And, this fact was made startlingly clear by yesterday’s announcement from the Obama Office of Management and Budget that the annual budget deficit that was projected at $1.75 trillion in February has grown in just two months to $1.84 trillion. What’s $9 billion between friends?
The question now becomes: Will this trend of non-change continue in the next 100 days? And, I’m afraid that the answer is yes.
Take for instance the proposals that some Democrat Senators are now considering to pay for President Obama's proposed health care plan -- priced at roughly $1.2 trillion.
To help pay for the plan, they are considering new federal taxes on soda and other sugary drinks.
The Congressional Budget Office estimates that adding a 3-cent tax per 12-ounce serving of soda, fruit drinks, energy drinks, sports drinks and ready-to-drink teas will result in $24 billion for the federal government over four years. And proponents of the tax note that it would reduce health problems related to obesity, diabetes and more by limiting consumption of the sugary drinks.
The concept is tried-and-true: Raise revenue while also forcing government-approved changes in behavior. In the past, these “sin taxes” have been levied on items like alcohol and cigarettes. Now it seems that juice boxes are making their way on the list – somewhere between Marlboros and Jim Beam, I guess. How have we survived as a society for this long with our children drinking Gatorade, Capri Sun, and Coke?
As Susan Neely, president of the American Beverage Association points out, "taxes are not going to teach our children how to have a healthy lifestyle."
This is just another revenue-raiser that Washington wants to spread across a broad base of American consumers – and it will hit low-income Americans hardest of all – to pay for ever-expanding government programs.
Washington taxes too much, spends too much, and borrows too much. It's time to hold Washington accountable. I have a hard time believing that this is the "change" so many Americans were looking for.
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