Nanny State,  Soda Tax

Nanny State Watch: California Soda Tax Would Raise $1.7 Billion for Schools and Obesity Programs – Soda Has Become the New Tobacco

More nanny state taxes from California.

A study released Thursday estimates that a 1-cent-per-ounce tax on sugary sodas and other sweetened drinks would return $233 per student to California classrooms and fund childhood obesity prevention initiatives.

“The science linking sugary drinks to the obesity epidemic is rock solid,” said study author Harold Goldstein, with the California Center for Public Health Advocacy, who is a leading proponent behind the largely successful removal of junk food and sodas from school vending machines and cafeterias. “It’s time to make sure that the cost of these beverages includes the social cost of the harm they are doing.”

The study is based on AB 669 by Assemblyman Bill Monning, D-Carmel, which would raise $1.7 billion statewide every year and send 85 percent of that to schools and local agencies and 15 percent to state-run anti-obesity programs.

At a penny an ounce, Californians would need to buy the equivalent of 14 billion 12-ounce cans of soda, an average of a little more than a can a day for every man, woman and child in the state.

And, get this quote: “Soda has become the new tobacco.”

I mean how stupid is this.

“Soda has become the new tobacco,” said Supervisor John Gioia, of Richmond. “It took us a while to get to the point where we linked the negative health implications of tobacco on public health, and we know that the taxes on cigarettes are working to reduce smoking.”

A soda tax — applied to all beverages with added sugar and fructose corn syrup — has been debated for years.

Don’t these fools understand that the economy cannot sustain any more taxes for their nanny state redistribution schemes? And, why should soda drinks redistribute the costs of their purchases to fund school obesity programs.

Damn, just kick the soda machines out of the schools.

And, what about personal responsibility?

It’s a bad idea, countered said Jon Coupal, with the Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association.

Soda drinkers vastly outnumber smokers, a dwindling population whose ostracized members are accustomed to paying cigarette taxes, he said.

“It’s the stupidest thing to come down the pike,” Coupal said. “Why are we singling out this form of carbohydrate for taxation? What’s next? A bread tax? A pizza tax? At the end of the day, this effort is a combination of bad fiscal policy with nannyism in government.”

Classroom dollars and soda consumption have no ties, said Contra Costa Taxpayers Association Executive Director Kris Hunt.

“It’s another case of ballot-box budgeting that doesn’t make any sense,” Hunt said.

The only reassuring aspect of this tax is that the proponents will need a 2/3rds vote of the California Legislature, plus the Governor’s signature. I doubt any Republicans will vote for this proposal.

So, if the nanny state soda jerks want to tax us, they will have to gather signatures and qualify an initiative for the ballot. I doubt if California voters, in this economy, will be voting themselves any more taxes – obesity or not.