The soda tax is a great idea, and its probable death at the hands of lobbyists serves to highlight all the problems with our tax system, writes David Leonhardt in the New York Times. The current system doesn’t raise enough money, and it’s “complex in all the wrong ways,” a vast labyrinth of deductions, subsidies, and extra taxes devoid of logic.
We should be taxing activities that place a cost on the rest of society. That discourages that activity, and helps cover the costs of troubles that persist. Soaring soda consumption—it’s more than doubled since the 1970s—has unquestionably contributed to the obesity epidemic, contributing to costly health issues like diabetes. Soda should be taxed. Instead? The US gives subsidies to corn syrup.