Soda Taxes Take a Hit

It's a bad week to be an anti-soda activist. In New York, a Big Apple physician penned an editorial against the Governor’s proposed soft drink tax, writing that there’s no authoritative science to back up its promised health benefits (something we’ve been saying for a good long while).  Elsewhere in the Empire State, a soda “buyback” in the Bronx patterned after a similar firearm-reduction initiative netted just one bottle of soda—and it was a zero-calorie drink, which wouldn’t fall under the scope of the tax, anyway. Likely, most people who aren't anti-soda crusaders understand that the implicit comparison of sugary drinks to guns doesn’t hold any water.

Farther south, city councilmen in Philadelphia have soured on the mayor’s proposed 2-cents-per-ounce drink tax. “It's fair to say it's dead,” says Councilman Frank Rizzo, a sentiment that five other sources also confirmed for the Philadelphia Inquirer.

All of this left “Twinkie tax” inventor and soda tax shill Kelly Brownell to beg Philly politicians to impose some kind of tax. “There is room to compromise and still get considerable health benefits,” he pleaded.

It seems to us that these two local governments have caught onto the fact that soft drink taxes aren’t about health—they’re about filling bureaucrats’ coffers while “public health” activists like Brownell use Americans as experimental guinea pigs. Their prospects for succeeding? Pretty flat.

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