Hooked on Soda Taxes

Science, technology, and life.
Oct. 5 2009 10:08 AM

Hooked on Soda Taxes

When taxes on cigarettes were first proposed, the revenue was supposed to be used to help smokers quit and to prevent others from starting. But it didn't take politicians long to siphon the money away for other purposes. Now state governments count on cigarette revenue to help fund their budgets. We've all become nicotine-dependent.

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Like the tobacco-tax movement, the soda-tax movement began with a rationale of preventing and curing addiction. And like the tobacco-tax movement, it's evolving into a revenue addiction.

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Will Saletan writes about politics, science, technology, and other stuff for Slate. He’s the author of Bearing Right.

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