California Looks To Get Into The Taxing Sugary Drinks Racket

This hasn’t worked very will in the cities that have instituted big taxes and restrictions on sugary drinks. Taxes from businesses have gone down, store owners have been hurt, businesses have moved out of cities. It’s a little harder to do when a whole state gives it a shot with being Nice Fascists, meaning this is supposedly for your own good (rather than a way to take more money from your pocket)

Is gulping soda as bad as smoking? California seems to think so

In California, soda is the new tobacco — at least from a public policy point of view.

Adopting some of the same methods that have been employed to reduce smoking, California legislators have put together an ambitious package of bills aimed at curbing consumption of sodas, energy drinks and other beverages that have added sugar.

The proposals, which are sponsored by the California Medical Assn. and California Dental Assn., include levying a tax on sugar-sweetened beverages, mandating warning labels on their bottles and restricting how they are promoted and displayed in stores, as well as limiting the serving size of fountain drinks. The proceeds from the tax (the amount is yet to be determined) would fund programs to prevent obesity, diabetes and other health problems associated with the overconsumption of sugar.

One of the proposed measures that could show results is definitely worth exploring: taxes on drinks with added sugar.

It’s an intriguing approach that has already sparked a backlash from the soda industry and a public discussion about what role the government should play in grocery store purchases. Now the onus is on public health officials to make a clear and compelling case about the dangers — and to explain why sugary drinks deserve as harsh a regulatory response as cigarettes.

Or, perhaps, government should stop interfering in our lives. It should stop dictating how we run our lives. Remember, this is a state that has made using marijuana legal, in contradiction of federal law. Marijuana is a drug. Regardless of the research that shows it doesn’t cause physical or psychological addiction, you are still inhaling it into your lungs, and the main ingredient, THC, causes changes to the brain as you are getting high. It also has many physical effects, and prolonged usage can damage the lungs, cause anxiety, sleeplessness, and a higher chance of a heart attack.

Yet soda is the problem. It’s not to say that it isn’t an issue. But, it’s not government’s job. And since the above is by the LA Times Editorial Board

Additionally, some of the provisions in this package are of dubious merit. What’s the benefit of stamping a warning label on Coke or Pepsi bottles when they already carry enough nutritional information on the label to inform consumers about how much sugar and calories are inside? In any case, people already know that soda is not good for them. This is why schools have banned such beverages from their cafeterias and McDonald’s stopped including soda as a standard Happy Meal offering in 2013.

And capping the size of fountain sodas at 16 ounces (the equivalent of a small drink at McDonald’s), which one of the bills proposes, would have limited effect if restaurants allow free refills.

So, the California General Assembly, run by Democrats, will surely put in a restriction.

With so much of the food found at the grocery store packed with added sugars — even in “healthy” food such as yogurt, cereal and salad dressing — it makes sense to discourage consumption of the empty calories found in soda and other sugar-sweetened drinks. Effective and sensible strategies to do so are worth pursuing.

An ad campaign would be worth pursuing. Not acting as a nanny state, especially with the taxes. Which is probably the real reason, not the health aspect.

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  1. […] which ought to belong to individuals, not politicians. _________________________________ Also see: California Looks To Get Into The Taxing Sugary Drinks Racket on The Pirate’s Cove. _________________________________ Cross-posted on […]

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