Thursday, September 24, 2009

Don't Tax Me, Don't Tax Thee....

Woman steps out of an SUV carrying plastic bags containing 2-liter bottles of soda. Apparently noticing the camera on her front lawn, she puts on this "damn it's tough living in this affluent suburb, driving this overpriced behemoth, and living in this opulent house" look before she begins her tirade:

"When Congress starts talking about another tax, that gets our attention. Now Washington is talking about a tax on juice drinks and soda. They SAY it will only be pennies, but those pennies add up, especially when you are trying to feed a family...."

Increasing the pissed-off scowl to maximum, Angry Suburban Mom snarls "Washington. DON'T increase taxes on juice drinks and soda." And with that, she enters her split-level palace, lugging the bag of what I guess are now Staples in with her.

Seriously? We're the fattest nation on earth. Our cheapest, most popular foods are drowning in high-fructose corn syrup. The cost to society in high medical bills, absenteeism from work, etc. is in the hundreds of billions. At the rate we are going, the government will be adding insulin to the flouride in our drinking water before the next decade is out. Our budget deficit is exploding, and our infrastructure is crumbling. Forty-seven million Americans can't afford Health Care. And Mrs. Pissed Off SUV Suburban Mom is warning Washington not to raise taxes on Mountain Dew because she's trying to "feed her family?"

Give me a fucking break. This is almost as bad as those "you're smoking more, and you're being taxed more, it's just not fair' commercials. I don't know if SUV mom smokes, but I do know she drives a huge gas-guzzler which probably has a Drill Baby Drill bumper sticker on the back. Judging from her righteous anger over the very idea that her family's precious carbonated drinks might go up in price a few cents, she's no doubt very comfortable with the idea that low-taxed syrupy-sweet fluids, which she refers to as "food," is her God Given Right as an American, and that any attempt by Congress to try to raise the price a few pennies is a good excuse to tune in to the Glenn Beck show and get the time and address of the next Tea Party.

When the hell are these morons going to grow up? Look, it's really very simple- we don't want to tax healthy food, like fruits and vegetables, because they are expensive enough as it is. We don't want to tax actual staples, like milk, eggs, bread, etc. But luxury items like cigarettes and soda? Taxing these is the very DEFINITION of fairness, because they AREN'T NECESSITIES.
No matter what Sneering Suburban SUV-Driving Mom says, you don't FEED YOUR FAMILY ON SODA AND "FRUIT DRINKS."

So yes, Congress- tax away on this junk. Tax Fritos and Cheetos and Pringles and Doritos and Kettle Chips. Tax Colas and Hi-C and Juicy Juice. Maybe if we tax them enough, people will be discouraged from poisoning themselves with this garbage, and we'll have a healthier society and economy. I'd gladly pay an extra dime for my Diet Coke, especially if I get to see Ms. Panties in a Twist's head explode in the bargain.

13 comments:

  1. Back when I worked in convenience stores, I can't tell you how many times I'd see customers come to the counter with milk, bread, juice, soda, potato chips and cigarettes, not have enough money to purchase all these items, and put back the milk and bread.

    Staples, indeed.

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  2. In all fairness, juicy juice is 100% juice and not filled with high fructose corn syrup. Much better than most of the other juice boxes. Not as good as water.

    I really wish the broccoli people would slap spiderman on their packages. HFCS products are geared to kids. Kids want to buy whatever has spongebob on the label, and mostly that's junk. Please, can we have spongebob brand pineapples or spinach? My kids love fruits and veggies anyway because they were raised that way, but I see so many kids eating nothing but crap with cartoon characters on them.

    I completely agree with you on the rest of it though. Frankly though, I would just rather see the subsides taken away from the corn producers and given to farmers that raise actual food with sustainable practices.

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  3. @1st Republic: It's enough to drive you to truly do a headwall. The longer I live, the less faith I have in humanity to make intelligent decisions. I'm definitely not good with money and if I have any money on me I have the very bad habit of spending whatever's in my wallet (which is why I try not to have any on me), but if I had to choose what to put back, soda and chips would be at the top of the list. I'm going to assume those buying fags are addicted and it's not easy to kick nicotine addiction so I'll cut them some slack on that (but they'd do better to buy something that's going to help them to quit, no continue the habit). They have no grounds to piss and moan about a tax hike, though. You don't like paying so much for your fags? Then quit. Booze, fags, soda, chips, candy...they're all luxury items. Tax those instead of jeans and t-shirts and trainers.

