Sin Tax, Sodas, and Expanding Healthcare Coverage

Discussion in 'Politics' started by D_Ireonsyd_Colonrinse, May 12, 2009.

  1. D_Ireonsyd_Colonrinse

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    Senate leaders (leaders from the Senate Finance Committee) are considering new federal taxes today -- one option, a "sin tax" on soda and other sugary drinks -- to help pay for an overhaul of the nation's healthcare system.

    Early estimates put the cost of Obama's plan to expand healthcare coverage at around $1.2 trillion, but so far the administration has only figured out a way to pay for half the cost.

    From what I can make out, a sin tax is being proposed on soda, certain fruit drinks, energy drinks, sports drinks and ready-to-drink teas. It would not include most diet beverages.

    Corporate lobbyists representing Coca-Cola, PepsiCo, Kraft Foods, and other companies are against this proposal and say such a tax would unfairly hit lower-income Americans and wouldn't deter consumption.

    "Taxes are not going to teach our children how to have a healthy lifestyle," said Susan Neely, president of the American Beverage Association.

    Critics say this proposal could spark a backlash from consumers who don't want to pay several cents more for a soft drink.


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    Just for fun, I clicked onto the American Beverage Association's website (whose president was concerned that additional taxes would not teach our children how to have a healthy lifestyle). The ABA consists of major bottling plants for Coca-Cola, Dr. Pepper, 7-Up, sports drinks, energy drinks, etc.


    The American Beverage Association's website informs me that "All beverages provide hydration. Drinking fluids is essential." Their product, I am informed, "is needed to control body temperatures, keep skin moist and transport oxygen and other essential nutrients to our cells." Incidentally, the ABA website has a section defending high fructose corn syrup, and provides links to click on for more information about "nutrition and science" and their commitment to the environment.
     
    #1 D_Ireonsyd_Colonrinse, May 12, 2009
    Last edited: May 12, 2009
  2. nudeyorker

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  3. Trinity

    Trinity New Member

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    How did the administration figure to pay for half the cost?
     
  4. D_Sir Fitzwilly Wankheimer III

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    Hey forget the energy drinks, how about taxing candy, donuts, ice cream, MC Donald's, etc. I'm all for that. it'll reduce intake thus reducing obesity, diabetes etc.
     
  5. B_Think_Kink

    B_Think_Kink New Member

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    All that stuff except for ice cream is taxed in Canada. It sure as heck doesn't slow down people from eating or drinking it.
     
  6. D_Ireonsyd_Colonrinse

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    Trinity: I'm not exactly sure from what revenue source the administration's earmarking funds for half the cost.

    Big E: Somehow I doubt that sin-taxing McDonald's will "reduce obesity". People are already willing to pay 6, 7, 8 dollars for a "Value Meal". Throwing another nickel or dime on top of that isn't going to be a deciding factor.



    P.S. -- afterthought -- if this is such a dire recession, how can low-income people regularly afford $10 movie tickets and $8 "Value Meals"?
     
    #6 D_Ireonsyd_Colonrinse, May 12, 2009
    Last edited: May 12, 2009
  7. Flashy

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    I am all for sin taxes on sodas and fast foods etc.

    and now if they would listen and legalize pot and industrial hemp and tax it, raise taxes on cigarettes and alcohol, we could raise the money for the new system of health care.

    this is about tradeoffs.

    when you have no money you have to raise it..
     
  8. thadjock

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    well taxing regular soft drinks and pushing people toward diet drinks isn't going to reduce obesity either, there's already science that shows consuming diet drinks can actually make u fatter

    and i'm sure regardless of whatever chemical they use to replace sugar is NOT good for your body. you might as well drink pesticide.

    just remember the american heart association told everybody to stop eating butter and eat transfat margarine instead in the '50s and look how that turned out.
     
  9. Bbucko

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    Am I really so depraved that I see no "sin" whatsoever in soft drinks? When did we become so infantile that drinking soda suddenly got so nasty?
     
  10. Flashy

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    i do not think it is a question of "sin" or "nasty" Bb, i think the effect of guzzling liquid sugar at the numbers at which americans consume it has an effect on obesity. (the Big Gulps, Supersips etc.)

    obviously, that is our choice, what to drink, but i found, as someone who *LOVED* soda when i was a kid...and i mean *LOVED* (Coke, Cherry Coke, Pepsi, Ginger Ale, Sunkist....mmmmm) it, that drinking all that soda is in fact not really a very good thing at all...and when i stopped drinking soda, probably 15 years ago, i have no doubt it had major health benefits...(though i confess, every few months, i sneak a ginger ale, since it was my favorite)
     
  11. Bbucko

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    I've never been big on any processed sugar, and probably haven't drunk more than 10 gallons of sweet/carbonated drinks that weren't mixed with alcohol in over 30 years. But the concept of calling an extra tax on soda a "sin" tax just sounds ludicrous to me.

