How do you feel about sin taxes? They seem to be propagating at an alarming speed in the present economic climate, since they’re one of the only ways to raise taxes without provoking an entirely one-sided public backlash. Thus, the Senate is taking aim at Big Soda, proposing “a three-cent tax on sodas as well as other sugary drinks, including energy and sports drinks like Gatorade. Diet sodas would be exempt,” according to ConsumerAffairs.com via CBSNews.
The proposal is far from a done deal at this stage, but its proponents make a powerful case, claiming it could bring in $24 billion and improve the level of overall national health.
Susan Neely of the American Beverage Association, fighting the idea, points out that the tax would hit the country’s poor the hardest. But isn’t that precisely the idea? If anyone’s spending habits are going to be changed by a three-cent tax, it might be those of people without much disposable income. And, it could be added, generally crappy health insurance options.