I’m Okay With Taxing Garbage

Filed in National by on September 25, 2009

Unlike the totally sterotype Mom in the commercial below, I’m perfectly okay with taxing sodas and juice drinks.  Mainly because they’re total crap, and one of the main reasons our country’s children are overweight.   They are also dirt cheap.

Whenever I watch this ad and see the Mom handing her son that humungous bottle of soda while complaining about pennies… I can’t help but think her priorities are screwed up.


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A stay-at-home mom with an obsession for National politics.

Comments (24)

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  1. John Manifold says:

    Love how she is cast as a “typical Mom.”

    Yo, lady: Soda fattens your kids [and you and your husband], shortens their lives, costs more than water [and tastes worse].

    Soda is a luxury item that is bad for you. It’s a liquid cigarette.

  2. Most people don’t have a problem with sin taxes. I find Republican rhetoric on obesity & health very strange. They complain about paying for health care for people’s “choices” but are against doing anything to influence people’s choices for the better. I guess they want to go with their tactic of shaming.

  3. RICO says:

    let;s just shorten it to “I am ok with taxing”

    and save the uneccesary words.

  4. Scott P says:

    Fine. As long as we can shorten you down to “unneccesary”. 🙂

  5. Joanne Christian says:

    But…But…But….what about diet soda?

  6. Scott P says:

    And no, I have no problem with taxing, either, if it raises money for useful ends in a fair manner. Even better if it encourages good, healthy behavior and helps to lower other related costs. The only relevant question here is whether a soda tax will actually accomplish this.

  7. I’m OK with taxing – I like libraries, roads, public parks, police departments, fire departments…

  8. Scott P says:

    Joanne, if that was a real question (and if it was it was a good one), from what I can tell diet sodas are usually exempt from these taxes. One proposed last year in NY specifically exempted diets sodas. So I think you and my wife will be OK.

  9. RSmitty says:

    But…But…But….what about diet soda?

    Spoken in a way that Joanne can truly appreciate:


  10. mike w. says:

    Typical. Place a “sin tax” on items you don’t want people to consume. Doing so doesn’t change behavior, and honestly the government has no business using tax policy in an attempt to modify my eating habits (or smoking, drinking etc. for that matter)

    The lady is right, in these economic times the last thing we need is another tax that will directly impact most American consumers.

    I wonder how this would square with Obama’s “no new taxes on anyone making under $250K” which was of course a flat out lie.

  11. RSmitty says:

    I’m OK with taxing – I like libraries, roads, public parks, police departments, fire departments…
    Excellent and true point, UI; however, taxes from these beverages would go to none of those. I believe the intent is to deflect health care costs of treating food-drink cosumption health issues. I can’t think of a gentler way to put that!

  12. mike w. says:

    “Soda is a luxury item that is bad for you. It’s a liquid cigarette.”

    Yup, and nanny state has to keep you from doing things that are bad for you.

  13. We’re currently subsidizing this behavior now. We control sugar prices and we subsidize corn which is used to make high fructose corn syrup. I see that as government encouraging the wrong behavior. Consumers aren’t stupid – they definitely know they get more bang for their bucks with high calorie food, and fruits and vegetables are more expensive. Plus, we add lots of fats and things to make junk taste good – the food industry is way out in front in the science.

    Remember though, I think humans are short term thinkers rather than long term thinkers. It’s not that people don’t recognize that junk food makes them fat, it’s just that they have to make decisions in the now and junk food is cheaper. If we want to encourage people to eat more healthy we need a way to make healthy eating more cost effective and not so much like swimming upstream.

  14. cassandra m says:

    JM is right that soda and juice drinks are luxury items — you don’t pay taxes on what you don’t consume in this case, so what you pay for is still under your control.

    But cigarettes are luxury items too — and the lesson from taxing them is one of diminishing returns. As cigs got more expensive, people started quitting meaning that tax revenues started not meeting expectations. I don’t think it will be the end of the world to tax sugared sodas and juice drinks, but counting on these taxes as a persistent source of revenue to pay for health care seems short-sighted.

  15. Geezer says:

    Nobody is stopping you from doing it, Mike. And Nanny had nothing to do with Adam Smith. But keep knocking down those straw men, you big, gun-loving hunk of man, you.

  16. Progressive Mom says:

    The NY tax did exempt diet sodas and all non-carbonated sugary drinks — meaning that those “green teas” with sugar were exempt.

    The idea was based not so much on revenue for the long run, but revenue for the short run and obesity costs.

    There were many holes in the proposal, including the sugary tea issue and the fact that some studies have shown that people who drink diet drinks actually eat more and may crave food more (I think cause and effect is confused in these studies, but whatever…). The proposal is going nowhere and, honestly, I think it was the guv’s way of using a strawman to deflect attention away from some huge revenue/expenditures changes he proposed last December, and as a way to slap the always-entertaining NY legislature into some kind of budget action.

    It failed on both counts.

  17. a. price says:

    I dont mind these types of taxes, and long as there is a plan for the revenues. I, for example, with my just scrappin’ by lifestyle wouldn’t mind a 2 dollar a gallon gas tax… $2 extra per gallon whatever the regular price is, as long as all that money went to developing alternative energy sources. First of all, it would raise a ton of money because people need gas, but it would cause the market to demand private companies also use their 11 billion quarterly profits to fix the oil dependency.
    By taxing things like sodas, and sugary juices we have the opportunity to use that money to…. help pay for health care maybe? People who buy soda all the time will be buying into to their long term diabeties treatment.
    There is nothing wrong with a vice tax. We are allowed to do things that are bad for us.. sugar, smoking, alcohol… if in Vegas.. other things etc. But, if they are going to negatively effect our health, and that will later have to be paid for, why not start building that coffer now?
    yes RICO i LOVE taxes… they help a good socialist society function 🙂

  18. anon says:

    “junk food is cheaper.”


    20-oz diet Pepsi from local convenience store: $1.49.

    Water from the tap: Free.

  19. Scott P says:

    Yup, and nanny state has to keep you from doing things that are bad for you.

    Wrong and, um, wrong. The talk is about placing a small tax, not outlawing them. As Geezer said, you can still drink all you want. And the point is not so much about stopping you from doing something that’s bad for you. The point is about believing that society has a responsibility to try to prevent people from doing things that are bad for others. The downside to excess sugar consumption is not that you get fat — I don’t give a damn how fat and disgusting you get. The downside is that being obese makes you much more likely to develop major (read: expensive) health issues that I and everyone else will have to pay for.

  20. John Manifold says:

    It’s fool’s gold to think that “diet soda” avoids health problems:



    BTW, don’t you love how insecure males toss the term “nanny state” at random? They did it for seat belts, indoor cigs, warning labels, occupational safety, too.

  21. Interesting how yu folks are willing to impose a tax on choice.

    The again, maybe the only “choice” you really support is abortion.

  22. mike w. says:

    RWR – Liberals are generally anti-choice. They’re only pro-choice as long as it’s a choice they support.

  23. A. price says:

    well, we would tax abortions of course… and they will be fully covered by gvt health care 🙂 hell RWR YOU’LL be paying for them HOOOORAY SOCIALISM fail