New Hampshire Should Support the Massachusetts Soda Tax

by Steve MacDonald

taxesThe State of Massachusetts is considering a tax on sugary drinks.  OK. Go for it.

Every jurisdiction that has imposed their progressive will in this manner has seen a drop in sales and jobs, which migrate just beyond the reach of said tax. I’m no geographer and I don’t play one on the internet, but I can read a map and if people go “outside the reach” of the Massachusetts soda tax, well, that’s New Hampshire.

History tells us that a soda tax is Mass. would be better for us than for them.

Berkley, California (Median income $65,283) saw a 7% drop in sales, while Philadelphia (Median Income 34,414)–memorialized on these pages more than once in the past year–has retailers reporting a 30-40% drop in sales. Who thinks Philly had more soda drinkers than Berkeley? So is that a victory for the Nanny-State?

A typical selling point for advocates is reduced consumption.

Lawmakers on Beacon Hill are joining activists in other states pushing for taxes on sodas that they say will ease the rise in obesity-related diseases and bring in money for programs aimed at improving the health of children in Massachusetts.

“The goal of this legislation is to reduce the consumption of sugary drinks replacing it with water and other healthier beverage choices, particularly among children and teenagers,” said Democratic state Sen. Jason Lewis, one of the sponsors of the legislation.

“This will improve health, lower rates of preventable, chronic diseases and reduce health care costs over time,” Lewis said.

But in Philly, they are shedding jobs. Businesses are diverting product and resources outside the taxing authority, and people, probably not 30-40% are making the trip to save some money on that which their so-called betters have deemed unfit for their consumption.

That’s not entirely accurate. People with the sorts of incomes they have in Berkeley are just paying the tax and pretending it’s a contribution to the health and well-being of the individuals who can no longer afford it.

So, are they contributing to the health and well-being of lower income persons with their regressive tax?

Research shows that people substitute salty and fatty foods when faced with a half-cent-per-ounce soda tax. Moreover, the effect of the tax on obesity is vanishingly small: the same researchers concluded that the tax likely would cause less than a two-pound weight loss in low-income individuals over the next decade.

Two pounds in a decade sounds a lot like reducing the temperature .02 degrees over a century (or whatever the lie is this week). Obesity has nothing to fear from the soda tax. And I doubt Democrats care.

The people stripping locals of and businesses of millions, billions, and in the case of the Global Climate Cult Trillions of dollars aren’t all that interested in the expressed outcomes beyond their ability to convince people to let them gain control of their money and the power that comes with it.

The Harvard School of Public Health estimated the bill could raise about $368 million annually in Massachusetts, according to Lewis. He said the bill proposes that the money be deposited in a newly established Children’s Health Promotion Fund that would be administered by state Department of Public Health.

The bill proposes. Well, it hardly matters. What if the state does take in a few hundred million dollars? What if it does put it in a fund for “Children’s health,” whatever that will suddenly mean? When the cash is in hand, the politicians and bureaucrats will still be enriched by the collecting, sifting, directing (to suitable cronies–people, agencies–approved NGO’s) and spending of someone else’s money. Controlling your behavior is like dessert after the entree.

Don’t forget that Massachusetts is also the same state that has considered ending the sales tax holiday it used to hold once a year because the state government, whose fiscal obesity is never much of concern to anyone in elected office, can’t afford to lose the calories, I’m sorry, revenue.

If it’s any consolation, the current ‘republican’ governor opposes the soda tax, but the Democrat legislature can overturn a veto at its leisure, so the observation is meaningless. And this, after all, Taxachusetts. And we are, still bitterly clinging to our tax advantage here in New Hampshire. So let’s do our best to support the Massachusetts soda tax.

New Hampshire welcomes your business and businesses, just a hop across the border.  And while you’re here, all the other sins they tax to our south are a lot cheaper, as is just about everything else. That’s because every day is a tax holiday in the Granite State and we’re open all year round.

So go ahead Massachusetts, tax your soda. We don’t mind one bit.



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