U.S. Government: Forcing Behavioral Changes through Excise Taxes Since 1791

Even though President Obama previously promised not to raise taxes on the majority of Americans, he supported the federal tax hike on cigarettes, and now, the Senate is pushing for new federal taxes on soda in order to fund Obama’s ambitious, yet economically ill-conceived nationalized health care plan.

The new tax would apply to all sodas (except diet) and other sugary drinks such as certain fruit drinks, sports drinks, energy drinks, and ready-to-drink teas. According to Michael Jacobson, executive director of the Center for Science in the Public Interest:

Soda is clearly one of the most harmful products in the food supply, and it’s something government should discourage the consumption of.

Jacobson is also pushing for legislation banning trans-fat and reducing the sodium content in both packaged and restaurant food.

The Congressional Budget Office projects $24 billion in tax revenue over four years from a $.03 tax on sugary drinks. This will cover approximately 2 percent of Obama’s proposed $1.2 trillion health care plan, while forcing many Americans to pay more for the drinks they love without actually changing their behavior to what President Obama and Michael Jacobson would otherwise dictate.

Of course, if Obama acknowledges that when you tax something you get less of it, what exactly does he think higher income taxes on “the rich” will do?