Let's Trade The The Cigarette Tax For A Soda Tax

cigarettes money

There continues to be a lot of low-level chatter about a possible “soda tax,” which could, in theory, raise revenue and discourage people from drinking life-threatening sugar water.

If you didn’t have any philosophical objection to the government deciding what’s healthy and what food/drink should be discouraged, then this is probably a good one. Soda is evil, and drinkers of it should subsidise the cost of an improved healthcare system.

Of course, it’d be tough to pull of politically, for obvious reasons.

But… what if Democrats were willing to do a little horse trading? How about an exchange: We’ll get rid of cigarette taxes and replace them with a soda tax.

Republicans might get behind that, since tobacco growers have always been closer to the core of the party. Economically it’d be a win-win-win. More smokers equals earlier death equals lower health costs. Multiple studies have established that. The soda tax would preserve the revenue, and since soda hurts a much wider swath of the economy than smokers, you’d be making people much healthier.

What’s not to like?

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