February 12, 2010
Letter to the Editor
Are taxes about money or choice?Question: What do the so-called sugar tax on soft drinks, the added tax on cigarettes and the expansion of the bottle bill have in common?
Answer: Proponents who contradict themselves.
Michael Seserman ("Keep taxing, for kids' sake," letter, Feb. 10) states that "the resulting price increase will reduce soft drink consumption and smoking, especially among children, while raising revenue." If he really expects it to reduce consumption, how is it going to raise revenue? Apparently, Mr. Seserman hopes that those who don't quit will actually increase consumption.
The same question could be asked of Gov. David Paterson. The goal of the expansion of the bottle bill was to help the environment and raise revenue. Well, if he expects people will recycle more, how is it going to raise revenue? Apparently, he hopes that we are all stupid and don't make the connection.
I know I will read a letter in the Times Union in the coming days stating that this letter suggests that it's OK for children to be fat, smoke and litter. But that's clearly not the case. It's about freedom of choice and accepting the consequences of our choices.
Or is it about money?