The measure, called the “Keep Groceries Affordable Act of 2018,”  is being attacked from the left because, shock shock, the sweet beverage industry is spending millions to attack Seattle’s soda tax.  Despite my core dislike of corpulent corporations, I am voting with the companies!

The beverage industry will spend millions to promote I-1634 before November. The opponents of  I-1634 say it should have been named the “Keep Obesity and Diabetes Acceptable Act of 2018.”  The opponents are wrong.  The beverage companies are reacting to Seattle’s  recently started soda tax.  Unfortunately, evidence that Coca Cola causes obesity or diabetes is weak.  Worse, Seattle used a loop hole to create that law an unless fixed, the loophole would allow Seattle or any other city to tax all groceries.

Sadly, this issue is not necessarily a case where corporate money is wrong. The Seattle city council used a legal trick to create a new tax that had already been blocked, or so we thought, by a state wide vote. The corporate propaganda is actually correct that the loophole used by Seattle can be used to raise taxes on all groceries.

Beyond that, the argument that sugary beverages are the cause of obesity and diabetes is at best overdone. There is a correlation but that is not proof. The argument that “processed” sugars are bad is very, very weak or non existant.  Obesity is the result of three things … calories, exercise and genetics. While depriving kids of Coca Cola will do no harm it will also not cause them to lose weight if they do not exercise and  eat burgers, spaghetti, sweet tie, M&Ms, etc.

For that matter, we would also need to tax computer games and Twitter.



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