California Lawmakers Pushing For Statewide Tax On Sugary Drinks

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New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg isn’t the only liberal with statist visions of better living through legislation.

Over on the left coast, California legislators are concocting a variation on Bloomberg’s famous — and failed — attempt to ban large soft drinks, only with an eye toward redistributing a little more of the wealth of the State’s 12.4 million households.

Democratic State Senator Bill Monning is sponsoring a bill that would impose a regressive penny-per-ounce excise tax on sugary sodas and energy drinks, converting the funds raised through the tax into public spending thorough a new entity called the Children’s Health Promotion Fund. That fund would back community obesity prevention programs and further support public health programs in schools.

Remarkably, Californians actually seem to favor the State’s social engineering/money grab measure. A February Field poll found 68 percent of voters in favor of the bill, with the percentage among ethnic voters even higher. The tax would apply not only to canned and bottled beverages, but to fountain sodas sold at restaurants statewide as well.

Predictably, the bill also enjoys positive spin from the very State agencies in line to expand their bureaucratic offerings if the tax is approved. Harold Goldstein of the California Center for Public Health Advocacy called the tax “fair-minded” in a statement of support for the measure:

Californians are becoming increasingly concerned about the obesity epidemic and its heavy burden on the well-being of Californians, especially our children. More than ever, California voters want solutions that not only hold the biggest contributor to the problem (sugary beverages) accountable, but that also raise funds to address the impact on our children. SB 622 does both of those and is a smart, fair-minded policy to protect our children, our state’s health and, ultimately our state budget.

“Protect… our state budget,” really? Check out some other ways California’s leaders are currently attempting to protect the State budget:

  • Imposing a 9.9 percent “oil severance tax” on oil extraction — an anti-business move against a “captive” industry in a State that has already seen other businesses flee to escape high taxes, regulations and penalties.
  • Raising the registration fee for every privately owned vehicle by $6.
  • Adding a State tax to every point-of-sale purchase of prepaid mobile phones, as well as to every separate purchase of additional phone minutes.
  • Issuing $9 billion in municipal bonds on a $69 billion high-speed rail system that has no set start date for construction, that Governor Jerry Brown wants China to help fund and that the White House is eager to subsidize by an additional $3 billion.

Last month, the State auditor concluded California had a net worth of minus $127.2 billion. Viewed from that awful perspective, there’s no doubt the State’s political power brokers “need” the public’s money.

That California voters have voluntarily continued their support of government tax-and-spend efforts — the rail system, the drink tax and hikes to both income and sales taxes (via the passage of voter referendum Proposition 30) — also reveals, beyond any doubt, that nothing’s going to change in the Golden State anytime soon.

Ben Bullard

Reconciling the concept of individual sovereignty with conscientious participation in the modern American political process is a continuing preoccupation for staff writer Ben Bullard. A former community newspaper writer, Bullard has closely observed the manner in which well-meaning small-town politicians and policy makers often accept, unthinkingly, their increasingly marginal role in shaping the quality of their own lives, as well as those of the people whom they serve. He argues that American public policy is plagued by inscrutable and corrupt motives on a national scale, a fundamental problem which individuals, families and communities must strive to solve. This, he argues, can be achieved only as Americans rediscover the principal role each citizen plays in enriching the welfare of our Republic.

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  • angelkisz

    The only people that will be left in California will be those ate up with D.A. , movie stars , and drug addicts. Just hope they stay there and not here.

  • Right Brain Thinker

    It’s good to see that at least one state is trying to live in the here and now rather than return to the 19th. century. Let’s hear it for CA and the other blue states that still believe in the “greater good”. And a boo to the red places like Kansas that apparently don’t.

    • DavidL

      There is more to the red state blue state thing:

      http://www.voxeu.org/article/which-50-states-practise-personal-responsibility

      Here’s an excerpt from this Harvard study:

      “The statistical reality is that the red-staters are, on average, less
      prone to pay income taxes, more prone to receive subsidies from the
      federal government, less physically fit, less responsible in their
      sexual behaviour, more prone to inflict harm on themselves and on others
      through smoking, drunk driving and misuse of firearms, and more prone
      to freeride on the healthcare system, compared to blue-staters.

      • John

        Who believes anything coming from Harvard? That place is infested with biased, prejudiced, researchers. They have no credibility with “Red State” people.

