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#44733 - 05/16/09 05:28 PM Re: Soda tax? Here we go again [Re: oenophore]
Daniel Offline
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Registered: 05/23/01
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If one believes Stephen Colbert, the proposed federal tax is one-quarter of a cent per ounce. So if you go to the movie theater and spend $3.50 for a 20 ounce Coke, the tax would raise the price to $3.55. "And for what? Some poor woman's pre-natal check-ups?"

(Granted, one rarely pays $3.50 for 20 ounces outside of a movie theater.)

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#44734 - 05/16/09 09:02 PM Re: Soda tax? Here we go again [Re: Daniel]
oenophore Online   confused
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One needn't trust Mr. Colbert on this. From the website I cited above:

The office (CBO) 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.
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#44735 - 05/16/09 10:31 PM Re: Soda tax? Here we go again [Re: oenophore]
Daniel Offline
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Originally Posted By: oenophore
One needn't trust Mr. Colbert on this. From the website I cited above:

The office (CBO) 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.


Therein lies one of our food problems these days. I often look for a 12-oz serving (a can) at some establishments, and all they have are 20 oz. bottles. That's more soda than I want, but frequently that's all there is to buy. And once you buy food/drink, the tendency is to finish what's in front of you. Are people just getting used to larger portion sizes as their standard? (Anyone else remember those small Coke bottles? What were they, 8 ounces?)

How anyone can finish a 32 oz Big Gulp (or the equivalent) is beyond me, yet I see kids with them here in the city. And that's 310 calories right there.

Not that I'm endorsing the proposed tax, by the way. It seems to be sufficient to generate significant revenue without affecting behavior. I'm agnostic as to whether having it low enough to not significantly affect behavior is good or not; my libertarian and my "My God, how can anyone buy a 32-oz soda?" sides are conflicted.

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#44736 - 05/16/09 10:46 PM Re: Soda tax? Here we go again [Re: Daniel]
oenophore Online   confused
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I can't understand a libertarian issue in this context unless one abhors all manner of tax. Such excise taxation is well within Congress's delegated powers. Since I don't drink such stuff, I'd approve such taxation.
As for polishing off of a quart of soda, I recall a time a couple of years ago after a summer hike in the Mule Mtns. in Arizona foolishly without taking water with me, I barely made it back to the car. At a nearby 7-11 type gas station/junk food emporium, I poured myself and quickly drank two consecutive 46oz cups of diet cola.
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#44743 - 05/17/09 02:36 PM Re: Soda tax? Here we go again [Re: oenophore]
Daniel Offline
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I think there's a pretty clear libertarian issue: a tax based on behavior interferes with an individual's ability to freely choose that behavior, and libertarians believe that government should generally let people make their own decisions. If people want to smoke, they should be allowed to smoke without being subjected to an additional tax--or drink, or go rock climbing for that matter (should we tax climbing gear to discourage people from engaging in "inherently dangerous" activity?). As someone once suggested to me, what's next: a tax on eggs since they're bad for your circulatory system?

Or, if the tax is low enough so that it doesn't interfere with behavior, then why shouldn't it be more broadly based so that we all help pick up the tab, and not only one subsection of society?

As for polishing off a liter of soda, I think the longest hike the kids I see the kids taking are the few blocks from school to the fast food outlet.

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#44746 - 05/17/09 04:37 PM Re: Soda tax? Here we go again [Re: Daniel]
oenophore Online   confused
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If people want to smoke, they should be allowed to smoke without being subjected to an additional tax--or drink

In the early days of our republic, federal excise tax on tobacco and spirits comprised nearly all of the nation's internal revenue.

Or, if the tax is low enough so that it doesn't interfere with behavior, then why shouldn't it be more broadly based so that we all help pick up the tab, and not only one subsection of society?

This seems like an argument for a flat income tax or the so-called fair tax (across the board national sales tax.)
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#44747 - 05/17/09 09:14 PM Re: Soda tax? Here we go again [Re: oenophore]
Daniel Offline
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Originally Posted By: oenophore
In the early days of our republic, federal excise tax on tobacco and spirits comprised nearly all of the nation's internal revenue.


Well, then they weren't modern libertarians. That doesn't mean that there isn't an issue about the government and its relationship to personal freedoms.

Originally Posted By: oenophore
Or, if the tax is low enough so that it doesn't interfere with behavior, then why shouldn't it be more broadly based so that we all help pick up the tab, and not only one subsection of society?

This seems like an argument for a flat income tax or the so-called fair tax (across the board national sales tax.)


Not at all. We can all help pick up the tab, but in a progressive manner. Broad-based does not mean flat; it just means that everyone (or everyone above a certain minimum threshold) should contribute something.

And I think that's a key problem with our politics today. It's too easy to be in favor of something (like expanding health insurance for children, or wars) as long as someone else picks up the tab (like smokers, or the next generation of taxpayers). Government is supposed to be the means by which we tax ourselves for the programs we say we want. If we're not willing to contribute, maybe we should admit we don't think the goal is that important. But we can't have it both ways indefinitely. (And that goes for tax cuts without giving up programs, too.)

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#44754 - 05/18/09 02:20 PM Re: Soda tax? Here we go again [Re: Daniel]
pedestrian Offline
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Tax on sugar? Just like a tax on TEA.

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#53035 - 06/29/10 05:05 PM Re: Go F Yourself Governor Paterson [Re: alicex4]
oenophore Online   confused
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Given the current game of budget chicken between Gov. Paterson and the State Legislature, it's time to revive this thread. Whose side are you on here?
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#56629 - 02/01/11 09:02 PM Re: Go F Yourself Governor Patterson [Re: Smike]
oenophore Online   confused
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government goes beyond the basic principles put forth by the founding fathers

And what are these basic principles?


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