By Bill Maher
Bernie and Hillary have something new to fight about: the soda tax. In Philadelphia, Hillary said she supports a proposed local soda tax to pay for universal prekindergarten. Bernie says he opposes the soda tax because he enjoys a nice cream soda with his corned beef. No, he says he opposes the tax because more poor people drink soda, so it’s a regressive tax that targets the poor more than the rich.
But Mountain Dew isn’t a right – it’s a poison. Maybe the poor can just drink less soda.
According to The New York Times, “In Mexico, where a big, national soda tax went into effect in 2014, soda drinking declined the fastest among the poor, who felt the tax’s effects in their budgets most acutely. Consumption among the poorest Mexicans fell by 17 percent by the end of the year, compared with 12 percent in the population nationwide. As Barry Popkin, a professor of nutrition at the University of North Carolina puts it: The rich paid the tax, and the poor reduced their soda drinking.”
Look, no one wants to pay just regular taxes taxes anymore. So, if we want to raise the revenue to pay for the kinds of programs both Hillary and Bernie support, why not place a tax on indulgence items that make people sick and raise healthcare costs for the rest of us?