The Coke Tax

Twerp128

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Bloomberg.com said:
Coca-Cola, Archer Daniels Fight to Kill Proposed Tax on Sodas
By Jonathan D. Salant

June 27 (Bloomberg) -- Lobbyists for Coca-Cola Co., Archer Daniels Midland Co. and allies in the soft-drink industry are moving to kill a proposal to tax sugared beverages to help finance a federal health-care overhaul.

The Senate Finance Committee included a soft-drink tax among possible sources of revenue to pay for expanded health- care programs that will cost $1 trillion over 10 years. Supporters say a penny-per-ounce federal tax would raise $16 billion a year and cut non-diet soda consumption by 10 percent.

Government moves discouraging soft-drink use would hit companies already suffering from sliding sales and prices. Soft-drink sales volume fell 3 percent in 2008, dropping for the fourth straight year, according to Beverage Digest, an industry newsletter.

?You?re not going to solve the complexities of health- care reform with a tax on soda pop and juice drinks,? said Kevin Keane, a spokesman for the American Beverage Association. ?We?re not against health-care reform. We just believe this potential funding mechanism isn?t the way to go.?

The price tag is among the biggest challenges in President Barack Obama?s push to revamp the U.S. health-care system. Lawmakers are looking at dozens of proposals, searching for savings and new revenue.

Industry ?Under Attack?

The beverage association, a Washington lobbying group for Atlanta-based Coca-Cola and other non-alcoholic beverage makers, is leading efforts to quash a soda tax. The group called on members and their employees to put pressure on Congress, saying the industry is ?under attack.?

The Corn Refiners Association, a Washington trade group that represents Decatur, Illinois-based Archer Daniels, is also in the fight.

?The point is to scare legislators and the White House about putting something on the table by getting a taste of the attacks they will encounter,? said Julian Zelizer, a professor of history and public affairs at Princeton University in New Jersey.

Coca-Cola?s press office directed questions to the beverage lobby group. Archer Daniels spokesman Roman Blahoski declined to comment.

On the other side, the Center for Science in the Public Interest and the American Public Health Association, both based in Washington, are pushing to keep the tax as an option as long as Congress is struggling to pay the health-care tab.

?Painless? Revenue

?It?s a great way to raise revenue and a relatively painless way to do so,? said Georges Benjamin, executive director of The American Public Health Association.

A soda tax is on the Senate Finance Committee?s list of potential revenue sources. The Congressional Budget Office estimated that a 3-cent tax on 12-ounce cans of sodas would raise $50 billion over a decade.

Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus, a Montana Democrat, has played down the proposal?s chances, saying a soda tax is ?on life support.? Farmers in Baucus? home state grow sugar beets, while many of those in Iowa, home of the committee?s ranking Republican, Charles Grassley, grow corn, which is used to make sweeteners for soft drinks.

With a pressing need to raise money to pay for the overhaul, other lawmakers aren?t so quick to pull the plug. In the House, New Jersey Democrat Bill Pascrell, a member of the tax-writing Ways and Means Committee, said costs of a health- care bill are so high that lawmakers will surely consider a soda tax. ?If we?re going to be preventing chronic diseases, absolutely you put that on the table,? he said.

?Empty Calories?

Advocates argue that taxing sweetened drinks would both raise cash for health-care coverage and reduce the need for doctors? visits.

Sweetened drinks are ?worse than practically every other food on the market,? said Michael Jacobson, executive director of the Center for Science in the Public Interest in Washington. ?They?re empty calories, we consume such huge volumes of them and liquid calories are particularly conducive to obesity.?

The beverage lobby and its supporters say it?s misguided to target a single product.

?It?s erroneously suggesting that Americans can improve their health by eating one food or not eating another food,? said Audrae Erickson, president of the corn refiners group.

A soft-drink tax also would fall most heavily on poor people, she said. ?When you tax a food, you?re disproportionately affecting those at lower ends of the income scale,? Erickson said.
This is fundamentally wrong. Shit, didn't they try taxing beverages a couple hundred years ago? Didn't work out too well.

I can tell you Coke is pissed, and they're on the move. Personally, I'm all for socialized health care. I think it's been proven to work brilliantly elsewhere and at this moment with so many unemployed and lacking benefits it seems appropriate. The new plan though, it's just a soggy band-aid. Maybe you can brand it a stepping stone to a new shiny healthcare system, but it's really not is it? Of course something has to give to make way for all this new spending, that's assumed, glad to know congress isn't stupid enough to get another IOU for this one.

However, to tax the beverage industry is plainly wrong. The plan is to tax a penny and ounce, so to put that in perspective a 24 pack would cost say, $6.99 retail, plus $2.88 in taxes! That's over a 30% tax, more than beer or wine in many states. To say outright the beverage industry should exclusively pay for every fat-asses medical bills is absurd. Of course pop isn't the only thing that makes people fat, but that's who's gonna take one for the team. Not fast food, not TV dinners, not even juice cocktails, fucking soda-pop is the scapegoat.

If this get's into law (I think the bill is under heavy scrutiny already) jobs will be lost, not just in the beverage industry, but also at retailers across the nation. Right now Coke makes about $.04 profit for every 24 pack they move, expect to see prices skyrocket across the board from energy drinks to diet pop to bottled water.
 

Twerp128

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If only they could tax irresponsibility.
 

