Reason #8,473 why I hate the Yankees
Merry Christmas 2008

Fat tax hard to swallow

You might never be too rich or too thin, but New Yorkers say that it's the wealthy, regardless of body mass, who should pay more taxes.

That's among the findings of the latest Quinnipiac University poll that questioned New Yorkers about the proposed soda tax.

Sodas (2) Sixty percent of those surveyed oppose the so-called fat tax that would add an 18 percent levy to non-diet beverages. Just 37 percent support Gov. David Paterson's proposal.

Rather, New Yorkers say they prefer taxing millionaires, by an 84 percent to 13 percent margin. As for other products that could be taxed, they suggest tacking on extra charges to cigarettes (73 percent to 26 percent) and alcohol (67 percent to 32 percent).

"Voters aren't swallowing the proposal to tax non-diet soft drinks," Maurice Carroll, director of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute, said today in releasing the poll results.

Agreement among all: Even those who prefer diet soft drinks, which would not be subject to the tax, told Quinnipiac pollsters by a 58 percent to 39 percent margin that the proposed soda tax is a bad idea.

Similar opposition is found in other demographic categories. Democrats oppose the fat tax 54 percent to 43 percent, Republicans 72 percent to 27 percent and independent voters 59 percent to 39 percent.

And there is no Venus vs. Mars issue either. Sixty percent of men oppose the fat tax, as do 59 percent of women.

The bottom line, according to the poll, is that New Yorkers just don't want any more taxes.

By a 53 percent to 40 percent margin, New Yorkers said they do not believe the state budget crisis is serious enough to raise taxes. Another 53 percent say they would rather cope with reduced services than increased taxes.

The sticking point then becomes, which services? Sixty-five percent said they support reducing economic development aid. But just 10 percent support cutting education or health care.

At least the poll has some relatively good news for the governor. By an impressive (or perhaps depressing) 88 percent to 8 percent margin, New Yorkers agree with their top lawmaker that the Empire State is facing a budget crisis.

The bad news for Paterson is that they disapprove, by 46 percent to 40 percent, of the way he is handling the state's fiscal troubles.

If you've an insatiable taste for such things, you can read more about the poll and the fat tax in Politics on the Hudson, The Daily Politics and the Staten Island Advance.

Holidays-header (2)

Time for Christmas baking: As for me, I'm not worrying about diet drinks or diet anything. It's Christmas! That means lots of, as the song says, toys and goodies for everyone!

So I'm off now to help the hubby bake our traditional pumpkin pie. And by help, I mean lick the batter spoon!

All y'all have a great Christmas Eve and a very Merry Christmas!

Sodas photo courtesy Poolie and Flickr Creative Commons


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Hilariously, diet sodas and artificial sweeteners may lead to weight gain (

This is actually the problem with lots of tax plans -- the things people (or their metabolisms) do in response will more than counteract the original intention.

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