• Why stop at sugar?
    March 09,2013

    I have just read the Times Argus editorial in support of the soda tax. I have to agree the Legislature is really on to something here and that it could easily help win our race to the top of the list of most heavily taxed people in the country. But in the interest of fairness, equality and revenue enhancement, other sugary food items should be included in this revenue generating and obesity fighting scheme. As pointed out in the editorial, one can (eight ounces, I presume) of cola contains eight teaspoons of toxic disease-causing sugar. That’s 32 grams of sugar. Pure Vermont maple syrup has about 36 grams of sugar per teaspoon. That, friends and neighbors, is 400 grams per eight ounces. Clearly this stuff is more toxic than nuclear waste from Vermont Yankee, and in fairness should be taxed accordingly. Shall we talk milk, five-pound bags of sucrose, corn syrup, molasses — well, never mind. You get the point. There’s big untapped tax money here.

    As the editorial points out, there is other stuff that could, using the soda tax logic, further enhance Vermont tax revenues and help us win the race to the top of the list of most heavily taxed people in the nation. I’m talking fat and salt. By the Jesus, I bet you could generate at least half a buck of tax from a large pepperoni pizza. Think of the possibilities, hot dogs, bacon, ham, pickles, lard, Crisco, Cabot cheese, etc., etc., ad nauseam.

    Further, I also propose that the Legislature should investigate a very dangerous chemical solvent that is pervasive in our environment and ripe for taxation for the good of our citizens. This stuff, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, causes, on the average, 10 deaths per day, and between 2005 and 2009, 3,533 people in the U.S. died owing to exposure to high concentrations of this chemical solvent. This chemical is so abundant that it could be taxed by the gallon, as is gasoline, and still generate big tax bucks. Quite obviously dihydrogen oxide is a prime candidate for revenue enhancement. Never heard of dihydrogen oxide? You must have not taken high school chemistry — or you did but did not remember any of it. Dihydrogen oxide is water. Tax it!

    Roy Bair

    East Montpelier

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