The idea of a soda tax has been bantered about in Washington for several weeks now, but it has yet to become a formal proposal. And we hope it doesn't become of a part of the health care reform financing package. More importantly, Americans throughout the country are sounding off that they absolutely don't want this tax added to their every day cost of living, particularly as they're already struggling through a recession. (Yesterday's dramatic drop in the Dow should stymie any thoughts that this recession is behind us.)
So we thought we'd share some views of real Americans gathered by good, old local newspapers and TV stations. And keep in mind, this is just a sampling from a long list of quotes from real people opposed to a tax that will stick it to them in a very real way.
"I think the lifestyle tax is like kicking a dog when it's down. We're already struggling in this economy. Any new taxes are going to put us under. I don't like the idea of government trying to control what I eat or drink by taxing it either," Chris, viewer to KTHV, Arkansas.
"Tax, tax, tax. Get over it already! I'm so sick of taxes. We work our tails off and we pay taxes for being married, buying groceries, gas, etc. We pay taxes on the money we make, spend and even save," anonymous viewer to KTHV in Arkansas.
"The government will try to tax anything. I don't think they are taxing things for people's health. They are doing it to make money, not help people," Josh Rubin, Bthesite.com, Annapolis, MD.
"I don't believe they ought to be regulating what people do - what they eat or drink. I don't know how effective that's going to be. It's not like people don't know what they're eating," Keith Clay, reader, Reporter News, Abilene, Texas.
"I don't know if this tax unfairly hits lower-income Americans - it will affect all people who drink soda and the companies who make it. Personally, I rarely drink soda, but the government shouldn't determine what we should be able to drink and punish us when we eat or drink products. If this reasoning is accepted what will keep them from applying the same logic in the future and taxing pizza and ice cream?" Emily, reader, St. Louis Business Journal.
"This is starting to get personal. While I may not drink alcohol or smoke, I do drink soda and resent the idea of paying higher taxes on it," Angela Etter, The Spectrum, Utah.
"As usual, you have never met a new tax you wouldn't support. Why stop at soda? Why not tax candy, cakes, cookies, pies and pastries? How about taxing hot dogs, lunch meat and snack foods? Or whole milk, ice cream, milk shakes and those fancy lattes that you get at Starbucks or Dunkin' Donuts?" John A. Gaetai, in a letter to the Daily Gazette, Schenectady, NY.
"It's not right. They gotta figure out something else," Anonymous viewer to Fox 8 News in Greensboro, N.C.
"Not spend so much. That's what I do," Anonymous viewer to Fox 8 News in Greensboro, N.C.
"I think it's absolutely ridiculous...," Andrew Marsh, THV 11, Arkansas.
"Congress is talking about a 'bad behavior' tax on beer and soda pop to reduce obesity and fund mega-Medicare. How about a bad behavior tax on government? Slim as the president looks, Uncle Sam is looking like quite the fat boy," Daniel Hemminger, Real Clear Politics.com
Finally, our personal favorite. A quote that we think really sums up views toward the concept of this tax and the very real concern that it represents an over-reach by government into our daily lives.
"What's next? Taxing happiness?" – from Amanda of Oklahoma City to CNN Headline News.