Seattle is trying to discourage its citizens from drinking sugary beverages by imposing a 1.75-cent per ounce tax on all sugary drinks sold in the Emerald City.
A $15.99 case of Gatorade at the Seattle Costco now has an added tax of more than $10. A case of Coke is now $7.35 more expensive than the Diet Coke or Coke Zero.
What will people drink instead of sugary beverages?
- Coffee. Seattle drinks a lot of coffee. Is coffee good for you? What if you put sugar in it?
- Beer. At these prices, it’s cheaper than soda.
- Diet soda. Are artificial sweeteners better for you than sugar?
- Fruit juice. Not taxed but contains a lot of sugar.
Should there be a tax on all-you-can-eat buffets? How about a tax credit for eating a vegetable?
Or maybe — just maybe — the tax code was not designed for and shouldn’t be used to impose nutritional penalties on the citizenry.
Economic question: How high does the sin tax on soda have to be before it becomes profitable to smuggle black market sodas into Seattle?
That’s not a frivolous question. Remember Eric Garner?
He died while being arrested for selling illegal “loosie” cigarettes as part of a black market created by stratospheric New York sin taxes on cigarettes.
Here’s another great health-conscious idea: I’ve heard a lot about the ill effects of sleep deprivation . . . Seattle should have a mandatory bedtime for all residents, with a fine of 1.75 cents per minute for violators.