Topgearfanatic

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A tax on sugared beverages, eh? well it's a good thing that most soda doesn't have sugar in them! Stupid freedom hating lawmakers!
 

argatoga

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Another reason why it is good to live near a reservation.

Anyhow we are already taxed enough. I already have Federal Income tax, State Sales tax, tax on my cell phone, mail, and about another million things. Plus I have all the hidden corporate taxes (industry passes taxes onto the consumer via higher prices). I remember hearing that all counted the average American pays about 50% of their income in these taxes. What we need is lesser government. Too bad we don't have a party in this country who wants to reduce government / taxes.
 

Ramseus

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Taxes are good, mmkay.

/socialist canadian syrup chugging lumberjacking igloo builder
 

Plissken

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i feel the cigarette tax should somehow be illegal. in a way i guess its a form of prejiduce. think about it.

I've thought about it. The conclusion I reached is "You're talking out of your backside".
 

Plissken

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Anyway, the soda tax is a tax on stupidly high sugar, obesity causing beverages.

It is a bit like a tax on cigarettes or alcohol. The Government has a moral responsibility to discourage its citizens from harming themselves. So it taxes things that are bad for you.

That $2.88 on a 24 pack sounds wrong. I think it actually works out at about 50 cents or something. Trying to find a reference.
 
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Plissken

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You explain how taxing smokers is somehow equivalent to racism or xenophobia.
 

DubyaStep

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You explain how taxing smokers is somehow equivalent to racism or xenophobia.

no, i said prejudice not raceism. what i mean it that i am being punished because i choose to smoke and i enjoy it. its unfair.

Prejudice: Personal / Individual Discrimination is directed toward a specific individual and refers to any act that leads to unequal treatment because of the individual's real or perceived group membership.
 

Twerp128

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It's in the article, the other figure cited is $.03 per 12 oz. can which would come out to $.72 per 24 pack. But none of that matters if the bill is founded on shady principals. I can understand putting a tax on alcohol cigarettes and mood altering substances. But if we were to put a tax on everything that was bad for you, deeeeep breath. . .

. . . World of Warcraft, porn, potato chips, fast cars, flip flops, backpacks, porn, McDonalds, coal mining, big breasts, fatty meats, corn, excessive sitting, casual sex, watching TV, Facebook, cell phones, bacon, sitting too close to the computer, not wearing your high-vis, flushing your coolant, pot pies, low fat brownies, lard, football, motorcycle racing, Gatorade, running with scissors, stripping paint, constrictive underwear, sun tanning, fireworks, milk, lifting weight, video games, firearms, walking along a curb, loud music, long hair, rap, cheese, knives, keyboards, gravy, candy, heat, cold, biting your nails, not brushing your teeth. . .

Almost everything is bad for you the government should never be able to tax things because they deem it to be bad. Of course pop is bad, so are so many other foods, if they are enjoyed in moderation there is no negative effect. I guarantee the idiot who drinks 2 liters of diet pop every single day will be worse off than the guy who has a can of regular pop 4 or 5 times a week. Taxation will not teach a person discipline.
 
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Plissken

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no, i said prejudice not raceism. what i mean it that i am being punished because i choose to smoke and i enjoy it. its unfair.

Poor ickle you.

People cannot choose the colour of their skin or their racial heritage. They are the victims of prejudice every day.

You used the keyword. You choose to smoke. There is a price to pay, and you choose to pay it. Or are you going to argue that by taxing clothes, the Government is prejudiced against clothes wearers?

Prejudice is when smokers expect everyone else to inhale their second hand smoke, because hey, they're smokers, and it's their goddamn right to trample all over everyone elses health.
 

Plissken

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. . . World of Warcraft, porn, potato chips, fast cars, flip flops, backpacks, porn, McDonalds, coal mining, big breasts, fatty meats, corn, excessive sitting, casual sex, watching TV, Facebook, cell phones, bacon, sitting too close to the computer, not wearing your high-vis, flushing your coolant, pot pies, low fat brownies, lard, football, motorcycle racing, Gatorade, running with scissors, stripping paint, constrictive underwear, sun tanning, fireworks, milk, lifting weight, video games, firearms, walking along a curb, loud music, long hair, rap, cheese, knives, keyboards, gravy, candy, heat, cold, biting your nails, not brushing your teeth. . .

Porn. So bad for you, you named it twice! :D

Taxation will not teach a person discipline.

Nope. So they are made to pay the price for their indiscipline. It is called freedom of choice - "I want X, the price is Y, I choose to pay it".
 

Twerp128

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So since I enjoy a nice Root Beer every once in a while I have to pay a tax, yet I can go out and eat a tub of KFC and half a cheesecake every night and pay no tax? Robbing Peter to pay Paul.

I'm also interested to see how this applies to juices, there is no liquid that is really good for you besides water.
 

Shawn

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Yeah, fucking pump people full of HFCS instead of regular sugar and then tax it because it's unhealthy. This is quite simply ridiculous. :rolleyes:

We already pay stupid taxes on beverages here though... they charge you a bullshit recycling levy, and a recycling charge (that you can get back if you can be arsed to lug all your cans and bottles to the recycling center). Everytime I buy juice or soda it shows up as three entries on my receipt... all we need is another tax on top.

I have to laugh though, when people compare this to taxes on cigarettes. Even a single cigarette can be detrimental to ones health... if you have a can of Coke once a month I'm pretty sure your health won't be affected whatsoever. Plus, tobacco and alcohol are quite addictive, can't say the same for pop.
 
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