This November, voters in Telluride, Colo., will consider Ballot Issue 2A, which if passed would impose a penny-per-ounce tax on all soft drinks sold in town. Supporters of the tax claim that it would help curb obesity. But, if we want to get serious about obesity, it starts with education – not taxes, laws and regulation.
We recently read this op-ed in the Telluride Daily Planet by Dan Lynch, co-owner of Brown Dog Pizza in Telluride, and thought we would share it. In the op-ed, Lynch states:
“First, if fighting obesity were as simple as a tax on soda, we would have taxed ourselves skinny a long time ago. It’s troubling to think that some people in our own town would believe that a tax would make anyone healthier. Taxes don’t make people healthy. Only diet and exercise can do that. We still require physical education in schools. Kids can even take Ski PE. Being active should be a way of life, not a government project. No tax can change how we live our lives here in Telluride, only education and better parenting can do that. If our children need more resources, then our community can find a way to provide that, but it shouldn’t be at the expense of such a small segment of the population.”
We agree with Lynch, taxes don’t make people healthier, diet and exercise do that. He continues:
“Around here, everyone does their own thing and looks out for each other all at the same time. You don’t need anyone telling you what beverage or food to buy any more than I do, and I respect that. And we certainly don’t need to be teaching our children that taxes can replace personal responsibility.”