1. I hope some wise heads somewhere are looking really hard at the flip side of Roberts’ decision in the Obamacare case that its mandate ‘is a tax, not a penalty’. If it’s possible to make that argument, and win, then surely the reverse must be true: that something can actually be ‘a penalty, not a tax’.

    The measure is a penalty on soda, not a general revenue effort. It should be voided on that basis, if possible. The power of the state to raise revenues for the general welfare is surely not being used as intended when it is selectively punitive and aimed instead at ‘social engineering’.

    Forced divestments of wealth for the purpose of modifying individual behavior should be restricted to criminal law, and therefore to due process requirements and the opportunity to confront an accuser under the eyes of a jury.

    When seen in that light, it’s apparent that obesity is being treated as criminal in nature, as something resulting from contemptible behavior, committed by a person society would regard as guilty. And is that not, indeed, how we as a society treat the obese?

    So if our legal system is to be honest, make obesity a crime, and take the damned tax off the books. If obesity should not be a crime, then get the government the hell out of the matter altogether as an impermissible intrusion on personal liberty.

  2. Penalty. Tax. Whatever. They could call it a fee for “services” / looking out for us if they wanted to. It ends up with the government wetting it’s beak one way or the other. And since the government is in the insurance and the healthcare business, it can put some persuasion on the other end of things at the same time for everything it can get an activist of any sort (political, chemical, genetic, animal, and energy based phobias to name a few) to get on board with.

    Even so, obesity will go on in the same way that hunger, inequality, poverty and incivility go on as inexhaustible excuses to keep regulating.

  3. “The fee would be paid by beverage distributors, but there is a possibility they could transfer costs to the consumer.” – Michelle Castillo, CBS News

    “Journalism ain’t what it used to be. If it ever was.” – GC

    “a costly childhood obesity crisis” – Bill Monning, State Senator


    “A penny per ounce tax on sugar-sweetened drinks would bring California an estimated $1.7 billion a year.”

    It’s just a tax. Monning thought people would accept it with good marketing. The marketing isn’t working.

  4. When a society is liberalizing the use of an hallucinogen like marijuana, allowing a serious medical procedure like elective abortion for minors with minimal or no parental involvement, taxes soda to fight obesity and looks at carbon taxes to herd the people onto inefficient public transport, that society is not advancing freedom. It’s offering goodies in exchange for our liberties and opportunities.
    Can you say “mess of pottage?” I value liberty over lentils any day.


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