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
  • Remember the pledge Editor:The county board chairman is not being factual with his recent comments concerning the Public Safety Tax Pledge made by the 2004-2010 County Board.First of all, the debt we were facing was caused by the foolish actions of nine board members of

    July 31, 2014

  • Back to the future for death penalty? The surreal national debate over the death penalty reached a climax of sorts July 23 in a prison execution chamber in Florence, Arizona. Double murderer Joseph Wood was put to death by lethal injection shortly after his lawyers went to the Supreme Co

    July 31, 2014

  • Reduce property tax Editor:The regular July meeting of the Rend Lake Conservancy District Board of Trustees is always interesting, and this year was no different. It is at this meeting that the board makes the annual tax levy for the district. Like every year, the debat

    July 31, 2014

  • Away from the tyranny ‘Without courage, we cannot practice any other virtue with consistency,” the late poet Maya Angelou reflected in an interview with USA Today in 1988. “We can’t be kind, true, merciful, generous or honest.”What a poem Angelou might have written about

    July 31, 2014

  • No Headline Provided House and Senate conferees have agreed on a $17 billion bill to address the scandal over poor health-care service at the Department of Veterans Affairs. The legislation is now on a fast track to pass Congress before its August recess, showing that Re

    July 31, 2014

  • Shackled by 'dead men' In theory, the American people’s elected representatives decide every so often how much to tax the public and how to allocate the revenue among various priorities, both short-term and long-term. In practice, however, Congress and the president have a

    July 31, 2014

  • Close the tax loophole that sends US corporations overseas Since we last overhauled our federal tax code, in 1986, countries around the world have lowered their tax rates, leaving the United States with the highest corporate tax rate in the developed word. At the same time, the system has become full of inef

    July 29, 2014

  • Israel and the U.S.: Whose survival instinct is stronger? There’s something darkly coincidental in the fact that the latest weapon to be deployed against the survival instinct of both Israel and the United States is an alleged “heartlessness” when it comes to children. The people of Israel are castigated in

    July 29, 2014

  • College cost isn't big problem for poor students To judge by this summer’s banner policy proposals, the most important question for higher-education reform right now is giving students easier access to loans. But evidence from Canada suggests those changes won’t address the greater need: Getting mo

    July 29, 2014

  • Ducks, geese a blessing I would like to respond to the “Geese and ducks causing problems in Veterans Park” article that was published in the Mt. Vernon Register-News on July 16, 2014. I must share that I do understand that at times there have been a great number of the Cana

    July 29, 2014

Twitter Updates
Facebook
Stocks