TaxProf Blog

Editor: Paul L. Caron, Dean
Pepperdine University School of Law

Saturday, April 26, 2014

Et Tu, Peter Orszag?

Diet CokeFollowing up on my post, Farewell, My Friend, in which I recounted how I have reduced my Diet Coke consumption by 75% (on the way to 100%):  Bloomberg View:  Your Diet Coke Won't Kill You, by Peter R. Orszag (Citibank; former Director, Office of Management & Budget):

When I was director of the Congressional Budget Office, I was testifying so frequently to the Senate Finance Committee that the chairman granted me a special exception to the committee rules: He allowed me to drink diet soda rather than just water during hearings. At my peak, I was downing up to eight diet sodas a day.

My family did not think this was such a great idea, and at their urging I have largely eliminated my diet soda drinking. Recent data from Beverage Digest suggest others are cutting back also; consumption of diet sodas fell more than that of sugary sodas in 2013. “While the health risks of sugary sodas have been publicized for some time, the growing public aversion to diet drinks -- with many believing artificial sweeteners are also unhealthy -- has caught the industry somewhat off guard," the Wall Street Journal noted.

This raises two questions: Why is total consumption declining, and is drinking diet soda harmful to health?...

I’m glad that my family succeeded in getting me to shift away from diet soda and toward tea. Yet I’d say the case is still out on whether my health was ever at risk.

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Congrats! I also cut out Diet Coke from my life. Regardless of what studies say, I am better off not drinking any soft drink.

Now for a tax question.
What are the tax advantages for making lifetime gifts instead of passing everything at death? The only one I can think of is the ability to gift the annual exclusion amount.

Posted by: AJ | Apr 26, 2014 7:59:44 AM