By Peter Galuszka

The French, who often come up with the sine qua non many situations, have done it again.

Like the U.S., the French face a troubled economy and a bloated budget. They face credit ratings downgrades. So, the wily ones have decided to slap on an extra tax on sugary soda, alcohol and tobacco. They may also add extra taxes to their super-rich (no problem from me there).

Sugary soft drinks are enormously profitable for their makers such as the Coca-Cola Company and Pepsico. They are also a major cause of obesity in our young and old. Don’t get me wrong. I love soft drinks. I just returned from a trip to DC and my car air conditioner was out. So, once home, I popped open a can of Coke. But this was a little, itty-bitty can, not the 64-ounce monsters you can get at WaWa or 7-11.

I don’t smoke, so I troubles me not if they tax cigarettes many times what they do now. Virginia’s tax rates are rather low for a product that kills 400,000 Americans each year and will annihilate 1 billion globally during this century, according to the World Health Organization.

Alcohol: ditto. I have cut back although I do enjoy a couple of fingers of decent bourbon at the end of a long day. I am willing to pay extra for it.

The French have no problem with vices. So, they understand that it is perfectly OK to tax them extra in tough times. I think they will get something like $16 billion for soft drinks alone, but I could be wrong. It is also OK by me, as Warren Buffett says, to tax the ultra-rich. How much alpha can you stand from your hedge fund anyway?

And it’s a lot better than getting your budget straight on the backs of the poor. That’s what Gov. Bob McDonnell is doing to get his $545 million surplus. He’s cheating our kids out of textbooks and school buses. The Medicaid poor get fewer payments for their hospitals, nursing homes and personal assistants. I guess the rich, who face no such cuts, are more worthy. And, next time you are in a car wreck, the EMT might be a couple of minutes late thanks to McDonnell’s cuts of emergency equipment.

This may not go well with assorted Baconauts and Boomergeddons. But what does Jim Bacon know anyway? He probably can’t even make a decent souffle!

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6 responses to “Vive La France!”

  1. Groveton Avatar

    You were doing so well until you hit that odd jag about Bob McDonnell. The guy who is cheating Biff out of textbooks and buses while he robs the poor of the “personal assistants”. Hyperbole alert! Hyperbole alert!

    The post then quickly declined into the usual class warfare / socialist banter of, “I guess the rich, who face no such cuts, are more worthy.”. As the Great Communicator once said, “There you go again.”. The rich face no such cuts because they work hard and don’t need government handouts. Neither do the middle class but mentioning that runs contrary to doctrine for liberal rhetoric contained in the Saul Alinsky handbook.

    You were doing so well with the sin tax commentary. Why the random assault on Bob McDonnell?

  2. Peter Galuszka Avatar
    Peter Galuszka

    Maybe you should edit me. I cannot pay you but Bacon can. He’s a rich hog!

    Peter Galuszka

  3. I’d agree not to tax the rich who work hard if Groveton agrees to tax the hell out of the ones who inherited it without lifting a finger!

  4. I may not be able to make a soufflée, but I know how to add the accent mark in my posts! Plus, I’m pretty good on a gas-fired grill — now there’s a real *American* cooking technique!

    Here’s my question for you regarding the taxation of soft drinks (and I ask it as someone who has recently shifted from regular soft drinks to the sugar-free variety, which required a major re-setting of my taste buds): Does the tax extend to sugar-free soft drinks, too? If so, I shall have to hoist my tricoleur flag. Vive la Révolution!

  5. don’t get too comfortable with sugar-free drinks… there are apparently some issues with how they mimic sugar.. in the body… and concerns that even sugarless drinks may be involved in Type 2 Diabetes….

    you know one of the things that differentiates the differences between generations is that my generation drinks coffee in the morning… black coffee… and the young(er) generations drink Coke or heavily adulterated sugar coffee with a fancy name and price…

    in terms of taxes.. I generally favor taxes on luxury / consumption items and I’ve warmed to the idea of a tax on stock/bond transactions…

    Use the former to pay for health care and the latter to pay down the debt.

  6. Peter Galuszka Avatar
    Peter Galuszka

    How do you do accent marks in WordPress?


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