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Hard Truths About Soda Taxes

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Posted on July 6 2010 10:15 pm
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by Patrick Basham and John Luik

The movement to implement a “fat tax” can be traced all the way back to a 1994 New York Times op-ed by Yale University’s Kelly Brownell. Professor Brownell has continued his advocacy for such taxes, both alone and along with former New York City Health Commissioner Thomas Frieden. Other activists, such as Center for Science in the Public Interest’s (CSPI) Michael Jacobson, have over time joined their crusade. These advocates and other sin-tax proponents have urged Congress to fund government healthcare services with a fat tax, an effort that proved unsuccessful. However, states and cities in search of new sources of revenue, and eager to be seen as “doing something” to oppose obesity, have now also stepped into the fray. Twenty state and local legislatures are reportedly pursuing taxes on soft drinks.

Read about the five key problems at the Cato Institute.

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