Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Soda tax? Bring it on.

I had lunch yesterday at north Minneapolis at a restaurant that didn't serve water.  When I asked for a glass of water the owner pointed me to a cooler full of many different types of soda and a bottle or two of water.  I managed to get the meal down beverage free.

Sadly, soda is the drink of choice for many, especially in poor urban areas.  All too often when driving through the Northside in the morning I would see kids with a can of soda waiting at the bus stop.  Thanks to soda, unhealthy foods and lack of exercise, we've got an epidemic of both obesity and diabetes.  In my Pop/soda? Just say NO! blog I've got 15 reasons to avoid soda pop.

I was pleased to see an article in the paper this morning "Would you cut back on soda if you had to pay a tax on it?.  It was discouraging however to see that the proposed tax would only be a penny per ounce and is already facing stiff opposition.  Given its harmful effects on the health of our nation it seems to me it should be taxed along the lines of liquor.

It was estimated that the proposed tax would raise $13 billion a year in revenues while also saving $17 billion in medical costs, by diminishing the occurrence of heart disease and diabetes. What is not to like about that?

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