Must-Watch Video for Mayor Bloomberg: The Nanny Tax Rap

June 1, 2012

This week New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg announced that the city was going to ban the sale of sodas in containers larger than sixteen ounces as a way to combat obesity. Experts in the field interviewed by NPR, however, quickly cast doubt on the idea that such a policy would actually help reduce obesity or obesity-related health problems.

While this latest policy is a ban rather than a tax, it’s similar to many proposals across the country which would increase taxes on soda, candy, snack foods, and any other category of food or drink that has been tagged as contributing to obesity. As Tax Foundation economist Scott Drenkard wrote last year, there are a number of practical problems with these taxes, not the least of which being that consumers will often substitute other high-calorie beverages or foods, which can have the effect of actually increasing total calorie consumption.

With that in mind, we’d like to suggest that His Honor the Mayor take a look at our Nanny Tax Rap video, to understand the consequences of implementing ever more discriminatory taxes on disfavored products.

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