The Fundamental Flaw Of Sugary Drink Taxes

Ever think you are being taxed too much? I know the feeling, as does everybody I’m sure.

One of the most ludicrous taxes out there is the tax on sugary drinks. A tax like this one has been proposed in many states (if it has been implemented in any I am unaware, let me know in the comments). It basically consists of taxing drinks such as soda, iced tea, and other liquids with “x” amount of added sugar or more. The major reason for considering this tax is the concern for the obesity rates of children and the American people in general. Apparently, the government can help us get skinny by taxing the products we consume. Maybe we will just become poorer?

But, apart from the fact that I oppose most taxes in general, there is a huge flaw in this whole issue, and it really is a crazy one. Ever wondered why those drinks and junk food are so cheap and accessible to begin with? Why is it so much cheaper to buy a soft drink than juice (which isn’t even all that great of an alternative)? Well, they are all made so cheap by using high fructose corn syrup, or some other corn derived substance. We all know that corn syrup is cheaper than dirt, and it allows the prices of junk food to remain low and affordable.

So, as I’ve already said, politicians have proposed that we tax those cheap items to make them less financially desirable and make us healthier. All the while, the U.S. government subsidizes corn every single year, which makes corn syrup and all of these products that much cheaper. In essence, the government is trying to fix a problem it created by taking more of your money. Maybe we should stop subsidizing corn and let the market work itself out. Sure, it will result in slightly higher prices for all of these junk foods/drinks, but at least then we wouldn’t be talking about these idiotic taxes.

-Jack Balt

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