The Root-Beer Blog

I like Root Beer. A lot. Some better than others and some not at all. And, as with anything in life...there must be a story.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Yet Another Soda Tax

First it was the governor of New York, wanting to raise more money for his dwindling coffers. Now it's the current regime and Obama who want to impose yet another tax on people and their carbonated beverages in order to help him fund his socialised medicine scheme.
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.
Mr. Obama and his bureaucratic cohorts are willing to add a "sin tax" on people who just want a few joyous moments with a frosty non-alcoholic beverage. This is just the opening salvo in his tax and spend health rationing plans. No doubt other onerous taxes lay in wait in the wings to fund this debacle. Fat taxes, fast food taxes, non-organic food taxes, organic food taxes and more are likely to rear their ugly heads, just to fund Obama's "health care" plans.

If they pass this one without resistance we can rest assured that they will see this as a sign of weakness and will rush to impose even more taxation measures. That's just the way these people work. Give them an inch and they want a mile. It's only a few cents, right? It's always a few cents here and there, and then pretty soon it's a whole dollar. Every soda you buy today already has embedded taxes in it that the companies have to pass along to the consumer. Fuel taxes, local, state and federal taxes, payroll taxes and a wide variety of incremental taxes that range from local to the federal levels. The politicians are counting on us not caring about " a few cents more". Well, I care.

You should, too. This taxation will be used to fund government controlled medicine. It doesn't work anywhere else in the world, why would we think that a Chicago politician would be able to do any better than anyone else? I certainly don't want the government controlling and rationing health care. They do a lousy job of it already and are more than partially responsible for most of the problems that we do see in our current system. No thanks. Keep your hands of my health care and my little pleasures in life.

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Friday, February 20, 2009

Sugar Gaining Ground

Add Snapple to the list of drinks abandoning HFCS for Sugar. Yeah, I know it's not a beautiful, fizzy beverage, but it's a sign of the times and it is owned by Dr Pepper.
Snapple, once the “official beverage of New York City,” is being redesigned — inside and out — this year.

The popular iced teas are losing the high-fructose corn syrup and the dated font. The bottles are becoming more svelte (to better fit into cup holders, which became a force after Snapple iced teas were originally introduced). The labels will also emphasize the green and black tea leaves used to make the drink. The changes are rolling out over the first few months of the year, and they are expected to hit New York in early March, according to Dr Pepper Snapple Group, which is now the owner of the brand.

Snapple, which once defined the genre of specialty tea, now finds itself fading in an increasingly crowded field of competitors. The brand, which passed through many hands before landing as part of Dr Pepper Snapple, went through a round of focus group testing over the last two years.

“Through that work we really found that Snapple had lost of its luster and had been replaced in the minds of consumers by other beverages out there,” said Jim Trebilcock, an executive vice president with Dr Pepper Snapple.

(For example, President Obama prefers (the more lightly sweetened) Honest Tea, and the White House is now stocked with his favorite flavors, Black Forest Berry and Green Dragon.)

Real sugar is replacing the corn syrup. (Sugar vs. corn syrup, by the way, is the difference between Mexican and American Coca-Cola.) In some cases, that has actually resulted in a decrease in calories.

The old ingredient list for Lemon Snapple Iced Tea: “water, high fructose corn syrup, citric acid, tea, natural flavors.” Calories: 200. The new ingredient list: “filtered water, sugar, citric acid, tea, natural flavors.” Calories: 160.
Now if only Coke and the other people out there would hop on the train. And I'm pretty sure that Obama has nothing to do with their decision, despite his inclusion in the article.

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Saturday, January 31, 2009

Repent Soda Sinners!

