Monday 1 May 2017

The soda tax scam

News in from Seattle...

Today Mayor Ed Murray announced his revised proposal for a tax on sodas and other sugary beverages, which will now also apply to diet soda and similar drinks.

That's right, it's another 'sugar' tax being rolled out to drinks which contain no sugar. Another supposed anti-obesity measure being applied to products which contain no calories. Just like in Philadelphia, just like in France.

It's almost as if the whole soda tax ruse is just another way of the government dipping its greasy hands into the pockets of the gullible public and has nothing to do with health. Say it ain't so!

And if you think the money raised will go towards tackling obesity, you haven't been paying attention. Oakland, California is the latest place to let the mask slip...

Oakland council members blast Mayor Schaaf for soda tax ‘bait and switch’

Three council members are blasting Mayor Libby Schaaf’s plan to spend revenue from a successful soda tax measure to help close the city’s budget deficit, calling the mayor’s proposal a “bait and switch” on voters.

Voters in November passed the penny-per-ounce tax on the promise that while the tax revenue would go to the general fund, it would be spent on an advisory board to use the money to fight childhood obesity and educate the public on the health risks of drinking soda.

Councilmembers Annie Campbell Washington, Desley Brooks and Rebecca Kaplan, who co-authored the measure, said the mayor’s final budget proposes using the revenues to fill the city’s budget deficit.

To be fair, it's better for taxpayers' money to go towards fixing potholes than to be dished out to the venal 'public health' industry, but that is not how soda taxes are sold to the public. If the dumb saps of California knew that the cash would go towards budget deficit reduction they would, quite reasonably, say that the money should be raised through general taxation rather than a regressive sugar tax.
The fact that nanny state twonks are being prevented from squandering soda tax revenues is the heart-warming silver lining of this cloud, but it doesn't stop the whole thing being a massive scam.

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