National Center for Public Policy Research press release


For Release: February 10, 2010
Contact:
David Almasi at (202) 543-4110 x11 or (703) 568-4727 or [email protected], or Judy Kent at (703) 759-7476 or [email protected]


Proposed Soda Taxes Fall Flat, Says Black Activist


Washington, DC: Proposed soda taxes fall flat, according to Deneen Borelli, a fellow with the Project 21 black leadership network, who says the demonization of carbonated beverages is just another example of the progressive attack on liberty.

"After the Obama Administration tried to put itself between me and my doctor with its health care plan, the White House - along with Governor David Paterson and Mayor Gavin Newsom - now want to come between me and my can of soda," said Borelli.

"Raising taxes during hard economic times is a horrible idea and it's doomed to failure," added Borelli.  "Elected officials should be focused on lowering taxes to getting our economy growing in order to stimulate job growth.  Instead you have Mayor Newsom in San Francisco and Governor Paterson in New York using the 'obesity card' to make up for their budget shortfalls.  Punishing consumers, beverage companies, bottling companies and small business owners will only add to our economic troubles.  These politicians need to put themselves on a spending diet and worry about their bloated budgets and let me worry about my waistline."

Borelli continued: "And then you've got Michelle Obama and the Obama Administration leaning on schools and on the beverage and snack food industries to reform their wicked ways.  In spreading their gospel against sugary treats, they will hurt the ability of Paterson and Newsom to reap their sin taxes.  It's clear the progressives can't have it both ways despite their ambitions.  The only one harmed in the end will be the American consumer."

In New York, Governor David Paterson (D) has reintroduced a $1.28 per gallon tax on sugared sodas - a proposal he first proposed and later abandoned in 2009.  San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom (D) has announced his intention to introduce legislation to impose a undisclosed fee on retailers selling sugary beverages.  By targeting retailers, Newsom bypasses the need to subject the tax to a voter referendum.

At the same time, First Lady Michelle Obama is the public face of the Obama Administration's legislative drive to attack the presence of soda and snacks in schools.  On February 9, she announced the "Let's Move" campaign to allegedly "end the American plague of childhood obesity in a single generation."  While she asserted the role of the government would be "minor" in an interview on ABC's "Good Morning America" program, her husband is creating a federal task force on the issue charged with formulating a "long-term action plan."  Additionally, Obama Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack said on February 8 that he intends to ban candy and soda from schools.  Senator Blanche Lincoln (D-AR) is expected to introduce legislation codifying this ban as part of the reauthorization of school meal programs.

"Social engineering is at the heart of the progressive movement," Borelli continued.  "The Obama Administration sought a cap-and-trade emissions policy that would raise energy prices and thus force Americans to use less energy.  Then it was government mandates on health issues.  Now, it's discriminatory taxes on food and beverages.  It seems there is nothing the so-called progressives will not tax and no liberty they will not assault to support their worldview."

Project 21, a leading voice of black conservatives since 1992, is sponsored by the National Center for Public Policy Research (http://www.nationalcenter.org).  The National Center receives less than one percent of its revenue from corporations, and is funded primarily from the gifts of over 100,000 recent individual donors.

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