The 'Sin Tax' on Soda Term Paper by Nicky

The 'Sin Tax' on Soda
An examination of New York's proposed excise tax on soft drinks.
# 148810 | 950 words | 3 sources | MLA | 2011 | US
Published on Nov 06, 2011 in Economics (Taxation) , Political Science (U.S.) , Nutrition (Food)

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The paper discusses the proposed creation of a federal excise tax or 'sin tax' upon sugary beverages that aims to finance universal healthcare and to promote healthy behaviors. The paper, however, points out the hypocrisy inherent in this tax; the government subsidizes farmers to grow corn and produce high-fructose corn syrup while penalizing the public for drinking this unhealthy corn syrup in drinks. The paper also notes that sin taxes are regressive; poorer people tend to smoke, gamble, consume alcohol, and eat processed foods more than the wealthy. The paper then considers how this tax could educate many Americans, poor and rich, by highlighting the true nutritional content of many foods they consume and take for granted. The paper reaches the conclusion that the bill seems to have greater potential to do good than harm.

From the Paper:

"One of the proposed fund-raising solutions for the plan has been to create a federal excise tax or 'sin tax' upon unhealthy products, including sugary soda, fruit drinks, energy drinks, sports drinks, flavored beverages and bottled ice teas. Much like the recently proposed and rapidly killed proposed state sin tax in New York State, it would not include diet sodas. "New York Gov David Paterson recently agreed to drop a proposal for an 18% tax on sugary drinks after facing an outcry from the beverage industry and New Yorkers" (Adamy 2009). One of the reasons New York legislators failed to pass the bill, they stated, was its arbitrary nature. However, in defense of their failure to target non-caloric beverages, the bill's supporters noted that reducing sugar consumption was the primary aim of the bill (as well as generating revenue) given the role sugar plays in contributing to obesity, diabetes and other health problems.
"The rationale behind this particular federal excise or 'sin' tax seems sound--to finance healthcare and to promote healthy behaviors, tax an unhealthy product. Healthcare costs will be reduced overall, as well, if people drink less soda. This is the principle behind the sin taxes that exist in every state of the nation upon cigarettes and alcohol. "Excise taxes are levied on goods and manufacturers typically pass them on to consumers" (Adamy 2009)."

Sample of Sources Used:

  • Adamy, Jane. "Soda Tax Weighed to Pay for Health Care." The Wall Street Journal. May 12, 2009.
  • Klein, Ezra. "The Problem with Corn Syrup. The American Prospect. 2008.
  • Montopoli, Brian. "Senate Considers Federal Tax On Soda." May 12, 2009. CBS.

Cite this Term Paper:

APA Format

The 'Sin Tax' on Soda (2011, November 06) Retrieved September 18, 2020, from

MLA Format

"The 'Sin Tax' on Soda" 06 November 2011. Web. 18 September. 2020. <>