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5-12-09

Senate leaders are considering new federal taxes on soda and other sugary drinks to help pay for an overhaul of the nation's health-care system.

The taxes would pay for only a fraction of the cost to expand health-insurance coverage to all Americans and would face strong opposition from the beverage industry. They also could spark a backlash from consumers who would have to pay several cents more for a soft drink.

On Tuesday, the Senate Finance Committee is set to hear proposals from about a dozen experts about how to pay for the comprehensive health-care overhaul that President Barack Obama wants to enact this year. Early estimates put the cost of the plan at around $1.2 trillion. The administration has so far only earmarked funds for about half of that amount.

The Center for Science in the Public Interest, a Washington-based watchdog group that pressures food companies to make healthier products, plans to propose a federal excise tax on soda, certain fruit drinks, energy drinks, sports drinks and ready-to-drink teas. It would not include most diet beverages. Excise taxes are levied on goods and manufacturers typically pass them on to consumers.

Senior staff members for some Democratic senators at the center of the effort to craft health-care legislation are weighing the idea behind closed doors, Senate aides said.

The Congressional Budget Office, which is providing lawmakers with cost estimates for each potential change in the health overhaul, included the option in a broad report on health-system financing in December. The office estimated that adding a tax of three cents per 12-ounce serving to these types of sweetened drinks would generate $24 billion over the next four years. So far, lawmakers have not indicated how big a tax they are considering.

Proponents of the tax cite research showing that consuming sugar-sweetened drinks can lead to obesity, diabetes and other ailments. They say the tax would lower consumption, reduce health problems and save medical costs. At least a dozen states already have some type of taxes on sugary beverages, said 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," Mr. Jacobson said.

The main beverage lobby that represents Coca-Cola Co., PepsiCo Inc., Kraft Foods Inc. and other companies said such a tax would unfairly hit lower-income Americans and wouldn't deter consumption.

"Taxes are not going to teach our children how to have a healthy lifestyle," said Susan Neely, president of the American Beverage Association. Instead, the association says it's backing programs that limit sugary beverage consumption in schools.
 

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And this is just the beginning. How do you think Obama is going to pay for all this $hit he's giving away. WE are going to be paying for it for decades to come... your children and their children are now saddled with one big @ss debt to contend with.

A lot of people are going to be taxed on the money Obama is giving us in our paychecks right now... they are revamping the tax tables. Many of us will find ourselves owing next year.

It's going to start hitting us from all sides. So get ready for a long bumpy ride.
 

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But Obama said that people who make less than $250,000 a year wouldn't face any new taxes. How can this be???
 

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Luckily soda is not an essential element for life. If you don't want to pay the tax - don't buy it, simple as that.

I fully support this, and high taxes on cigarettes.

Ideally, I think we should tax the crap out of fast food too - but in addition to cutting in on my veggie whopper consumption ;) I think that would actually be harmful to low-income families, so I have a hard time deciding how I feel about it.
 

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They won't get any out of me on "this" tax.:D
 

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Never been a fan of "sin taxes", even though I am enormously anti-tobacco (a popular sin tax target).

Some Americans actually can use things like alcohol and sugary sodas in moderation without lasting harm to their health. The government's power of taxation is immense and, IMO, should not be turned on the public to change behaviors.
 

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And this is just the beginning. How do you think Obama is going to pay for all this $hit he's giving away. WE are going to be paying for it for decades to come... your children and their children are now saddled with one big @ss debt to contend with.

A lot of people are going to be taxed on the money Obama is giving us in our paychecks right now... they are revamping the tax tables. Many of us will find ourselves owing next year.

It's going to start hitting us from all sides. So get ready for a long bumpy ride.
notice how canadians
have tons to say
about how they like
taxes here in USA
ask canadians about national health care
percentage of surgeries are done faster in USA
1-2-3
no waiting list
 

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notice how canadians
have tons to say
about how they like
taxes here in USA
ask canadians about national health care
percentage of surgeries are done faster in USA
1-2-3
no waiting list
If this is directed towards me- I am American, thankyouverymuch. And I have a lot of stake on what goes in the US considering I still pay income tax there AND vote in Presidential elections AND my entire family is there. So yeah, I have a lot to say. Thanks. ;)

And really- you couldn't come up with anything more original than our healthcare system here?? That is old news. Canadians are well aware of the faults in our own system. Believe me, no Canadian thinks our healthcare system is perfect. But don't believe everything you think you know about it either.
 

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Never been a fan of "sin taxes", even though I am enormously anti-tobacco (a popular sin tax target).

Some Americans actually can use things like alcohol and sugary sodas in moderation without lasting harm to their health. The government's power of taxation is immense and, IMO, should not be turned on the public to change behaviors.
Isn't a big portion of the tax code tailored just for changing behaviors? Buy a house, get a deduction. Buy new windows, get a deduction. Contribute to a charity, get a deduction.
 

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Never been a fan of "sin taxes", even though I am enormously anti-tobacco (a popular sin tax target).

Some Americans actually can use things like alcohol and sugary sodas in moderation without lasting harm to their health. The government's power of taxation is immense and, IMO, should not be turned on the public to change behaviors.
That's what I don't get about opposing sin taxes, if you drink soda in moderation then an extra $0.03 is never going to financially impact you in any meaningful way. Or do you oppose them in a philosophical, it's not the government's business, sort of way?
 

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Just wait until we have to purchase "Carbon Credits" to exhale.

The world is going crazy.
Nope, it's been crazy for thousands of years, it just sometimes gets worse.

I say tax strawberries just cause I don't like strawberries.:D No one really needs them anyway.;)

Just like the other thread, if you like it, then it's OK, if you don't then it's bad.:p
 

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New taxes!!!! I'm shocked!

oh I just checked. My earnings haven't quite reached the 50% level of taxes,surcharges or government fees for every dollar earned. I can spare a few more nuisance taxes.
 

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Soon to be taxing your healthcare contribution from your employer too.

No getting out of that one........unless you don't work.
 

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Soon to be taxing your healthcare contribution from your employer too.

No getting out of that one........unless you don't work.
I thought that was McCain's plan. If Obama is considering something like this, then it is nice to see him trying to work with the guys on the other side of the aisle:)
 

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I thought that was McCain's plan. If Obama is considering something like this, then it is nice to see him trying to work with the guys on the other side of the aisle:)
It kinda was......and Obama was dead set against it.

Sometimes it's hard to tell politicians apart they change their minds so often.
 
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