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Orange County Register: Soda Tax is Regressive, Won’t Work

A recent opinion piece in the Orange County Register notes that what is most troubling about the new Berkeley, CA soda tax is that, “… the tax is regressive, since the poor consume a disproportionate amount of sugary drinks, and that the tax revenue will almost certainly be wasted on unrelated programs or used to pay city employees’ pensions, is the idea behind the soda tax that people are too stupid to make decisions about what to put into their bodies.” Berkeley’s soda tax is also inconsistent as their 1-cent-per-ounce tax excludes items like, diet soda, chocolate milk, 100 percent fruit juices, and alcohol. Last time we checked, a 12 ounce apple juice has exactly as much sugar as Coca Cola along with extra calories – so where’s the logic?

Time and time again, Americans tell the government that they do not want soda taxes and do not believe that they will impact their food and beverage choices. A November 2013 Pew Research Center poll found that a whopping 64 percent of Americans oppose raising taxes of sugary soft drinks or unhealthy foods. Most recently one of America’s most liberal cities, San Francisco, failed to reach the two-thirds threshold needed on Proposition E, which would have imposed a 2-cents-per-ounce tax on sugary drinks, yet politicians still think that taxes are the solution. So don’t let nearby Berkeley fool you. Berkeley is not a trend, it’s a political statement by food activists.

Berkeley’s questionable priorities are not consistent with the rest of the country where soda taxes have been dismissed in 31 various cities, states and localities. Americans know that the government cannot legislate health and together we will continue the fight against these failed policies.

As the OC Register put it, "If government can tax and regulate what you drink with your lunch, what freedoms are safe from nanny-state intervention?” Something to think about. And fight against.

Tags: National CA Taxes BeverageTax
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