Sin 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.
THE WEEK'S AUDIOPHILE PODCASTS: LISTEN SMARTER
- How academia's liberal bias is killing social science
- How to be the most productive person in your office — and still get home by 5:30 p.m.
- The Hobbit: A disappointing set of movies, but a worthy set of prequels
- Dick Cheney's America is an ugly place
- 43 TV shows to watch in 2014
- America is building a Sunni army in Iraq to take on the Islamic State
- The age of miracles is over — even for the religious
- Diagnosing the Home Alone burglars' injuries: A professional weighs in
- Diagnosing Die Hard's craziest injuries: A professional weighs in
- How to make the ultimate grilled cheese
Subscribe to the Week