Lawmakers create a "fat tax" for non-diet sodas

The Governor of New York, David Paterson, plans to unveil Tuesday a budget that includes an "obesity tax" of about 15% on all drinks that aren't low-calorie.

As the New York Daily News puts it, under the proposed tax a Diet Coke might cost $1, while an identical serving of regular Coke would be charged at $1.15. That's before the bottle deposit, which in New York State is 5¢ per container. Milk, even the whole-fat version, would not be taxed at that heightened rate, and water would be exempt, too.

In response, a spokesperson from the American Academy of Pediatrics praised the notion, claiming that jacking the price of such "liquid candy" would make kids healthier. Notice that the group didn't cite any proof that the 15¢ rise would dissuade anyone from buying a drink, because no such proof exists.

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