October 18, 2009

Soda: the New Cocaine

A newly proposed tax would pay for health care, and it as a lot of people upset, but I am not sure how they are justifying their objections. I guess this is another case where principle has little or no influence on the strongly-held opinions of some.
Apparently, since soda and other sugary drinks are bad for us, we should tax them in order to discourage consumption and improve the overall health of our country. But the real motive is obvious and even blatant:
The beverage tax is just one of hundreds of ideas that lawmakers are weighing to finance the health-care plans. They're expected to narrow the list in coming weeks.
That is, it's all about money--money and control. Here lies the slippery-slope of government intervention into things like drug prohibition and health care. There no longer exists any consistent precedent for NOT passing such laws. Most have already accepted the notion that government can regulate what substances we can and can't take into our bodies (FDA, drug laws etc.), and with the push for a universal healthcare plan, many are also accepting the premise that government is responsible for our health. One cannot remain consistently opposed to a soda tax and, at the same time, defend anti-drug laws and the like. However, since it is unlikely such laws will be repealed, we can expect many opponents of a soda tax will eventually fall in-line with the program of government regulation of our lives. Thus, we can certainly expect more and more regulation on things we consume simply based on how healthy they are:
Health advocates are floating other so-called sin tax proposals and food regulations as part of the government's health-care overhaul. Mr. Jacobson also plans to propose Tuesday that the government sharply raise taxes on alcohol, move to largely eliminate artificial trans fat from food and move to reduce the sodium content in packaged and restaurant food.
I can only imagine one day someone getting arrested for hiding fried chicken down their pants. Don't get me wrong, I don't drink much soda, I don't drink any alcohol, and I can't remember the last time I ate fried chicken. BUT, outlawing fried chicken is just a hop away from bacon. That creates a problem for me.
What foods do you like that might be illegal or taxed? Would you still buy them on the black market?