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Taxing sin, and soda
Congress is considering a tax on sugary soft drinks. Is that assault on your liberty, or your waistline?
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in is in, said the Tax Foundation’s Patrick Fleenor in The Christian Science Monitor, or at least sin taxes are. Money-hungry “nanny-staters” in Congress are considering a proposal to add a tax to soft-drink sales, as a way to pay for health-care reform. That’s what these “busybodies” always do: sell their ruler-on-knuckle taxes as a way for a minority of sinners to compensate society for the cost of their sins. Instead, it’s an affront to freedom of choice.

The “sin tax” on health-damaging sugary drinks will probably die in Congress, said Dan Mitchell in Slate’s The Big Money, killing some $24 billion in revenue over four years, at 3 cents a pop. But when the beverage industry says the “food police” want to tell you what to eat and drink, remember, this group makes a fortune persuading “Americans to consume a lot of crap.”

That $24 billion is chump change, said Nick Gillespie in The New York Times. Why not tax all vices, including all gambling and drugs, and prostitution? If we legalize, and tax, these activities, we can go a long way toward paying for health care and green energy. “There’s a lot to be said for treating consenting adults like, well, adults”—and a lot to gain, too.

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