Soda is nasty stuff. And it is HUGE business.
It is subsidized by US taxpayers through food stamps. No one likes the food stamp program more than the soda companies and the sugar companies, which are also subsidized in other ways. We then subsidize the obesity that ensues from drinking soda and piles of sugar via Medicaid and Medicare. People flow into the healthcare system, often the subsidized healthcare system, with all sorts of diseases driven by sugar consumption. This then benefits other crony companies in the medical arena.
Soda has a place. It’s supposed to be a treat.
I say “supposed” not from a moral perspective, but from a just how our bodies react to sugar perspective. If you want to gorge on non subsidized soda all day long and die of diabetes on your own dime, hey, go too it. But subsidizing the stuff is costing taxpayers billions.
And when it comes down to it, even “progressive” California wants to make sure the big soda companies keep that flow of subsidized nectar coming. Not that this is really any sort of surprise.
The only thing sweeter than sugar is taxpayer money.
What the food totalitarians get wrong is they go after sugar from the wrong direction. Instead of taxing the stuff there should be an effort to eliminate the subsidies sugar enjoys. That way the market would sort out the issue and taxpayers would be off the hook. But that makes too much sense. It also might reduce the flow of taxpayer money to vested cronies in government.
(From The Wall Street Journal)
State lawmakers banned all local taxes on groceries for 12 years in California on Thursday, a major victory for the soda industry, which used the state’s ballot-initiative system to force legislators’ hands.
The ban was signed into law by Gov. Jerry Brown after it was rushed through the state legislature. Lawmakers said they had no choice but to pass the tax ban as they were faced with the threat of a sweeping ballot initiative backed by the soda industry that would have made it more difficult to raise all local taxes…
…The measure, if approved by voters in November, would have required local tax increases to get the backing of two-thirds of voters, instead of the simple majority now required, among other restrictions…
…The Service Employees International Union helped broker the deal with the business group behind the ballot measure, called the California Business Roundtable. The deal was reached ahead of a Thursday deadline for any ballot measure to be pulled before it officially went on the November ballot.
So in other words the cronies that live off of local taxes were afraid that an initiative that empowered taxpayers would cut off their supply of local taxes. As such they threw in with the soda industry, ensuring the flow of funds to the big soda companies while protecting the SEIU and its effort to extract ever more taxes from taxpayers.
This whole thing is just massively crony on pretty much every level. But guess who pays? YOU, the taxpayer. Like usual.