A penny-per-ounce tax on soda and other sugary drinks would raise about $150 billion over a decade while slimming Americans’ waistlines, according to a report from public health and economic researchers.
If sugar-sweetened beverages from makers including Coca- Cola Co. and PepsiCo Inc. were taxed at that rate, the U.S. could raise $14.9 billion in the first year, according to the article in the New England Journal of Medicine. The tax would also encourage people to cut back on soft drinks, cutting their daily calorie intake by at least 10 percent, the authors said.
The rate of obesity, a major cause of diabetes, stroke, and heart attacks, has more than doubled in the last 30 years, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Soda and other sugary drinks have been linked to more calories eaten, leading to more pounds, according to background information in the report.
“If you take diseases related to diet, with obesity as the most visible, where do you start?” said Kelly Brownell, the report’s lead author and director of Yale University’s Rudd Center for Food Policy and Obesity. “We thought we’d start where the science is strongest. Liquid calories are a target because the body has trouble understanding those calories in a way that allows you to regulate body weight.”
This "target" is a no-brainer. The antediluvians at Coca-Cola somehow believe that taxing something equates to coercion:
Coca-Cola Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Muhtar Kent called the idea of a federal tax on soft drinks “outrageous” on Sept. 14 in response to proposals in Congress. “I have never seen it work where a government tells people what to eat and what to drink,” Kent said.
Sorry, Mr. Kent. You are mistaken. You "have seen it work". Taxing cigarettes reduces the rate of teenagers initiating smoking. Taxing gasoline reduces its usage. Something has to get taxed for the government to spend anything. Better it's the bad stuff such as supplemental sugar than the good stuff such as lawful, productive work effort.
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