It’s a proposed tax of 2 cents per oz on sugary beverages (25 calories or more from sugars per 12 oz serving). Who’s in favor? Sounds like the entire medical community. Dentists, pediatricians, nurses, even hospitals.
Who is opposed? Of the 13 paid arguments against in my trusty voter guide, 11 were paid for by the American Beverage Association California PAC. If you can, I highly recommend that you read the arguments against. They’re droll. Things that I assure you the ABA doesn’t care about at all, but that they’re hoping you will. They argue all of the following:
- The tax is regressive
- Parents should decide what their kids eat and drink, not the government
- Cost of living is already high in San Francisco
- Obesity is a complex issue that requires a more complex solution
- The tax hurts small businesses
- Everyone’s grocery costs will increase
But they remain completely silent about what I’m guessing is the true reason they’ve spent almost $8 million on ads against Prop E: that it might hurt their bottom line. I guess the truth didn’t sound like a winning argument. Does anyone honestly believe that the beverage industry cares about any of the above points? No. The beverage industry is panicking over the tax because they think it will be effective in lowering soda consumption.
If there are any San Francisco voters reading this and you haven’t decided on Prop E, consider who has your best interests at heart. The entire medical community? Or the industry that sell drinks containing the equivalent of 10 tablespoons of sugar per can?