        • Right Brain Thinker

          And that’s a comment from a biased, prejudiced red state person with no credibility! LOL

      • Violet Angel

        Studies always have one thing in common: research to prove the position of the researcher

      • NObama_Holder_Reid_Pelosi_2012

        First off anything sort of study coming from colleges and universities these days lack integrity and unbiased agendas. So that alone disqualifies the validity of any such study that has a universities name attached to it, especially Harvard.

        Secondly, any independent thinking person who is not naive and has the ability to read and has traveled around can see for them self that your purported statistics are blatant lies conjured up by a left wingnut that is trying to distort any fact by putting fallacies onto the web to try to counter balance the over whelming proof, evidence and facts that the left libtard / socialist / communist that masquerade under the guise of the term democrat have run their cities and States into the ground if they have had any prolonged control of said city or State.

        DavidL says – Red Staters on average = “more prone to receive Fed subsidies”, go to any Social service building in red or blue states and see who predominantly are walking into these places to apply and collect. You’ll quickly find they are mostly Democrat voter base.

        DavidL says – “red staters are “less responsible in their sexual behaviors”, a simple research on the STD’s cases and abortions reported shows that predominantly blue areas have the highest reported cases of abortions and STD’s and HIV cases in the nation. They also host the highest number of abortion clinics in areas or voting precincts that are long term blue precincts.

        DavidL says – Red Staters are more prone to “freeride on healthcare system”. Again spend some time watching Social service building and those who are seeking the freebies, furthermore go the emergency rooms and watch those who are there seeking a freeride on the healthcare system clogging up the emergency rooms for scratched knees and minor problems because they do not want to go through a doctors office or medical clinique in which they have to pay. Furthermore, the Hospitals that have gone bankrupt and had to close are in the Blue States and predominantly blue areas.

        DavidL says – red staters are “more prone to inflict harm on them self or others through misuse of fire arms or smoking or alcohol. For one you will tend to have a higher rate of drunk driving in a red area because they are more likely to be working and can afford a car, unlike blue areas where most of them sasha down the sidewalks staggering drunk because they don’t have a car to drive because they are either to lazy or ignorant to get a job and be independent.

        Blue areas of cities and States have the highest cases and reports of drug abuse, drug overdoses, drug trafficking and misuse of guns in the form of gang related crimes, robberies break ins and domestic violence.
        Again a simple research on cities and their crime rates easily prove this. Take DC and Chicago for a example – 2 cities in which have long since had the toughest gun control hosts the highest crime and homocide rates not just by guns but by any sort of weapon. Their are more people dying in Chicago due to gang related, drug related and crime related instances per year than their are soldiers dying in the war zones of Iraq and Afghanistan. Do a search on cities crime rates and do a search on percentages of those captured, found guilty and incarcerated you will find that though this Country has some 67% white population, 13% black population and some 17% hispanic population. Stats show that well over half of the prison populations are comprised of blacks and hispanics = blue voter base.

        Even in Red States we have the burden of dealing with democrat voters that spread like cancers across this nation by either being plagued with their inherent crime, and freeby mentality and “if you don’t give it to me, I’ll steal it or acquire it illegally” mentality.

        They are like locust, where once they have bankrupt and destroyed a city and sucked all their resources dry, they move on to the next city and start spreading their plague and sucking it dry.

        • NObama_Holder_Reid_Pelosi_2012

          One don’t need a biased study from some liberal/socialist/communist
          professor or indoctrinated little punk who has spent their entire life
          being brainwashed through the education system that have pretty much dominated many of the public schools, universities and colleges across this Country now a days.

          In fact, to prove this just look at the universal testing that was conducted by 34 Countries and you will see that US ranked 15th in English, 17th in Science and 25th in Math out of 34
          Countries. Mexico ranked dead last in all categories of 34th place. Here we are not even ranking in the top ten and we are proclaiming that we are a shining example to the world and we are a civilized and advanced nation and who are we fighting to migrate into this Country by the millions? People from the Country that ranked dead last for intelligence and education, there by scrapping the bottom of the barrel. How do we compete with the rest of the world to maintain and remain in the advanced technology leadership? By immigrating intelligent people that have been educated in other Countries because we can no longer produce enough educated people with the intelligence to compete with the rest of the worlds technologies without relying on foreigners educated elsewhere.

