A proposed tax on sugary soft drinks didn’t get far in the Kansas Legislature, in part because of strong lobbying by the soda industry. The industry also spent big bucks to beat back soda-tax proposals elsewhere, including New York and Philadelphia. But New York Times economics reporter David Leonhardt predicts that the soda debate is going to be around for some time. “Cities and counties, desperate to find money to pay for schools and roads, are starting to see a soda tax as a way to raise revenue,” he wrote. “The tax also appears to be one of the most promising ways to attack obesity, given the huge role sugary drinks play in the epidemic.” Leonhardt also predicted that in the future “we will probably look back on our gallon-a-week soda habit the way we now look back on allowing children to ride without seat belts or listening to doctors who endorsed Camel cigarettes. We will wonder what we were thinking. Coke and Pepsi, unfortunately, seem willing to do whatever it takes to delay that day.”
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