Today, millions of Americans will scramble to send off last-minute tax forms to the Internal Revenue Service. In all likelihood, few will kick back after a mad dash to the post office and think: “Boy, I wish there were some way I could increase my tax burden.” But that is exactly what a growing number of food activists have planned for us. If the food police have their way, something as basic as eating could carry a much heftier price tag.
Invoking the mantra of “childhood obesity,” Harvard’s activist professor David Ludwig has called for governments to levy “a tax on fast food and soft drinks.”
Last year, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals proposed an eight-cent per pound “sin” tax on all meat and fish.
Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI) chief Michael Jacobson has declared: “We could envision taxes on butter, potato chips, whole milk, cheeses, [and] meat.”
The World Health Organization is urging nations to slap “fat taxes” on hog dogs, candy and other fun foods.
Twinkie Tax inventor Kelly Brownell advocates “slapping high-fat, low-nutrition food with a substantial government ‘sin’ tax.” His reasoning? Certain foods are too “convenient, accessible, good-tasting … and cheap.”
The Texas Department of Health runs a CSPI-inspired campaign called “Soda Busters” that advises: “State and local governments should considering [sic] taxing soft drinks.”
California State Senator Deborah Ortiz introduced the “California Soda Tax Act,” a measure that threatened to impose a nine-cent tax on every two-liter bottle of soda sold in the state.
Legislators in Washington State proposed a bill that would slap extra taxes on all “carbonated beverages” and candy.
Nebraska legislators introduced a measure to tax candy and soda, as well as chips, popcorn, pretzels, pastries, donuts, Danish, cakes, tortes, pies, tarts, bars, and cookies.
Under the guise of trimming waistlines, New York State Senator Felix Ortiz proposed legislation to tax not only “fatty foods” but “movie tickets, video games and DVD rentals.”
And as we reported Monday, Canadians are bracing themselves for an eight percent sales tax on restaurant meals cheaper than four dollars — all, of course, in the name of “childhood obesity.”
These folks want it to feel like April 15 every time we pick up a fork or pop open a soda can. And for those who indulge in a frosty mug of celebratory suds after making the tax day deadline, beware: there’s a cabal of neo-prohibitionists intent on “raising the cost of alcohol through increases in alcohol taxes.”