There is a better way:
From Thirst for cash brings push to tax sweet drinks
: (excerpts, emp add)
Thirsty for new sources of cash, health-conscious lawmakers in cities and states across the country are reaching for the refrigerator, proposing taxes on sports drinks, teas and soda.
Last year, federal lawmakers dropped a proposal to use a penny per ounce drink tax — an extra $1.44 for a 12-pack of soda — to help pay for health care reform legislation.
Lawmakers in California, New York and Rhode Island are also considering separate drink taxes, like the penny-per-ounce tax initially proposed in Washington, D.C.
According to one count by Kelly Brownell, director of Yale University's Rudd Center for Food Policy and Obesity and a supporter of a tax for nearly two decades, 17 states and three cities have proposed drink tax legislation in 2009-2010.
"The economy being in such terrible shape has raised the need for revenue, and what better way to raise revenue?" said Brownell ...
How about increasing the marginal rate on high incomes, or a tax on wealth (e.g. property)?