Mt. Vernon Register-News

Opinion

February 26, 2014

A soda tax, no kidding

SPRINGFIELD — The latest taxation plan in Springfield is more than a bit hard to swallow.

State Sen. Mattie Hunter, D-Chicago, has introduced legislation for the state to start taxing soda pop at a rate of 1 cent per ounce.

That would jack up the price of a case of pop by 50 percent or about $2.88.

Hunter’s reason is straightforward: Pop makes us fat.

No kidding.

So do pecan pie, potato chips and just about anything eaten to excess.

Should we start creating special taxes for them, too?

Or, you know, a few years ago I was reporting in Cuba and found that the government there rations food. It seems to ensure no one gets fat, but it leaves plenty of folks hungry.

Perhaps that is a model Hunter should consider.

Back during World War II, our government rationed food. I still have some of my grandmother’s ration stamps tucked away in a drawer.

Maybe that would be a scheme worthy of the good senator’s adoption.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying soda is particularly good for you.

Like many journalists I was once a caffeine fiend downing seven or eight diet sodas a day.

But 15 months ago I gave up all pop. Now the only beverages I consume are skim milk and water.

But that is a personal choice.

And pardon me, but personal choices should be just that – personal. They shouldn’t be subject to the dictates of government.

Government needs to butt out of our private lives.

Personal responsibility should triumph over government mandates.

By the way, in case you think this is all about government wanting just the best for you, think again.

This tax plan would suck $600 million a year right out of the pockets of Illinoisans, one quarter at a time.

Text Only
Opinion
  • City wastes money Editor:In the paper Wednesday it was reported that someone with the City Of Mount Vernon had responded to the concerns of about 40 people that came out in support of the Henningers on 42nd St.The statement in part was; as stewards of the tax-payer’s

    August 22, 2014

  • The right presidential reaction As the tumultuous situation in Ferguson, Mo., entered its second week, President Obama stood before the nation and offered a mild, balanced plea. There is “no excuse” for excessive use of deadly force by police, he observed at a Monday news conferenc

    August 22, 2014

  • HIGHWAY TO THE DANGER ZONE Remember MacGyver? He was the fictional secret agent of 1980s television who would get out of world-threatening jams using only duct tape and a Swiss Army knife. Listening to Pope Francis in Korea the other day, I had some flashbacks to the prime-ti

    August 22, 2014

  • Keeping up with the Comcast call-center fiasco I’ve been intending for a while to write about the Comcast call-center fiasco, but it’s hard to keep up: the story just gets weirder and weirder. Following the now-viral recording of the telephone call in which a customer service representative essen

    August 21, 2014

  • System needed for choosing House In the original conception of our Constitution, the House of Representatives was to be the branch of government that best reflected the will of the people. House members cannot serve without being elected — vacancies are not filled by appointees — an

    August 21, 2014

  • Dems plead for more money I’ve been getting a lot of email from Democratic fundraisers lately. They seem very worried about November’s elections.First came the highly publicized “Impeachment Red Alert” campaign, in which the Democratic congressional committee warned that Repu

    August 21, 2014

  • Why Obama shouldn't go to Ferguson On Monday, ABC’s Ann Compton asked President Barack Obama whether he would visit Ferguson, Missouri, amid the continued unrest. Obama didn’t give a firm answer, but he did suggest it’s probably not a good idea.“When they’re conducting an investigatio

    August 20, 2014

  • Food stamps' $80B secret spending program Imagine a government program that has exploded in size, is the subject of bitter partisan haggling and spends almost $80 billion a year in secret.No, not the National Security Agency, the Central Intelligence Agency or the Department of Homeland Secu

    August 20, 2014

  • Vouchers provide greater choice I was chatting the other day with a fellow who, along with his wife, homeschool his children. We joked about the stereotype: Moms in denim skirts.But then he expounded on the benefits his youngsters have derived from being taught at home: a customize

    August 20, 2014

  • A rare experience Alexandra Petri’s editorial, “What exactly are we seeing in Ferguson” is well written and did something which has increasingly become a rare experience for me. Her article caused me to think!Petri makes the case for media coverage of American events,

    August 19, 2014

Twitter Updates
Facebook
Stocks