In June, lawmakers in Sacramento, with the support of Gov. Brown, passed legislation, Assembly Bill 1838, that bans cities and counties from imposing any additional taxes on sodas and other sugary drinks for the next 12 years (the cities with taxes already in place are allowed keep them).
This would be joyous news if the motivation behind the bill had been to protect consumer sovereignty and personal freedom. Alas, the lawmakers who supported the bill did so for purely strategic reasons: they knew that if they didn’t pass the ban, a voter initiative coming this fall could have made it much harder to local governments to raise taxes in the future. In exchange for the soda tax ban, the voter initiative was withdrawn.
The new law, however, leaves open the possibility of establishing a statewide sugar tax, and many California legislators appear supportive of the idea. The detrimental economic impact of such a measure would be substantial, pushing Californians’ tax burden (already one of the highest in the nation) to new heights.
At least they haven’t put a tax on thingy.
BJORN LOMBORG: How the war on climate change slams the world’s poor.
Activist organizations like Worldwatch argue that higher temperatures will make more people hungry, so drastic carbon cuts are needed. But a comprehensive new study published in Nature Climate Change led by researchers from the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis has found that strong global climate action would cause far more hunger and food insecurity than climate change itself.
The scientists used eight global-agricultural models to analyze various scenarios between now and 2050. These models suggest, on average, that climate change could put an extra 24 million people at risk of hunger. But a global carbon tax would increase food prices and push 78 million more people into risk of hunger. The areas expected to be most vulnerable are sub-Saharan Africa and India.
Trying to help 24 million people by imperiling 78 million people’s lives is a very poor policy.
It’s great statism though.