The Soda Straw that Broke this Taxpayer’s Back

The title to this post might be a bit melodramatic, but I am SICK of new tax proposals.  Ok, I agree that soda is not healthy. But a soda tax REALLY ticks me off.  I’m not entirely sure, but I suppose it’s the principle of unnecessary government interference in my life that gets me worked up.

This is a tax proposal that keeps coming back on the state and federal level.  There are “concerned groups” advocating for this.  There are politicians promoting it.  The NY state health commissioner endorses it.  All in the name of health.  Oh, how  sweet -ahem- of you to be concerned for me.  [Note the sarcasm.]  I know that it’s only pennies per drink, but believe me, that’s just the start.  I’m no big fan of cigarettes, but just look at how effectively tobacco has been vilified.  If the food fascists have their way, the government will collect more money per soda than the companies selling them.  Eventually.

Here is the reality.  This is nothing more than a money grab by the state.  I’m sure the taxes raised will end up used just as effectively as the tobacco taxes or the lottery money.  [Yes… more sarcasm.]

But of course, many advocates endorse the use of taxes to club the poor dumb slobs who would dare to drink such horrible sugared, carbonated, caffeinated elixirs.  To you advocates who believe the funds raised will actually go to battle obesity, I’ll be glad to give you a nice cardboard tube.  No charge.  You can use it as a lance as you tilt at the windmills of New York state government in your search for those tax dollars designated for your fight against obesity.  It’s time for advocacy groups to wake up.  Many, if not most, of the politicians proposing soda taxes are less concerned about your beliefs than in a power and money-grab.  Save your advertisement dollars.  Put them to good use in creating anti-obesity educational public service announcements.  You are being duped by the politicians.  They could care less about the sugar.  They just want the dough.

I’ll admit that I drink more soda than I should, and yes, I am carrying a few too many pounds.  Here’s a little surprise:  I don’t need the governor, the legislature, or any taxes to encourage me to lose some weight.  I can decide, on my own, to drink less sugary drinks.  I can decide to exercise more.  And that’s just what I’m doing.  Guess what?  It’s working.  I’m down six pounds so far this year.  My goal by December 31 is to lose 25 lbs.  I’m well on my way.  No taxes necessary.

To the Governor, to the Legislature, and to any other group advocating this tax:  Keep your hot air out of my soda! The only gas that belongs there is the CO2 that makes it yummy and bubbly.

I’d advocate a “Soda Party” on the Hudson, but I’m afraid that dumping soda in the Hudson might only improve the river.  Probably illegal, too.

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  1. I love your post today Wade. This particular tax irks me too. The govenor also put a deposit on seltzer and water bottles. It is not because he is interested in saving the earth and promoting recycling, it is because of the millions that come to NYS each year from deposits that are not redeemed. I wonder how much they get each year from this and how much it stands to increase now that he has added a deposit on water and seltzer.

  2. Excellent point Alicia. I don’t mind the deposit law if it encourages recycling. But you are correct, I’m annoyed that so much of the unclaimed deposits go back to the government. Another money grab.


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