Gov. Paterson, who's been quite impressive since taking over for Spitzer (go ahead and put a Kennedy in the Senate, sir, you have my blessing) is going after childhood obesity by suggesting, like with a cigarette tax, a premium charge be levied on all "sugary" beverages as a way to curb purchase and consumption.
Will it work? Hard to say. Is it worth a shot? Heck yeah.
I mean, look, I know plenty of people (like my brothers) that continue to smoke even though they know the health risks and the prices continue to climb and climb and climb and I don't know of too many people that currently drink soda (Wifey!) that will suddenly stop if they get a few extra pennies tacked on the cost of their fizzy-fun.
The charge, in just one state, is certainly not enough to end an epidemic in America either but what it DOES do is start the process. It sees a director contributor to childhood obesity and it is trying to take that threat on. Next might be fatty foods. Then sugary foods. A fast food tax. By the time it is done you might have enough extra taxes to really deter consumption, to raise state funds for education and funding of physical education specifically (let's be honest, Guv, taking gym out of schools is not helping our kids with their weight) and having people think TWICE about what they put in their bodies.
Drink 'em while you got 'em, folks.