          So to try to give some sort of credit to some sort of biased and inconclusive study by a US indoctrination center by which doesn’t have the capacity to hold a candle to other educational systems through out the world these days and has to rely on its past reputation in order to seek relevance in any study produced by these indoctrination centers that used to be known as the best of the best up to and until the liberals infiltrated and infested them and drug them into the pits by which we cannot even compete or maintain within the top 10 Countries.

    • John

      Wrong side of brain thinker. So you like slavery and being told what to do. Move to California and enjoy it personally. Most of the filthy stinking liberals who live their do not understand Freedom and have paid no price for it. Enjoy your slavery!

    • NObama_Holder_Reid_Pelosi_2012

      brain dead thinker – Shows his ignorance by cheering on and supporting insolvent. In case you missed it the word “minus” means negative (-) not surplus or (+) their net worth in $ -127.2 = bankrupt! and you cheer and praise it.

      Detroit is another Bankrupt blue area that looks like a city from a third world Country and has the crime rates to rival that of cities in Africa. It is just a matter of time for the entire State of California to become like Detroit. The mexicans are doing a wonderful job of running it down and making it look like Tijuana and Waras and slowly spreading north like locust or a plague. Other long term left controlled and operated blue areas DC, Chicagoland, Cleveland, Philly to name a few blue areas that are dying a slow death and have the highest crime rates per capita of any other city or area in the Country. This Moron cheers for bankruptcy, insolvent and high crime rate.

      • momo

        I think Waras is supposed to be Juarez.

        • Richard Holmes

          No. WAR-AS is right, or slum, ghetto, garbage dump, etc.

      • podunk1

        It reminds me of a “Mother Jones” (DOJ & HOMOLANDLESS) liberal claims that the tea party was a terrorist org. based on a couple of white killers – because they were white. Using that logic – the murder rate in Chicago, Detroit… any Blue ghetto area is more than current war zones! They are all progressive democrats & yes a very high percentage are terrorists… primarily against black people who are trapped in their “free” zone of terror

    • Right Brain Thinker

      Fishing is so easy in the PLD “lake of motivated reasoners”. Bait a hook with “Blue States Rule” or “Red States are Backward” and reel them in non-stop. John flops around on the deck with “wrong brain”, “slavery”, and “filthy stinking liberals”. Good one, John, you’re a “keeper”.

      Rob Carpent comes in over the side and joins John in the fish box. He is definitely a “keeper” with “brain dead”, “ignorance”, and a totally irrelevant “cherrypick” about the crime rates in cities. I see that DavidL has set him straight later in the thread—I’ll go there next. Rob C adds a little extra with his moron lesson—-any MoronFish that gives moron lessons should probably be mounted and hung on the wall.

  • momo

    A negative net worth of almost 130 billion! California dreaming…NOT!

  • Elton Robb

    The government needs to stop subsidizing corn farmers.

  • Dan Nordstrom

    I think it’s time to get out of CA

  • ZephAsh

    This whole red state, blue state thing is a little bit outta touch with the reality of the nation as a whole. Every state, whether they be red or blue has their issues, whether it be financially, economically… etc etc. Being a red state does not necessarily mean you’re on the lower end of the spectrum, and being a blue state does not necessarily make you on the higher end of the spectrum either. For example.. I currently live in California…. the state is bankrupt and becoming more and more bankrupt each year… however I originally am from the new england state of Connecticut… whenever people think of connecticut they think of wealth, and well off citizens… (yes connecticut is democratic state) however they often also assume that it must be the democrats within the state that are giving it such a well off background… that could not be farther from the truth. The current governor of CT is a democrat, the first democrat to hold that office in the state since 1992. During the Republicans that served in office, CT enjoyed a surplus every year, and the funding for such areas as education and healthcare such as hospitals increased 40% and therefore those areas increased in efficiency as well. Under this current governor the State has had no surplus, and funding for such things as education, healthcare and other areas like planned parenthood, and womens groups have been cut… so yes.. perhaps being a democratic state has its advantages, but then again… so does being a red state. In general it doesnt come down to the state itself, it comes down primarily to who is running those states.

  • WTS/JAY

    Let them, i don’t drink the sludge, so they wont be getting anything out of me…na na na boo boo!