Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Fat Chance

It now appears that New Yorkers are less then enthused about the Paterson soda tax-let's call it sugar shock. As Liz points out this morning, the Q-Poll reports: "..New Yorkers could stomach a host of tax increases on everything from alcohol to cigarettes, but don't support Gov. David Paterson's proposal to tax sugary drinks. Poll respondents opposed the so-called "fat tax" 60-37 percent, and even diet soda drinkers rejected the measure, 58-39."

In addition, most folks recognize the seriousness of the crisis, but shy away from supporting higher taxes: "Eighty-eight percent of voters agree with the governor that the state is facing a massive budget crisis, but they much prefer (53-36) cutting services to raising taxes. Sixty-five percent said cutting economic development aid is fine with them. There wasn't nearly as much support for slashing either health care or education spending (10 percent in both cases)."

There is, however, support for higher sin taxes: "Voters opposed raising taxes on gas (79-19), but were fine with the idea of so-called "sin taxes" including boosting the current tariff on cigarettes (73-26) and alcohol (67-32)." Soda apparently isn't as sinful as the Nutrition Nazis allege.

What we now need from the governor and the legislature is a carefully crafted approach to cutting government waste-even if its in the health care or education areas. What we don't need is for the Democratic tail to start wagging the party dog; and for a giant Bronx cheer to be given to all of the state's hapless tax payers and small businesses.