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Taxing sugar. Opening Main. Accepting help.

   In 1835, members of the British Parliament looked around, determined that the people were dirty, and repealed the tax on soap.
   In 2010, members of the New York Legislature should look around, determine that the people are fat, and impose a tax on sugary beverages.
   So, sort of, says the lead editorial in today's Buffalo News Opinion section:
- Tax has health benefits - Buffalo News Editorial
    State legislators should think long and hard about eliminating the governor's proposed penny-per-ounce excise tax on sugary beverages, because if they do -- a likely scenario -- they will eliminate a hefty chunk  Adamnewdeal of revenue that will have to be offset elsewhere in the budget.
   New taxes are not a good idea in a high-tax state like New York. But a use tax on a commodity that's not a necessity is not a blanket penalty, and this one carries health benefits to boot.
   The proposed tax on sugary beverages has drawn support as a step toward reducing consumption and, eventually, combating obesity, especially among the young. That would pay dividends in the long run by curtailing needed health care, curbing diabetes and saving lives.
   Health Commissioner Richard Daines has been among those promoting this proposal, and talking to members of the State Legislature in particular about the health benefits and the need to identify another $1 billion in budget cuts if this idea is defeated. During these fiscally difficult times, that warning should gain some traction -- but lawmakers also are worried about a new tax when voters already are angry about state government and an inept and inert governing body.

- Don’t lose sight of Main Street - Buffalo News Editorial
   Sometimes, you just have to bide your time. Talk of reopening Main Street to traffic has gone on so long, it’s hardly surprising that it’s going to go on a while longer before something gets done. Under the circumstances, that’s OK— as long as it does get done, and sooner rather than later.

- Opposition flows from a fear of accepting care -  Matthew Bowker/For The Buffalo News
   Our staunch defense of independence, then, is both honorable and fearful: honorable because in it we take full responsibility for ourselves, fearful because we are afraid of the vulnerability that dependence implies. The exaggerated concern that the health care bill will transform America into a socialist state expresses people’s fear of a society of care where no one really cares, where our last defense against painful vulnerability (our independence) is eroded.

Take us out, Boss:

- George Pyle/The Buffalo News

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Current Affairs | Editorials
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