Bernie Sanders: Tax Cigarettes, But Not Soda
The Vermont senator said there’s a question as to why cigarettes “remain a legal product in this country.”
He argued on NBC’s “Meet the Press” that it would be regressive, affecting the poorest families who often buy soda precisely because it is inexpensive.
But when host Chuck Todd pressed him about whether the same logic would compel him to oppose a tax on cigarettes, Sanders balked, arguing that cigarettes are a far worse health threat and suggesting that he’d like to see them banned.
“There’s a difference between cigarettes and soda,” the Vermont senator said. “I am aware of the obesity problem in this country. ... But cigarettes are causing cancer, obviously, and a dozen other diseases. And there is almost the question as to why it remains a legal product in this country.”
On the soda tax, Sanders said he would rather see Philadelphia raise money for pre-K programs on the backs of big corporations than the families who buy soda.
“You have large multinational corporations not paying a nickel in federal taxes,” he said. “That’s where you get the money. Somebody’s making $20,000 a year and they buy a bottle of soda, I don’t think you charge them 30 cents more for that bottle of soda.”
Hillary Clinton, Sanders’ rival for the Democratic nomination, said earlier this week that she supports the Philadelphia mayor’s proposed soda tax.
“It starts early with working with families, working with kids, building up community resources — I’m very supportive of the mayor’s proposal to tax soda to get universal pre-school for kids,” Clinton said. “I mean, we need universal pre-school. And if that’s a way to do it, that’s how we should do it.”
Sorry folks, but I agree with Bernie on this one. There's one huge difference here. If you sit next to a person who drinks soda every day, you won't get fat. Or cancer.
But if you sit next to a person who is smoking every day, you may not get fat, but you do risk cancer and a number of other diseases. And even if you don't get any of these diseases, you still have to deal with the mess and smells that come with smokers - smoke, butts and that yellow scum that sticks to everything around a regular smoker, including you and the smoker.
Having a soda once every week or two will have little impact on your health. But how many smokers do you know who smoke a cigarette, pipe or cigar once every week or so? Smokers smoke. Regularly. Even when they are sick. And it is always harmful.
Soda is way down the list for me of things to drink. But I will confess to an indulgence in the occasional Mexican Coke. And the tri-annual Dr. Pepper. But though I am fat, soda drinking is not the problem. Poor food choices too much of the time, and poor portion-control are.
Let's face it...
If this is how you eat as a kid,
This is likely to be the way you eat as an adult. And if that's a diet soda in that big paper cup, sorry, but it's pretty bad for you too, and can be responsible for an accumulation of belly-fat. Read more HERE.