Why let a good taxable product go to waste?
New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg has just announced a plan to ban sales of soft drinks weighing more than 16 ounces. According to the New York Daily News:
The city is working on a plan to ban large soft drinks and other sweet beverages in eateries, theaters and most other venues, City Hall announced Wednesday.
The new rules, which could take effect next March, would prohibit cups larger than 16 ounces of any liquid that contains more than 25 calories per 8 ounces. That targets sodas, sweetened ice tea and energy drinks. Diet sodas and milk-based beverages — even calorie laden milkshakes — will remain lawful.
“Obesity is a nationwide problem, and all over the United States, public health officials are wringing their hands saying, ‘Oh, this is terrible,’” Bloomberg told The New York Times. “New York City is not about wringing your hands; it’s about doing something.”
Chicago would never ban Big Gulps. A few years ago, Ald. Edward Burke tried to persuade the City Council to copy Bloomberg’s ban on trans fats in restaurant. Burke’s proposal went nowhere. Here in the Midwest, overeating is a way of life. Besides, in Illinois, we don’t ban unhealthy behavior. We tax it. Just this week, the General Assembly approved Gov. Pat Quinn’s $1 a pack increase in the cigarette tax. The Senate unanimously passed Lt. Gov. Sheila Simon’s $3 surcharge on strip clubs that serve alcohol.
While we’re at it, here are some other bad behaviors we should tax.
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