Theodore's World: Soda Tax Being Considered By Obama the Taxing Addict!

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May 12, 2009

Soda Tax Being Considered By Obama the Taxing Addict!

The Wall Street Journal

Senate leaders are considering new federal taxes on soda and other sugary drinks to help pay for an overhaul of the nation's health-care system.

The taxes would pay for only a fraction of the cost to expand health-insurance coverage to all Americans and would face strong opposition from the beverage industry. They also could spark a backlash from consumers who would have to pay several cents more for a soft drink.

On Tuesday, the Senate Finance Committee is set to hear proposals from about a dozen experts about how to pay for the comprehensive health-care overhaul that President Barack Obama wants to enact this year. Early estimates put the cost of the plan at around $1.2 trillion. The administration has so far only earmarked funds for about half of that amount.

The Center for Science in the Public Interest, a Washington-based watchdog group that pressures food companies to make healthier products, plans to propose a federal excise tax on soda, certain fruit drinks, energy drinks, sports drinks and ready-to-drink teas. It would not include most diet beverages. Excise taxes are levied on goods and manufacturers typically pass them on to consumers.

Senior staff members for some Democratic senators at the center of the effort to craft health-care legislation are weighing the idea behind closed doors, Senate aides said.

The Congressional Budget Office, which is providing lawmakers with cost estimates for each potential change in the health overhaul, included the option in a broad report on health-system financing in December. The office estimated that adding a tax of three cents per 12-ounce serving to these types of sweetened drinks would generate $24 billion over the next four years. So far, lawmakers have not indicated how big a tax they are considering.

"Soda is clearly one of the most harmful products in the food supply, and it's something government should discourage the consumption of," Mr. Jacobson said.

The main beverage lobby that represents Coca-Cola Co., PepsiCo Inc., Kraft Foods Inc. and other companies said such a tax would unfairly hit lower-income Americans and wouldn't deter consumption.

"Taxes are not going to teach our children how to have a healthy lifestyle," said Susan Neely, president of the American Beverage Association. Instead, the association says it's backing programs that limit sugary beverage consumption in schools.

The beverage-tax proposal would apply to drinks that many Americans don't consider unhealthy -- such as PepsiCo's Gatorade and Kraft's Capri Sun -- based on their calorie content.

Health advocates are floating other so-called sin tax proposals and food regulations as part of the government's health-care overhaul. Mr. Jacobson also plans to propose Tuesday that the government sharply raise taxes on alcohol, move to largely eliminate artificial trans fat from food and move to reduce the sodium content in packaged and restaurant food.

The beverage tax is just one of hundreds of ideas that lawmakers are weighing to finance the health-care plans. They're expected to narrow the list in coming weeks.

The White House, meanwhile, is pulling together private health groups to identify cost savings that will help fund the health overhaul. Mr. Obama on Monday held a White House meeting with groups that represent doctors, hospitals, insurers, pharmaceutical companies and medical-device makers. They pledged to help restrain cost increases in the health-care system in an effort to save $2 trillion over the next decade.

"When it comes to health-care spending, we are on an unsustainable course that threatens the financial stability of families, businesses and government itself," Mr. Obama told reporters.

Wild Thing's comment......

Can we tax democrats for being democrats or something?? History proves over and over that the Democrats are the party of taxing people to death. Heck even after death.

If they tax soda, Nicholas is going to have a fit. He drinks a lot of diet Coke.

How much more does Obama think half of this country will stand for his being the worst president our country has ever had!!!!! No one comes close to how bad he is, imo. Carter runner up followed by Bill Clinton.

Posted by Wild Thing at May 12, 2009 06:47 AM


And how many juice companies are owned by soda companies? Soda companies just don't do soda anymore. I remember reading how the Sara Lee brand owns Bali bras and Champion auto parts! This is so dumb I can't believe it, but now that people don't buy as many tobacco products, they have to go after something else. Next it will be candy, ice cream, sweet bakery goods (donuts, pies, cakes and cookies, etc.)and it will never stop. It's a vicious circle. But when all the "bad" stuff for you is taxed to oblivion and everyone who works for these companies are out of work, then they'll tax vegetables, fruits, eggs, milk, meat and we'll all starve to death!!!!!

Posted by: Lynn at May 12, 2009 08:13 AM

This will be more jobs lost. Every tax results in jobs lost, if you don't count government jobs. It also drives more businesses out of the country. I guess eventually diet sodas will be smuggled from Mexico.

When the government can tax us on the climate they can tax us on anything.

Posted by: TomR at May 12, 2009 11:22 AM

As Lynn says, Cigarettes and Chewin' tabaccy are just about at their limit of Taxes. So now these quasi health nuts, health X-perts are going after another legal product to expand their agenda of spreading the wealth around.

Sounds to me like they are finally realizing that the Wealth they thought was so huge is actually finite when compared to their huge agenda. So now, they are looking to cut expenses to finace all their hair brain schemes. So where can they cut expenses, first will be the evil Military, then the Space program and of course Aid to Israel and anyone else that doesn't Kowtow to obama.

The only thing Liberals are good at is spending other peoples money.

Posted by: Mark at May 12, 2009 12:09 PM

How about a 20% tax on any product advertised as either Natural or Organic. (Except for table salt and water I do not know of an inorganic food) An additional 10% tax for the use of the word 'all' in labeling would even things out. Therefore, a food sold as "All Natural Organic" would be taxed at 50%.

This would have the major benefit of taxing the gullible. Until we can figure out how to tax stupidity this is as close as we can get to the first principle of taxation: “Tax the things you want less of.”

Posted by: Avitar at May 12, 2009 01:09 PM

I'm gonna start stockpiling Dr. Pepper just like my Guns & Ammo. I wonder if we can add it to our Gun Sovereignty Bill in Texas, because it's a Texas made drink.

Posted by: JohnE PC U.S. Army at May 12, 2009 06:08 PM

My son will have a fit like Nick, he drinks caffeine free Pepsi. Obama is a jerk. The more people that suffer because of increased taxes the more this idiot will have to tax as his tax base shrinks.
Bob A.

Posted by: Bob A at May 12, 2009 06:16 PM

The middle class thought they weren't going to be taxed by Obama. He's already raised tobacco taxes and it's the middle class and poor who are the biggest users of tobacco. And, who drinks the most soda pop? The poor and middle class of course.

Posted by: BobF at May 12, 2009 10:34 PM

Lynn, I agree, we will end up with not
being able to buy food at this rate with
all he is up to.

Posted by: Wild Thing at May 12, 2009 10:54 PM

Tom, you nailed it.

"When the government can tax us on the
climate they can tax us on anything."

Posted by: Wild Thing at May 12, 2009 10:58 PM

Mark, this should be a bumber sticker.

"The only thing Liberals are good
at is spending other peoples money."

GRRRR I can't stand all of this. I saw
where Obama liked Pepsi. Maybe if he got
truck loads of empty Pepsi cans dumped
on his desk up to his ugly face he
would see how ticked we are. I know
stupid, but this taxing everything under
the sun to pay for his socialized medicine
means we pay on all levels for this horrible
thing. sheesh And if he robs our military
oh I would love to put what I am thinking.

Posted by: Wild Thing at May 12, 2009 11:06 PM