Apparently, the governor of Massachusetts thinks that those of us who like to consume a few "empty calories" via a Root Beer or Soda are sinners and in need of additional taxation. It's yet another, in a long line of attempts at behaviour modification by the powers that be to encourage us to act and consume the way they wish us to. At the same time these nanny staters want to fill their coffers by taxing the population segment that they wish to modify.
When Governor Deval Patrick proposed a 5 percent premium on sugary treats this week, his administration presented it as a sin tax with a bonus: Imposing such a levy, a briefing paper pledged, "is a critical first step in discouraging the consumption of these empty calories."
Thankfully, I am not a resident of Taxachusettes, nor am I likely to ever be, but the innocent people who like a good Soda, or one of the excellent regional Root Beers have to bear the burden of these nonsensical do-gooders. Enough is enough, isn't it? Once upon a time there were some Bostonians who had the courage to protest a tax increase on their beverage of choice. Where are those people now? If you won't protest a 5% tax on your Soda or Root Beer then what will you speak out against? Very little, it seems.

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Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Soda Vs. Pop

When I was growing up in the South it was not odd to have an aunt or a friend or someone utter the words, "Let's go get a Coke". It didn't mean that I had to end up with a Coca~Cola product, either. In fact it was more likely that I'd end up with a Barq's, Nehi or other yummy bubbly beverage. My aunts would almost inevitably get an RC or Dr. Pepper. The fact that it was also pronounced "Cocola" made no difference, either. It was just what all soda water based drinks were (and likely still are) called in the South.

Well, the folks at The Pop vs. Soda Page have popped back up onto the radar again with their excellent map on the subject of what our favourite beverages are called by region. I was surprised to see that in my current region the Southern "Coke" is more common than Soda or Pop. Must have been an influx of Southerners into the region at some point in the past. Interesting.

Of course, where I grew up, if you wanted a Root Beer you asked for a Barq's. Just because it was the best on the market.

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Friday, November 16, 2007

New Push On Against Root Beer And Sodas

First they came for the smokers and I screamed my head off, even tho I wasn't a smoker. Then they came for the trans fats and I screamed my head off again, even tho I avoid trans fats. Now they're coming for Root Beer and Sodas and I'll scream my head off again, for all the good it'll do.

It seems that the nannies over at the Centre for "Science" in the Public Interest and some of their fellow traveller busybodies are looking to attack bubbly beverages now. They are even going so far as to propose "modest" taxes on effervescent wonders to be used to fund themselves.

Consumer groups on five continents are promoting a new “Dump Soda” campaign to educate people about the links between soft-drink marketing and rising childhood obesity. “Multinational giants like Coca-Cola and PepsiCo are flooding the world with beverages that are nothing more than ‘liquid candy,’” said Bruce Silverglade, legal director of the Washington, D.C.-based Center for Science in the Public Interest, which is coordinating the campaign with the International Association of Consumer Food Organizations. “As a result, consumers, including children, in all corners of the globe are increasingly developing obesity, ‘adult onset’ diabetes, and other health problems.”
Their demands include asking governments to require soft-drink producers to stop advertising sugar-laden beverages to children under 16 and to impose a modest tax on soft drinks to fund nutrition and fitness programs. The campaign also promotes the marketing of lower-sugar products, selling existing products in smaller portions, and stopping sales of sweetened beverages in all public and private schools, from elementary to high school.

It's all for the children again. Sheesh. Of course they failed in their "science" part, again. The vast majority of drinks on the market do not contain sugar. That's obvious from only a cursory glance at a label in most countries, especially the US. Most are sweetened with high fructose corn syrup. If they would actually champion sugar as the primary sweetener, rather than nanny banning and taxation, they might actually get my attention in a positive manner. Instead they have, once again, aroused my ire with their latest anti-everything good campaign.

Environmentalists and nannystatists seem to go hand in hand, these days. Wishing to impose their tofu and water lifestyles on everyone else. All for their own god, of course. Well, guess what folks? I am the final arbiter of what goes into my body and that of my children. Not you. Not your "scientists" and certainly not the politicians you will manage to sway with your "oh so caring" rhetoric. You people will be in for a fight on this one. Here's my line in the sand.

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