Today is May 6, the date in 1862 when Henry David Thoreau passed away. Thoreau famously refused to pay his taxes because of his opposition to war and slavery, spending a night in jail until someone paid his overdue taxes...
A 2010 study by Yale economist Jason M. Fletcher found that when adolescents stop drinking sugary beverages because of tax increases, they add exactly the same amount of calories from other food or beverages.
The study Ms. Kliff cited even acknowledged this problem, although it was not mentioned in the article. According to the study, “The greatest uncertainty in our analysis is the extent to which a reduction in calories from sugar-sweetened beverages leads to a compensatory increase in calories from food or beverages that are not taxed.”
Heavy-handed tax measures are unlikely to solve the obesity epidemic. If Americans can’t be trusted to control something as personal as our diet, what can we be trusted with?
Scott W. Drenkard, Washington
The writer is an analyst at the Tax Foundation.