Dear A.G. Bill Sorrell,
What were you thinking proposing a tax on sugary drinks? I mean, I realize that liquid sugar bombs like Amp Energy (58 grams) and Rockstar (62 grams) are making us all morbidly obese. Hell, I practically bleed Snapple Raspberry Iced Tea. But it's not the drinks' fault that water is totally boring without high fructose corn syrup and caramel color.
Anyway, I'd like to submit that I think your idea is crap. Here's why: an extra penny-per-ounce tariff is not going to make me any less inclined to buy my mango-peach CRUNK (56 grams). If you think it will, you're crazy. What do I care about a 16-cent increase?
If you want to disincentivize sweet beverages (or liquid cavities as I call them), you need to make it really uncomfortable for people to buy them. Like I- need-to-take-out-a-second-mortgage-on-my-home-in-order-to-afford-it uncomfortable. Like enema uncomfortable. Take cigarettes. You practically have to be a millionaire to afford them. An average pack of smokes goes for $11 in New York City. That's the level of discomfort you want. Not 16 cents.
However, I realize the state is in a bit of a financial pickle. With Vermont's coffers windblown and nearly barren, we need some cash. To, like, fight obesity and stuff. So how about taxing things besides delicious sugary libations? Below I've listed some possible alternatives to which you can apply a regressive tax to your heart's content. You're welcome.
Top 10 things to tax before sugary drinks:
2. Shorts or pants with words like "Juicy" or "DTF" printed on the ass
3. Rasta colors (but only on white people)
6. The phrase "Not so much"
7. Dresses for dogs
(Tie) 8. Open-mic poetry nights
(Tie) 8. Any sort of 'tini that does not start with Mar