The nonprofit Center for Consumer Freedom (CCF) criticizes proposed legislation, Senate Bill 1085, which would place an additional tax of one cent per ounce on sugar-sweetened beverages in Hawai'i. The bill will is to be considered by the Ways and Means Committee before going to the Senate floor.
The proposal to tax sugar-sweetened beverages is absurdly misguided when it comes to promoting weight loss. Study after study has demonstrated that soda is not a unique contributor to obesity. In fact, a recent analysis by the National Cancer Institute found that soft drink intake actually accounts for less than seven percent of the average person's daily calories.
"Taxes shouldn't be a tool for social engineering or an instrument to penalize Hawaiians for doing nothing wrong," said J. Justin Wilson, senior research analyst at the Center for Consumer Freedom. "Residents of Hawai'i don't need a Ph.D. in nutrition to tell them that eating or drinking too much of anything is unhealthy; it only takes a little common sense and personal responsibility."
While the soda tax may enlarge Hawai'i's government coffers, it won't slim down residents of the Aloha State. The author of a recent soda tax study published in the Archives of Internal Medicine determined that people would likely switch to untaxed beverages with the same amount of calories, such as whole milk or fruit juice, leaving a soda tax as primarily a moneymaking exercise for the government. For more information, visit www.ConsumerFreedom.com.
Center for Consumer Freedom