Friday, April 09, 2010

Carbonated Beverage Tax

Returning to the Pacific Northwest brings a daily joy during the spring and summer months. While productively keeping my household in order, I listen to my favorite sports team, the Seattle Mariners Baseball Club (Ichiro led off the game with a ground-rule double and came around to score as I write).

After 30 minutes of the broadcast, a commercial decries the proposed carbonated beverage tax in Washington State, three times during that span. The merits of the tax are debatable. Seth Godin makes an interesting argument about these types of beverage taxes. What I appreciate about Godin is his creative approach to looking at issues, ideas and concepts. I have to think about the merits of the tax, but the commercial adds nothing to the debate.

I realize the goal of almost any political ad is to create an emotional response. The ad depicts a couple going over their budget. Their budget is busted by taxes on carbonated beverages (Even seltzer water! Even club soda!). I find it amusing that the ad attempts to establish that carbonated beverages are an essential grocery item. Regardless of carbonated beverages value to a diet if carbonated beverages are busting your budget, then you don't know how to live with a budget.

The website (linked above) goes even further, by making carbonated beverage bottlers the victim, that the tax will "depress (nice word choice, eh?)" sales. Carbonated beverage bottlers and companies are far from the ranks of victims.

I am not against the right of free speech for the ad, and I'm not making a statement about the merits of taxes. I am such a victim that the joy of listening to the Mariners game by a terrible ad has been compromised. Woe is me.

Political advertisements with poor emotional baits that do not benefit public discourse on state government revenue? Put it on the Lame List!

I miss Almost Live.