Fat-Cat Politicians Squeezing Taxpayers with Fat Taxes
“Today’s taxes are already oppressive, but things have truly gotten out of hand when research into the possibility of passing new taxes is funded by taxpayer dollars,” warns Jim Tobin, president of Taxpayers United of America.
Researchers at the University of Illinois at Chicago have reportedly received $1 million from the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute to study the relationship between “fat taxes” and food consumption, diet quality and obesity. Taxpayers know what’s on the horizon: new taxes on soft drinks.
Obesity is a complex problem due to a variety of factors. Since the 1970s, Americans have steadily increased their caloric intake by anywhere from 8-18%. At the same time, they have become more sedentary. Sixty percent of Americans are not regularly active, and 25 percent are not active at all. Based on an A. C. Nielsen study, an average American spends 60 days a year in front of a TV set.
Not only is targeting soft drinks as the cause for obesity nonsensical, it is simply an excuse for new taxes. Soft drink sales have declined nearly 10% since 2000, though adult and childhood obesity rates have continued to rise. In other words, while calories from the soft drink industry are decreasing, obesity rates are increasing.
“Tax-hungry politicians lie awake at night thinking of new ways to take our money,” says Tobin. “Having hiked cigarette and liquor taxes as much as they dare for now, they’ve found a new “sin,” obesity, to be used against us. Taxes on soft drinks and snack foods will make us lighter—but only in the wallet—and enable fat-cat politicians and their friends to laugh all the way to the bank.”
Politicians should put spending on a diet and leave consumers alone.