29 December 2008

In defense of the "fat tax"

New York is proposing an 18% tax on sugary drinks and non-diet soda to combat the trends of increasing obesity among children and adults as well as the shift from drinking milk, water, and fruit juices towards sugary drinks like soda. According to recent polls, the public opposes the tax, but State Health Commissioner Richard Daines has created a video to talk about the shift and explain why he supports the tax.

Is this just another way the government is becoming a nanny state and trampling on personal freedoms or is it important legislation that addresses a public health issue that costs billions every year?

How does this compare with the Pennsylvania public smoking ban?


1 comment:

BleedingHeartConservative said...

HUGE difference from the smoking ban. Someone else's decision to smoke in a bar affects me as another patron, affects the bartender (who may 'smoke' the equivalent of up to 8 cigarretes in a weekend evening shift), affects which facilities a pregnant customer may patronize, the list goes on. And there were only so many non-smoking facilities available to chose from.

My choice to drink a soda over a water, on the other hand, may be a poor choice, but it's my choice and affects no one but me. While I do agree with incentives to practice healthy habits, such as rewards on insurance for exercising, it is not the government's place to dictate whether I buy skinny cow ice cream sandwiches or indulge after a bad day and buy Ben and Jerry's.