Couric Bubbly Over Soda Tax, Fails to Consider Idea Obnoxious to Average Americans

<div style="float: right"><embed src="http://cnettv.cnet.com/av/video/cbsnews/atlantis2/player-dest.swf" flashvars="linkUrl=http://www.cbsnews.com/video/watch/?id=5321238n&amp;releaseURL=http://cn... allowfullscreen="true" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" pluginspage="http://www.macromedia.com/go/getflashplayer" width="212" height="162"></embed><br /><a href="http://www.cbs.com/"></a></div>&quot;It's the most explosive moment for the soda industry since the Diet Coke and Mentos experiment,&quot; CBS's Katie Couric quipped of a proposed federal soda tax in her <a href="http://www.cbsnews.com/blogs/2009/09/21/couricandco/entry5327020.shtml?t... target="_blank">September 18 Notebook video </a>on CBSNews.com (embedded at right).<p>While careful not to explicitly endorse a proposed one-cent-per-ounce tax on sugary drinks, Couric hinted that taxing sodas could help curb obesity, because, after all, &quot;some lawmakers say taxes on cigarettes have reduced smoking and raised revenues.&quot; </p><p>Pledging to help soda-drinking Americans lose weight while simultaneously thinning their wallets -- and fattening Uncle Sam's coffers -- certainly appeals to the self-appointed food police and tax-hiking liberals, but it's likely to cause average Americans to gripe about having to pay taxes for the harmless guilty pleasure of cracking open an ice-cold soda pop.</p><p>Yet Couric sees only a downside to that dastardly profitable soft drink industry, not average Americans tired of government intrusion into their personal choices:</p><!--break--><blockquote>It may also be a way to combat obesity. UCLA researchers found that people who drink soda are 27 times more likely to be overweight. A regular, daily soda drinker can consume - get this - 39 pounds of sugar a year just from those drinks. Gulp! <br /> <br />President Obama thinks the tax is an idea worth exploring, and some lawmakers say taxes on cigarettes have reduced smoking and raised revenues. <br /> <br />Without a doubt, the idea is bubbling up in Washington and it could soon give soda companies some major gas pains. <br /> <br />That's a page from my notebook. <br /></blockquote>

Ken Shepherd
Ken Shepherd
Ken Shepherd is the Managing Editor for NewsBusters