Sept. 8 (Bloomberg) -- President Barack Obama said he is willing to consider taxing soda and other sugary drinks as Congress debates overhauling the U.S. health-care system.
“I actually think it’s an idea that we should be exploring,” Obama said in an interview with Men’s Health magazine that goes on sale next week. “There’s no doubt that our kids drink way too much soda.”
Lawmakers drafting legislation to revamp the U.S. health- care system have considered new taxes on sugar and sweetened soda to help pay the cost, estimated at as much as $1 trillion over the next decade.
Obama said that, while the proposal faces opposition from some legislators, higher taxes that reduce soda consumption would be helpful.
“Every study that’s been done about obesity shows that there is a high correlation between soda consumption and obesity,” Obama said in the magazine interview. “Obviously it’s not the only factor, but it is a major factor.”
Lobbyists for Coca-Cola Co., Archer Daniels Midland Co. and allies in the soft-drink industry have worked to kill the proposal, which has been debated by the Senate Finance Committee.
The five-member S&P 500 Soft Drinks Index was up 0.7 percent at 12:50 p.m., after rising as much as 1.4 percent earlier in the day. The index is up 12 percent since the beginning of the year.
Obama said he understands fears some would have about “Big Brother telling them what to eat or drink,” but he said any steps that reduce soda consumption would have “ a big impact on people’s health in this country.”
Government moves discouraging soft-drink use would hit companies already suffering from sliding sales and prices. Soft- drink sales volume fell 3 percent in 2008, dropping for the fourth straight year, according to Beverage Digest, an industry newsletter.
The American Beverage Association, a Washington lobbying group for Atlanta-based Coca-Cola and other non-alcoholic beverage makers, is leading efforts to quash a soda tax. The group called on members and their employees to put pressure on Congress, saying the industry is “under attack.”
The Congressional Budget Office has estimated that a 3-cent tax on 12-ounce cans of soda would raise $50 billion over a decade.
Wow, FOX News talking points...
Same arguments were made about seat belts in cars. You probably aren't old enough to remember that fact, yet every day you can pick up a paper and read about some teenager who got thrown from the car in an accident and died as a result. Are Car seats for babies another "Big Brother" or as the FOX News crowd calls it, "Nanny State" intrusions?
Childhood obesity and Diabetes (Type II) are a real and present danger. Wake up.
Tennessee already has a tax on soda for good reason. In Appalachia, Pepsi pushed Mtn Dew and the result was kids losing all of their adult teeth by age twelve. Pepsi was shamed on national TV in an expose that uncovered this fact. Now they supposedly "Educate" the public about the risks. Pure crap as they are a significant contributor to this new ad campaign.
The anti-tax ad campaign has begun on the Sunday morning shows Just saw it on Good Morning America)... A housewife unloading grocercies from her hatchback complains that "WASHINGTON" is considering a tax on fruit drinks and sodas. And then goes on to complaign that just a few cents means alot to someone trying to "feed a family".
She repeats the WASHINGTON statement only this time it is directed directly at the lawmakers without referring to them as lawmakers.
What is insidious about this ad is she never refers to the tax as a tax on HIGH SUGAR content drinks, and then directly attacks lawmakers. What is really stupid is one doesn't "feed a family" on high caloric nutritionally empty soda pop.
I wish someone would counter this ad with a statement about childhood obesity, high fructous corn syrup, and the real reason behind the tax.
Anyway you slice it, it is an obvious attempt by large corporations to intimidate our elected officials.
The topic was taxing HFCS and by implication using the USA’s crops to produce several of ADM’s products.
You jump in by trying to justify a tax on HFCS as a way to force us to do what is right for the children by saying, “The President has simply said he believes there is good reason to try to discourage consumption of sugar by our children and he is absolutely right”. That amounts to changing the subject to the health of children to justify more taxation. That is standard technique of politicians.
There was no “far right rhetoric” in what I said. Fox News has shown video on Van Jones and his friends making various embarrassing statements. Now the mainstream media has started to report on ACORN’s many problems. Obama is asked an ACORN question by ABC’s George Stephanopoulos and he claims ignorance of the group’s government support and relations. Fox has shown videos of Obama at ACORN events.
It seems obvious to me that we are judged by the statements we make and the company we keep. I certainly do not agree with everything that the people at ADM do but you call them “corrupt corporate greedy bastards”. Do you consider that statement proper in your self proclaimed dignified discourse?
I put Green on ignore because he is trying to take over the board. You might consider stopping your name calling.
Sorry, but I am not going to play that game with you. I won't dignify your far right rhetoric. I said some positive things about our duly elected President and you went off on a tirade. I really feel sorry for hate mongers like you as you will live out your life being miserable and trying to drag everyone else down in that hole with you.
By the way, one does not have to be a communist to believe that our democratic government should be free of coercion by corrupt corporate greedy bastards like those who run ADM. Rather, I would call that person a patriot.
Lets debate the issues but don't try to defend the tactics they use to intimidate our elected officials.
It takes you over a day to respond to a simple question: Which do your prefer Capitalism or Communism? You respond with: I think perhaps you've been watching too much Fox News.
By not answering my question and changing the subject while implying my choice of news indicates to me that you are a born politician.
It is too bad that you do not understand what <<This is a country "By and For the PEOPLE" >> actually means. It is referring to freedom for INDIVIDUALS not FAILED COMMUNITIES that need COMMUNITY LEADERS to show them how to conduct their lives. Our citizens do not need politicians to decide for them what sweeteners they decide to use. Our country has land primarily suitable for producing HFCS not cane sugar. Taxing HFCS and not cane sugar would be idiotic even for a politician.
Obama knows how to organize communities and play basketball and not much else. Put a hammer or a shovel in his hands and like most politicians it will be obvious that he has no experience with manual labor of any sort. If he wanted to improve the lives of the citizens of the USA he would encourage our farmers to grow crops better suited to maintain and improve the fertility of our soil, like sweet sorghum instead of corn for sugars. If he actually cared and knew how to use a computer to find better solutions to our problems he would know that much.
Even that W dolt found out about Switchgrass and cellulose ethanol technology. Bush even encouraged Wind Farms in Texas, http://www.foreignpolicy.com/users/login.php?story_id=3592&URL=http://www.foreignpolicy.com/story/cms.php?story_id=3592 . Obama gives us Van Jones as an adviser to the White House Council on Environmental Quality to create green jobs, http://www.foxnews.com/politics/elections/2009/09/06/obama-green-jobs-adviser-van-jones-resigns-amid-controversy/ . Which do your prefer Capitalism or Communism?
I think you may be a bit off base here in terms of political pressure on the executive office. ADM has and continues to wage a campaign targeting YOUR legislators. The President has simply said he believes there is good reason to try to discourage consumption of sugar by our children and he is absolutely right. Most responsible parents agree with him on this. Obesity in youth leads to early onset of Type II Diabetes pure and simple. Any of you out there who have a waist size over 40 probably have the disease and may not know it.
I personally find it despicable that these large corporations target our elected officials with negative ads and try to intimidate them. Wise up America and stand up for your principles. Do not let corporations rule this country. This is a country "By and For the PEOPLE" not corporations.
Green's story just shows that not everyone can be intimidated and oh by the way, Obama is from an Ag state. Personally, I think he is a role model for parenting which is way more important in this world than worrying about a few cents tax on soda pop.
yes indeed, big-gov lefties are always concocting schemes to meddle, tinker, intrude and interfere with our lives, our families and our business.
better: big-gov lefty megabuck junkies and their herds of harassacrats on the potomac need to be cut off, dried out and sent to rehab for the rest of their sorry lives.