Poll: Americans say no to soda and candy taxes

A new poll indicates that Americans would like to eat their junk food in peace and without interference from the government.

The poll, which was conducted by Harris Interactive/HealthDay, shows that most Americans do not want their sodas and sweets taxed.

“In the online survey of more than 2,100 adults, respondents were opposed to government taxes on sugary drinks and candy by a more than 2-to-1 margin,” US News writes.

“Between 56 percent and 58 percent said no to such taxes, while only 21 to 23 percent were in favor,” US News adds.

“This is a strong vote against the ‘nanny state,'” Humphrey Taylor, chairman of The Harris Poll, told US News.

“The idea of taxing calorie-rich candies and sodas may be popular with some public health advocates, who see them as major causes of the nation’s obesity epidemic, but it is very unpopular with the public,” Taylor said.

This poll comes on the heels of the much-discussed decision by Mayor Michael Bloomberg to ban the sale of sodas larger than 16 ounces, as well as many schools moving to ban the sale of soda completely.

Many lawmakers have moved to tax food items described as “junk food” to curb the growing obesity epidemic, but the move to specially tax junk foods is a move away from the traditional notion of sin taxes.

“Well now, we’re allowed to put a tax on any single good that we’d like. The biggest one that’s been growing is the sugary sweet beverage, basically just a soft drink tax,” Adam J. Hoffer, assistant professor of economics at the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse, told The Daily Caller News Foundation in an earlier interview.

Hoffer explained that it is a shift away from the idea of taxing “sin.”

“One of the things we ask, is what is sin? These things were chosen originally because they were sinful, and so now we’re applying these selective taxes on foods and things, so are we saying that they’re sinful as well?”