"It's the most explosive moment for the soda industry since the Diet Coke and Mentos experiment," CBS's Katie Couric quipped of a proposed federal soda tax in her September 18 Notebook video on CBSNews.com (embedded at right).
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, "some lawmakers say taxes on cigarettes have reduced smoking and raised revenues."
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.
Yet Couric sees only a downside to that dastardly profitable soft drink industry, not average Americans tired of government intrusion into their personal choices:
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!
President Obama thinks the tax is an idea worth exploring, and some lawmakers say taxes on cigarettes have reduced smoking and raised revenues.
Without a doubt, the idea is bubbling up in Washington and it could soon give soda companies some major gas pains.
That's a page from my notebook.