France has announced that it will be adding an extra tax to sugary soft drinks in an effort to combat childhood obesity. The childhood obesity cover story is a sham, as this tax is just an attempt to raise revenue for a government that has spent itself into insolvency. Using the childhood obesity epidemic as a ruse to raise money is cynical, perverse and twisted.
French officials are patting themselves on the backs as they announce that this tax will raise 100 million Euros annually for the government coffers and also be used to lower social security charges on farm workers. So how is this going to fight childhood obesity? Here’s a statement from a great example of a full-of-baloney public official, French MP Gilles Carrez, “This project will have both health benefits as children turn away from sugary drinks, and revenue benefits for our core agricultural workforce.” This is the worst kind of political bullshit.
If anything, Monsieur Carrez and the French government now have a vested interest in their kids, and all citizens, drinking as much soda as possible so that they can raise money for stuff and for France’s agricultural workforce. Meanwhile, governments, so-called public health officials and citizen suckers all around the globe will applaud this maneuver. After all, it’s for the kids! If the government really cared about les enfants they would ban the drinks that are causing so much harm, or charge the fat kids and parents and adults more for consuming them. If the French had any intention of helping their citizens they would put the revenues from the sugar/fat tax into a fund that would be used for health related purposes. Yea, right.
The worst case scenario for these French phonies would be for people to truly turn away from soda and, as a result, not collect the anticipated revenue from this tax. This is as oxymoronic as you can get. Think about how foolish Monsieur Carrez’s position is. Institute a punitive tax on an “undesirable” consumable as a way to raise needed revenue, but hope that the tax dissuades people from buying the allegedly unhealthy consumable, thus not raising the needed revenue! How thrilled would the French experts be to find out that their tax really did keep people from buying regular soda?
And there’s more. Do you think the soda companies will stand to see their market share deteriorate over a couple of pennies tax? Of course not, so they will lower their price so that people don’t stop buying their product. These companies are experts at Value Engineering (lowering prices while raising profits) and will wind up making themselves, and the French government, plenty of money.
Don’t kid yourself; these fat taxes are not about health and are nothing more than a governmental money grab.