Monday 16 August 2010

Acquaint Yourself With Your New Sin Tax

Santa: Evil, soda-peddling bastard

VGIF last month reported on a shift in legislation purchasing altruistic funding from big pharma in the US.

I see that The New York Times is reporting that the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) is diverting its vast wealth away from tobacco control and towards obesity. (And yes, RWJF's primary funders Johnson & Johnson sell a number of weight-loss drugs, as well as making nicotine replacement drugs.)
I don't know why I mentioned that, to be honest, because it is quite obviously nothing whatsoever to do with this. No, not at all.

Soda tax comes to Oregon

The Oregon Public Health Division is working on legislation to enact a tax on sweetened beverages. This would include many sodas and other sweetened drinks like Gatorade and ice tea drinks. The cost of a half-cent per ounce would equal to be about 6-cents per soda bottle.
Yes, it's the much trailed soda tax. Because, you see, fizzy drinks and eating what you choose to eat are the new sins. And what do governments insist you must accept if you indulge in sinful products? Yep, sumptuary taxes.

Oregon has followed Washington in calling for these measures and there will no doubt be many more states to follow suit especially, as the article mentions, since it's a win/win for statists ... the chance to reap much-needed income in tough financial times while still giving the impression - to the gullible, at least - of being benevolent to the public by fighting the mortal curse of obesity.

The lure of this measure for politicians becomes even more irresistible if one considers that it's not going to be temporary, no government theft ever is. Income tax - a short term levy to fund wars, remember - is a perfect example.

And once installed, the state can, and certainly will, then raise the level of their new revenue stream as and when they choose, without recourse to the electorate. To illustrate, when (apart from the possible exception of Switzerland) was the last time any country asked its citizens for their approval of any aspect of the nation's budget proposals?

Fortunately, we're still talking the USA here. Perhaps there is a chance that this will be one lunacy too authoritarian for we more refined Brits to embrace. I wouldn't bank on that, though, seeing as we have our own fair share of righteous dickheads who will be orgasmic at the prospect of the same legislation being enacted over here.

One such tedious, hectoring cock - who has a seat with his name on it at the BBC - showed his hand in September last year.

Tam Fry, spokesman for the UK National Obesity Forum, said: "We have got to start thinking very seriously about taxing unhealthy food and drink as part of the drive to improve the nation's health and cut obesity. The amount of sugar that goes into these soft drinks is staggering and it has a double whammy, increasing obesity and rotting teeth."
Once pharma's new hobby funds start materialising in the UK, one can be sure that the National Obesity Forum's coffers will be the first to be filled.

Oh gosh! What am I saying? Of course an organisation like the National Obesity Forum won't be swayed by promises of cash in the future from vested pharmaceutical interests. That would be silly.

They are already funded by them.


Anonymous said...

Who won't be hit by the govern-mental ?
Behavioural control rolled up into the matriarcal face of authoritarianism.
It will all end in tears.
For them.

Smoking Hot said...

Local Man with Van is gearing up for the future. Taking HGV test and getting articulated truck.

Anonymous said...

I'm in let's go !

Ian R Thorpe said...

preI read somewhere (might have been here Dick) that some idiot is promoting a plan to offer fat buster drugs (statins) with burgers and other fatty foods. Now one of the side effects of statins which block the body's ability to metabolise fat, is anal leakage. Arse dribble to us down to earth folk. And they think it will catch on?

Success on smoking has gone to their heads but I think trying to take on alcohol, tasty food and sugar simultaneously will overstretch them.