A number of politicians today are more focused on passing laws and regulations limiting what people can and can’t buy at the grocery store, instead of focusing on important issues like education, jobs, and the economy. The unfortunate reality is that taxes on food, beverages and containers will be bad for the economy and limit consumer choices..
For instance, taxing common grocery items, like soft drinks, has the greatest impact on those who are already struggling to make ends meet—hard-working, low- and middle-income families, elderly residents and those living on fixed incomes. These types of taxes are discriminatory and regressive—additionally, they often end up hurting small businesses and the jobs they provide.
Taxes Won’t Combat Obesity
Taxes do not make people healthier. Making smart, educated decisions about diet and exercise do. No tax ever made anyone healthy.
States that have had an excise tax on soft drinks—such as West Virginia and Arkansas—have continued to rank in the top 10 most obese states in the country. Meanwhile, states with no such tax, such as Colorado and Vermont, continue to rank among the least obese states.
Allowing the government to tax one common grocery item is an invitation to start looking for more things to regulate and tax. It’s a slippery slope. What’s next? These taxes won’t help public health challenges; they will only limit choices and place greater burdens on hard-working families.