First They Came for the Smokers…

but I was not a smoker.

Then they came for the soda drinkers; and then I might switch to fla­vor­less diet.

Sen­ate lead­ers are con­sid­er­ing new fed­eral taxes on soda and other sug­ary drinks to help pay for an over­haul of the nation’s health-care system.

The taxes would pay for only a frac­tion of the cost to expand health-insurance cov­er­age to all Amer­i­cans and would face strong oppo­si­tion from the bev­er­age indus­try. They also could spark a back­lash from con­sumers who would have to pay sev­eral cents more for a soft drink.

On Tues­day, the Sen­ate Finance Com­mit­tee is set to hear pro­pos­als from about a dozen experts about how to pay for the com­pre­hen­sive health-care over­haul that Pres­i­dent Barack Obama wants to enact this year. Early esti­mates put the cost of the plan at around $1.2 tril­lion. The admin­is­tra­tion has so far only ear­marked funds for about half of that amount.

The Cen­ter for Sci­ence in the Pub­lic Inter­est, a Washington-based watch­dog group that pres­sures food com­pa­nies to make health­ier prod­ucts, plans to pro­pose a fed­eral excise tax on soda, cer­tain fruit drinks, energy drinks, sports drinks and ready-to-drink teas. It would not include most diet bev­er­ages. Excise taxes are levied on goods and man­u­fac­tur­ers typ­i­cally pass them on to consumers.

Senior staff mem­bers for some Demo­c­ra­tic sen­a­tors at the cen­ter of the effort to craft health-care leg­is­la­tion are weigh­ing the idea behind closed doors, Sen­ate aides said.

The Con­gres­sional Bud­get Office, which is pro­vid­ing law­mak­ers with cost esti­mates for each poten­tial change in the health over­haul, included the option in a broad report on health-system financ­ing in Decem­ber. The office esti­mated that adding a tax of three cents per 12-ounce serv­ing to these types of sweet­ened drinks would gen­er­ate $24 bil­lion over the next four years. So far, law­mak­ers have not indi­cated how big a tax they are considering.

I again ask the ques­tion since it’s my favorite soft drink: Where prey tell, does Coke Zero fit into this grand tax­ing scheme?

Here’s the dirty lit­tle secret boys and girls — Team Obama is run­ning out of options to fund their mas­sive expan­sion and exper­i­ment known as “Government-run, single-payer health care.”  The prime means was to use the “Cap and Trade” scheme to redi­rect tax dol­lars from “evil pol­lut­ing cor­po­ra­tions” to the pro­gram.  All reports cur­rently com­ing from the Hill seems to indi­cate Waxman-Markey will die in sub­com­mit­tee some­time before the Memo­r­ial Day recess.

Option Two appears to be the clos­ing of ‘over­seas tax loop­holes’ which may or may not even come to the light of day.  Option Three was the elim­i­na­tion of the tax deduc­tion for char­i­ta­ble giv­ing.  This too has come under fire.

So,  Obama Trek: The Search for Your Money continues.

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