    And I'm surely no big fan of the whole "Big Brother" approach to funding the federal government. I understand that things need to be paid for (and am a firm supporter of Universal Health Care in the US), but it seems to me that it can be done without that whole "eat-you-peas" mentality. But, then again, this country never ceases to amaze me with the depth of its insistence that we treat as many people was utterly like children as possible. It's really disheartening.
     
  12. sparky11point5

    sparky11point5 New Member

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    Sins I would tax.

    -- Confusing its and it's
    -- Mispronouncing 'long-lived' (which has a long i)
    -- Defending torture
    -- Any post by Trinity "Always Wrong"
    -- Masturbating to Miss California (pre or post breast implants)
    -- Saying anything positive about ARod, the Yankees, '27', or even 'Yankee class'
    -- Reading the politics forum here.
     
  13. D_Sir Fitzwilly Wankheimer III

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    there are studies that suggest that drinking diet drinks enhance your craving for sweets. diet drinks will ot make you fat. drink 12 210 calorie beverages a day =2500 calories a day. One pina colada 1200 calories. take that out of your diet and I gaurantee if you change nothing else you will see a dramatic loss of weight. too much fat is definitely not good for your body. any sugar you eat turns to fat if you don't immediately burn it off.

    you still shouldn't eat butter or salt for that matter. again it just comes down to discipline and personal responsability. If you want me to be in charge of your healthcare than I'm also going to be in charge of your diet.
     
  14. dong20

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    If it's served in a bucket, perhaps.:wink: Otherwise it's about a third to a half of that. Other than that, I agree with you.

    I drank my fair share of fizzy pop as a kid, but these days I very rarely drink it. I can't recall the last time I did, Xmas probably.
     
  15. Zeuhl34

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    Friggin' Red Sox fans.
     
  16. sparky11point5

    sparky11point5 New Member

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    Yankees Suck!

    (Sawx fans even chant this when the Olde Towne Team plays other AL teams.)

     
  17. D_Ireonsyd_Colonrinse

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    Hopefully somebody can help answer this question:

    For the sake of argument, let's say the average person in the country pays somewhere between $100 and $400 per month for healthcare insurance (depending on carrier, insurance policy, number of employees in your company, etc.)


    Now. How is it that the federal government is able (if we were to set up a single-payer system like that in the U.K. or Canada, a national healthcare system) to provide healthcare insurance for, say, $20 or $25 per person per month (or whatever the figure is after we tally direct payroll taxes and "sin" taxes and additional taxes and all the other ways this program will be paid for)?

    Conservatives always shudder at the thought of the government taking the place of a private/free market-based solution, but it seems to me that healthcare is yet another example (as with the corporate international banks) of huge "free market" solutions failing the people. Time and time again we see when certain sectors of the "free market" system are allowed to grow to the size of national & multi-national ("too big to fail") corporations, that capitalism is no longer being served, no longer providing a workable free-market solution.



    I know an older lady (over 65) who recently had a heart attack. It was fairly serious and she spent 3 days in the hospital. Medicare is paying $3,000 - on what would have been a $99,000 hospital bill were she uninsured. The free market cost on this hospital visit, were there no socialist governmental programs in place, would have been far too exorbitant for the vast majority of americans to afford.
     
    #17 D_Ireonsyd_Colonrinse, May 12, 2009
    Last edited: May 12, 2009
  18. Hockeytiger

    Hockeytiger Active Member

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    While I have inherent objection to taxing these awful items. However, where do we draw the line? Where's the tax on fast food? What about frozen and canned foods which are rich in sodium. How about items high in saturated fat? Processed meats? How about subsidizing fresh fruits and vegetables?

    In the end however, I would prefer them to tax the hell out of video games instead. Kids (and adults) today would rather play Madden football on their console than actually play football. It is the sedentary lifestyle that is the root cause. If kids were still as active as they were, they could drink whatever sugary crap they wanted. But I don't see the will to truly encourage better lifestyles.
     
  19. Flashy

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    lol

    very well said...i agree with that.

    when i was a youngster, fortunately video games were nowhere near as advanced as they are now, or god knows how much time i would have spent.

    in the 70s, you used to get to the arcade once a week or so, you'd get to spend a few bucks, and that was it...

    than atari, intellivision etc. came out...then colecovision...then the little mini-games like donkeykong etc, then it slowly began getting bigger...i think the last time i had a gaming console was when i was in college, (Sega) and sega hockey and football etc were big in college and you'd make bets and have tournaments etc...but after that, it became uninteresting...
     
  20. B_Nick8

    B_Nick8 New Member

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    Time to pay the piper, Sparkster. :wink:
     
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