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Increasingly vocal calls for taxes on sugary drinks and junk food are fueling a behind- the-scenes battle that public health officials say is reminiscent of America’s war on cigarettes.
Fueling the debate are revenue-hungry federal, state and local governments officials who are eying a potential $50 billion windfall from taxes on over 10 years.
Take a look at the New York City Department of Health’s ad discouraging people from drinking sugary sodas, and let us know whether you think a junk food tax would be good public policy, or an intrusive step too far by the nanny state.
What these three high-profile nominees to President Obama’s White House have in common, besides not wanting to be distractions, is that they apparently don’t know how to do their taxes. Daschle, the former senator and Obama’s choice for health secretary, and Killefer, a former assistant Treasury secretary and nominee to oversee the government’s budget, have withdrawn their nominations because of tax indiscretions. Geithner has been confirmed but his path to the top of Treasury was also marred by tax troubles that some fear may come back to haunt him.