Hi All. Here is Francoise's argument. Required very few changes, mainly formatting. Down to 298 words from the original 307. Thanks, Francoise--I hope this one makes the Voters Handbook. Please review.
A soda tax is a simplistic and ineffective solution to a
very real and complex problem. Proponents
claim that a soda tax will result in lower calorie consumption and weight loss,
but obesity is a complicated disorder which involves many components besides
the intake of sugary drinks. Calories in soda are no more or less fattening
than calories in other food. Studies show that taxing sodas will not help
reduce obesity in the long run because consumers are able to buy alternative
sugary drinks or high calories snacks in lieu of soft drinks. In fact, in one particular study, subjects
substituted 8 calories of milk for 6 calories of sugar sweetened beverage.
Besides being ineffective in curbing weight, a soda tax has
other unintended consequences. It is regressive, in that it taxes a larger
proportion of income from poorer people and aims at pleasures they are more
likely to partake in. (Note that the supervisors are not taxing frappuccinos, which
are at least as unhealthy as sodas). Moreover,
a soda tax will lead to loss of jobs—from factory production to delivery
drivers—as well as hurting small neighborhood stores that rely on soft drinks
for much of their revenue.
This is a “sin tax”. Politicians like these taxes because at
least in the short run they lead to an increase in revenues which increase the
power of the politicians who can dispense them. Longer term, however, this tax will lead to
even greater increases in expenditures (in this case for recreation, health,
and nutrition) that cannot be supported by the tax imposed.
The City Council of Richmond placed a soda tax on the ballot
and 2/3 of the voters rejected it. This
proposal deserves the same fate. Vote NO
on Prop E.
Libertarian Party of San Francisco