In a classic redistribute-the-wealth, liberty-robbing effort by nanny-state liberals, the non-profit Praxis Project, a “movement support intermediary committed to capacity building for social change”–like I said, nanny-state liberals–has filed a lawsuit against the Coca-Cola Company for engaging in what they call “tobacco industry advertising tactics.”
The tobacco industry comparison is intentional, and a clear indication as to the strategy nanny-state liberals intend to pursue. Just as the left accused the tobacco industry of allegedly minimizing the health hazards of smoking, the social change activists at Praxis are accusing Coca-Cola and the American Beverage Association of minimizing the health impacts of sugary drinks; particularly to children.
The lawsuit strategy is the logical next step to what will likely result in a class-action lawsuit by the states in an effort to recoup Medicaid and other healthcare costs incurred in the treatment of sugar-induced illnesses. Building on the growing acceptance by cities across America of using soda taxes to discourage the consumption of sugary drinks, this movement will march on until “big soda” (their words) is properly punished for being a free market success.
After all, Coke “didn’t build that.” And if they did, it was on the backs of diabetic children.
Besides the obvious Orwellian effort to control another area of our lives, this “sin tax” approach is simply unsuccessful at accomplishing anything other than filling government coffers.
For instance, when nanny-state liberals sued the tobacco industry “for the children,” the embezzled money each state received–paid in perpetuity–was supposed to fund tobacco prevention programs. Unfortunately, that didn’t happen. In 2016, less than 2% of the tens of billions received by the states was spent on smoking prevention programs; the other 98% went directly into their general funds.
In states where increased taxes have been used to discourage smoking, overall revenues have actually declined. In New York, where you will find the highest cigarette taxes in country–a pack of smokes in New York City can run you as much as $10.60–revenues fell over $400 million over the five-year period following an increase in the cigarette tax from $2.75 to $4.35 in 2010. Additionally, New York’s outrageous taxes have given rise to a cigarette black market.
An interesting side-note: Leading terrorist organizations provide a huge portion of black market tobacco, and they use that income to finance their activities around the globe.
The nanny-state shake-down of the tobacco industry prove the motivations behind the attacks on the beverage industry, and some of the unintended consequences that can result.
By the way, former New York City Mayor Michael “No Big Gulps” Bloomberg is a financier of the war against “big soda.” Based on his work since leaving office, his commitment to nanny-state government, and the growing acceptance of soda taxes, the threat to liberty from folks like Bloomberg is very real.
David Leach is the owner of The Strident Conservative, your source for opinion that’s politically incorrect and always “right.” His articles can also be found on RedState.com.
His daily radio commentary is nationally syndicated with Salem Radio Network and can be heard on stations across America.