According to a new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey most Americans do NOT. They found that 56 percent oppose sin taxes on sodas and junk food. Twelve percent are undecided.
A sin tax is taxing soda and other sugar-laden products sabotaging the health of many Americans.
Here’s what President Obama said concerning sin taxes on junk foods: “I actually think it’s an idea that we should be exploring. There’s no doubt that our kids drink way too much soda.”
A garden encourages healthy eating.
Dani is proud of her squash crop.
Obama continued, “And every study that’s been done about obesity shows that there is as high a correlation between increased soda consumption and obesity as just about anything else. Obviously it’s not the only factor, but it is a major factor.”
While on one hand, a sin tax may sound like a noble idea to reverse the trend toward obesity, although with government’s other hand, they are subsiding High Fructose Corn Sweetener (HFCS). Corn and soy are the two crops most subsidized by the government. Corn is obviously used in the manufacturing of HFCS.
Many farmers choose to accept support from the production of subsidized crops like corn and soybeans. They would not receive support from growing riskier (yet healthier) crops like tomatoes, broccoli and carrots. A government subsidy offers a cushion, making other produce not as profitable, as many farmers don’t want to risk a failed salad crop.
Will a Sin Tax on Junk Food Encourage Healthy Eating?
The U.S. Dietary Guidelines for Americans and MyPyramid urges Americans to eat a variety of foods and limit our intake of sugars. Yet, the government’s subsidy of corn keeps the price of junk foods, like soda, low. Because legislators, from states receiving subsidies for corn, don’t want to do anything that will reduce the demand for their subsidized product, they oppose a sin tax on junk foods. They also oppose removing government funding of their crops.
Instead of government being Big Brother telling us what to eat, remove government funding of corn and the price of sugary junk foods will naturally increase. People will cut back on sugary junk food when the cost of HFCS is not kept artificially low by subsidies. Salad produce won’t be an expensive alternative to processed cookies and a sin tax won’t be needed.