Roman Around

combating liberalism and other childish notions

EMPIRE STATE FAT TAX, ROUND TWO

Posted by Andrew Roman on October 21, 2009

paterson and sodaFrom the “You Deserve What You Get” file …

The enormously popular Governor of New York, David Paterson, is going to try again. In that elder George Bush style, Paterson – who pledged not raise taxes – is going to raise taxes … again. Sounding cranky and a bit tired, the Governor, in a radio interview, said he is going to reintroduce his “fat tax” on sodas and other sugary beverages in his next budget.

New York’s Legislature already rejected a Paterson “fat tax” proposal earlier this year – an 18% tax – and instead opted to tax the wealthy some more.

But next year will be a new day.

This latest “fat tax” chatter began after Paterson heard an audio clip of Brooklyn Assemblyman Hakeem Jeffries saying that a soda tax (as well as a boost of out-of-state tuition fees) could be a viable way to help close the $3 billion budget gap facing New York – an alternative more appealing than pursuing the education and health care cuts Paterson proposed.

That’s when  aclearly annoyed Paterson responded.

Brendan Scott of the New York Post writes:

“I promise I will put (the soda tax) back in my budget address and give the Legislature another chance to do it,” Paterson said during an interview on WNYC. “But you can’t keep voting down the ways to create revenues and then saying you don’t want to make cuts.”

The problem, as Paterson sees it, is that the soda tax wouldn’t be put into effect until next year when the new budget is created. Indeed, he’s all for it, but he needs to figure out a way to start slicing and dicing this year’s budget.

While Paterson said he would be open to another soda tax proposal next year, he rejected Jeffries’ claim that such new taxes could help close the $3 billion gap in the state’s current budget.

“He’s right about different ways we can enhance revenues if the Legislature will agree to it,” Paterson said. “But he’s totally wrong because I’m talking about payments that must be met by Dec. 15.”

“I don’t know how many times I’m going to have to say this before people understand and are persuaded that we have to act now,” the governor continued.

Meow.

It’s always government, government and more government, isn’t it?

Albany has been unable – or perhaps, more fittingly, unwilling – to trim the fat in New York. (What blue state is?) The fact is, New York is so over-regulated – which translates into being “over-taxed” – that its budget cannot be anything but out of control. After all, who is going to make sure the never-ending maze of regulations and codes are enforced? People cost money. Money comes from taxpayers. That means bigger budgets.

Here’s a suggestion perfectly suited to today’s proponents of government-run, rationed, mediocre health care (which, theoretically, a “fat tax” could help pay for):

Forget the “fat tax.”

How about taking a page from the Robert Reich “Let’s Tell The Truth About Health Care Reform” Songbook and propose a “fat subsidy?” In other words, pay people to get fat – not unlike the federal government pays some farmers to grow corn and soybeans, which are processed into fattening food ingredients such as corn syrup and vegetable oil that could get taxed by a “fat tax.” (Yes, in the United States we tax food on the consumer end while subsidizing it on the production end).

With a fat subsidy, people will die sooner and thus save precious medical resources for the rest of us who fall within whatever guidelines the government creates for us (for our own good).

Makes sense, no?

Or…

As one blogger put it, “We could let adults make, live with, and pay for their own lifestyle choices.”

Talk about radical.
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One Response to “EMPIRE STATE FAT TAX, ROUND TWO”

  1. JAVSnyc said

    Soda companies are good corporate citizens. They employ people in various communities and give to those communities in times of need. One of the first companies to respond to the tragedy in Haiti was Coca-Cola with a donation of $1 million dollars to the Red Cross. On the ground, Coca-Cola is getting four thousands cases of water through to Haiti each day. Keep going Coke — Please keep helping!

    Governor Paterson should back off the soda. It is not the source of the obesity problem. Inferior physical and nutritional education, which of course leads to poor exercise habits and ill-advised diets, are the cause of inflated waistlines. Having a salad with a Coke is far better then a bottle of water to wash down a face full of dirty water dogs. Add walking up the stairs instead of taking the elevator and you’re golden.

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