A recent article in the New England Journal of Medicine suggests that a small soda tax could help curb obesity and generate millions of dollars in revenue for cash-strapped states.
The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation provided a summary of the report online including a link to the full report:
Soda Tax Calculator
Very much related, the Rudd Center for Food Policy and Obesity created an online tool that calculates the amount of money states could generate from a soda tax. For example, if Missouri adopted a soda tax of 2 cents per 20-ounce soda, the state would raise over $36 million in 2010 alone. You can access the soda tax calculator here:
Isn't it Ironic?
One of the reasons soda is so darn cheap is because the US government subsidizes the production of corn and therefore, the production of high-fructose corn syrup, which is the second ingredient in soda. In fact, the cost of soda has decreased by over 20% while the price of fresh fruits and vegetables increased by nearly 40%. Now, the government is considering taxing these sugary sodas.
So in essence, the government is paying to make soda cheap and then taxing soda to raise money to solve the problems that soda contributes to, such as rampant obesity and type II diabetes. There's a lesson in unintended consequences somewhere in there...