I was shocked by Andrew Rudanksy's support (or satire?) of Gov. Paterson's new sugar tax. Paterson's taxes on soda are a regressive tax: They will disproportionately affect poor working-class families in New York and further hurt our poor state economy, which is suffering from one of the highest tax rates in the nation.
Why stop at taxing soda? Rudansky does not. He even recommends a new $1 "Plump Tax" on all fatty and unhealthy food. We can tax ice cream, CAS, fried foods, white bread, potatoes and chocolate milk. Did you know that the average 8-ounce serving of 2 percent chocolate milk contains more calories than most sodas? We can slap this new tax on all of our children in public schools, including Geneseo students. After all, "a 32 cent tax hike at CAS … will hardly prevent anybody from buying." If the new tax will have no effect on public consumption, what is the justification?
Let us go even further: we could slap a broad 18 percent tax on all food with the exception of celery, lettuce and water. You have to eat to gain weight. Citizens will not be able to afford food anymore and, therefore, will not be able to gain weight if we can bankrupt New York with aggressive food taxes.
The science of nutrition is constantly changing. High sugar levels are beneficial for breakfast and post-exercise periods. The chemicals in diet drinks may even cause weight gain and food cravings, as opposed to regular soft drinks. We should focus on educating our children about healthy lifestyles via daily gym classes in grade schools and mandatory physical education classes in New York universities.
Do we really want to open up the door for the government to tell us what we can and cannot eat through arbitrarily high taxes? I am going to make some coffee before the government implements a new "creamer tax."