    I do agree that this isn't something Congress should be discussing and passing legislation on, though for an entirely different reason. It seems clear enough that this doesn't qualify as one of the duties given to the federal government so, going by the 10th Amendment, this falls into the realm of states' business. When Lee surrendered to Grant, the federal government overstepping its bound and getting away with it became pretty much a given and it's been encroaching more and more since then. DOMA and the federal marriage amendment and all of that are things I've been totally opposed to on 10th Amendment grounds. That stance doesn't go over too well in the conservative Christian circles I usually swim in. ;) I've only met a very few who've lived up to the stereotypes society loves to paint, so we're not all as bad as the Religious Right makes us look.

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  4. They're called "sin taxes" for a reason; the government can't stop stupid people from doing stupid things but they can sure as Hell squeeze them dry for being morons. It's too bad that people would rather drink pop than eat healthy food but if the state can make a buck off their feckless boneheadedness, more power to them.

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  5. Jennifer: thanks for the education on Juicy Juice, and welcome to the blog. I'm glad it's 100 percent juice, but I'm still angry at the manufacturers for encouraging kids to drink out of little boxes that end up in landfills.

    I used to work at a grocery store which sold six-packs of Sunny Delight and those horrible "Snackables," which consisted of maybe 4 ounces of "food" (salt and oil) and 8 ounces of plastic covering. I got so angry when I saw people complaining about prices filling their carts with crap like that, instead of buying a thermos to refill with juice, and buying bread and deli meat and cheese and crackers to make lunches for their soon-to-be obese kids.

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  6. It is a matter of convenience - the juice boxes that is. Although if you are packing a lunch for your child it is just as easy to fill a thermos as it is to put in a juice box.

    I went to my son's school at lunch time and was appalled at what some of those kids ate. Many kids had their parents delivering McDonalds to them, and many more had those lunchables with crackers and artificial cheese.

    My son has today a PB&J on 7 grain bread, raw broccoli, fat free ranch, yogurt, apple juice and an oatmeal raisin cookie. Probably not the best lunch but the best we can do in balancing convenience, cost, nutrition and his own picky eating.

    I will be looking for a thermos for him though. Better than the juice boxes. Congratulations, you have removed 5 juice boxes a week from the landfill through your blog. :)

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  7. ITA with you on this one, John! I don't think people truly have any idea of the amount of the ridiculous amount of calories and sugar than the put away with their 3 cans of soda per day habit (and sadly, they then wonder why they keep gaining weight, thinking that they are not eating poorly...).

    Tax away! :p

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  8. Oh, and about Sunny Delight--I can't believe that my SIL feed that junk to my nephew! He asked us for it when he was at our house; "no, I'm sorry, we actually serve 100% juice here!" :o

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  9. Junk food is cheaper. That is one of the root causes of the obesity epidemic and particularly why it is so prevalent among lower socio-economic classes. Also, lower socio-economic classes are less likely to live in safe neighborhoods, so children are more likely to remain indoors than to play outside.

    Interesting article comparing the cost of healthy vs. unhealthy food. Junk costs about $1.76 per 1000 calories; healthy food costs $18.16 per 1000 calories.

    http://well.blogs.nytimes.com/2007/12/05/a-high-price-for-healthy-food/

    Implement a sin tax, or better - eliminate subsidies on HFCS and tariffs on sugar.

    http://www.accidentalhedonist.com/index.php/2006/01/24/tariffs_and_subsidies_the_literal_cost_o

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  10. Jennifer- sounds like your son can look forward to growing up to be a smart, healthy adult who has extra money in his pocket because he isn't spending it on garbage. Congratulations!

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  11. This ad just started running in our market a couple of days ago. O. M. G. That look on her face... Yeah, her family will just drop dead if they cut back or eliminate the sodas and the Sunny D. ::rolleyes::

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  12. But April- she's TRYING to feed her FAMILY!

    Won't someone PLEASE think of the CHILDREN?? :>)

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  13. While I haven't actually seen this commercial, it sure sounds like a dumb way to convey the "don't tax me for soda and juice" thing. What next? Will we all get together and dump soda and juice into Boston Harbor? Somehow, I don't think soccer moms dumping soda out of their Escalades into the ocean will have the same effect that the Boston Tea Party did.

    While the commercial has one point ("STOP TAXING US ALREADY!!!!!"), using upper-middle class women with spoiled children to convey it subtracts from the message. How about showing an unemployed woman buying a juicing machine and saying "up yours, government tax hogs, I'm drinking real fruit juice instead of chemical-ized crap"? Just a thought.

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