Taxing Soda and Junk Food: Yea or Nay?
June 10, 2010
by Kate Goodin
In the childhood obesity debate, communities have taken steps to remove junk food and soda vending machine from schools, lobby for better school lunches and even ban toys from fast-food kiddie meals. The next hot topic in the debate: Should soda and junk food be taxed?
Babble.com cited a study where only one-third of parents would support such a tax -- and balked at the opposition:
"In as tax-averse a country as ours, it's no surprise that most of us oppose any additional government levy of any sort. But what is something of a shock is that moms and dads, many of who are on the forefront of nutrition wars in places ranging from school cafeterias to supermarkets, would be equally as opposed to paying even an extra penny for a Triple Whopper with Cheese, KFC's Double Down sandwich or 64 ounce extra large soft drink as everyone else."
The article also cites a six percent hike in soda taxes in Washington, D.C. -- but Dave Hedgepeth at the Washington Post isn't exactly applauding the decision:
"[L]ost in the hue and cry over 'soda taxes,' 'yoga taxes' and 'theater ticket taxes' is the true purpose of taxation. The primary reason we tax is to raise money for essential services we all need [...] Taxing certain groups is divisive, supports the idea that we can get a free lunch and encourages lawmakers to overspend. Constantly examining people’s lifestyles to find ways to tax them is no way to fund our government."
Would you vote yea or nay for taxes on soda and junk food? Do you think this would affect the childhood obesity crisis?