Can people be taxed into a healthy lifestyle?
If Mom and Dad don't insist that Junior go out and play (and get a little exercise), will taxing soda pop keep Junior healthy?
Apparently the governor and some members of the Legislature think so. The Senate Health Committee will take a vote on Senate Bill 1085 Monday that would put a tax of 1 percent per ounce on sugar-sweetened drinks.
According to a story in the Honolulu Star-Advertiser, the head of the committee (Sen. Josh Green of the Big Island) will ask for the vote.
Proponents say the measure is needed to combat childhood obesity. Does anyone really think that charging a 12-cent tax on a can of pop is going to change Junior's drinking habits?
Does anyone really think that soda pop is as big a contributor to childhood obesity as the inactivity brought on by hour upon hour in front of computers and video games?
Sugary beverages are not new. They were certainly available in the mid-20th century, yet we did not have the obesity epidemic we have now.
What is the answer?
There are some problems that only good parenting can solve. If Junior is drinking too much soda pop, only Mom and Dad can change that.
More importantly, Mom and Dad need to make sure Junior is eating the proper portions of healthy foods and getting off his duff and exercising with his friends.
Government is not a substitute for responsible parenting.
* Editorials reflect the opinion of the publisher.