Every politician has a pet charity. Unfortunately, politicians fund their pet charities through my income. In case you’ve wondered, this is why I love politicians so much.
State Rep. Gary Bies is just the latest politician to make my “dead to me” list. Dentists urge 2-cent tax on soda.
When state Rep. Garey Bies was growing up poor in a large family, he was thankful for a program in Oshkosh that made it financially possible for him to see a dentist.
That is why the Sister Bay Republican has authored AB 237, a bill that would impose a tax on soft drinks — which dentists say increase risk of tooth decay — to subsidize dental access for low-income people and to pay for dental education.
Come on. If Rep Bies really wanted to do something useful, he could travel the state talking about the value of dentistry and asking private donors to contribute. Trying to force Wisconsin’s taxpayers to contribute is just tacky.
For once, however, an industry trade group actually offers robust opposition to a stupid idea.
“No one will argue that people need dental care and education. They also need vision care and obesity care. Should we tax certain products to pay for that type of help?” asked Brandon Scholz, president and chief executive of the Grocers Association.
“Say people need reading glasses, should we impose a tax of 10 cents on each newspaper? How would your publisher like that? You would say that’s not fair to us or our customers, and we view the soda tax the same way.”
Scholz added that if sugar causes tooth decay, why just pick on soda? How about ice cream or a bag of sugar?
“Once they go down that road, they will tax everything else,” he warned. “And all that money won’t go for the program. It would be diverted elsewhere.”
So very true.
If you’re in the capitol today, and you see Rep. Bies, grab his wallet and pull $10 out of it. I have a few charities I’d like to help. He should approve.