Thursday, April 4

The Cola Cops

Because this item came to my attention via two reports issued on April Fool's Day, I was not immediately inclined to believe them. Then I read that the Senator promoting the legislation was from California and the terrifying truth hit me. Senator Deborah Ortiz is actually proposing a special tax on soft drinks (text of the bill available here) designed to decrease children's consumption of the offending beverages. The ultimate goal of the tax is to reduce the alarming increase in childhood obesity. Oritz expects the tax to raise $300 million, which would be used to fund obesity prevention programs. That it is not the job of the government to police the drinking habits of snotty pre-teens never seems to have occured to the honorable Senator. She also seems to have omitted to explain why it is fair or appropriate to tax diet and sugar-free sodas (which are not exempted from the tax) to fund research to prevent something that they do not cause. For more on this absurd tax and the growing abdication of personal responsibility in favor of a rapidly-expanding nanny-state, see Bruce Bartlett's article from NRO or this Libertarian Party Press Release.