Oh, that wrong-headed, stupid, hypocritical, annoying, thieving, inconsistent, phony, unfair, asinine and just plain dumb--and now repealed as of December 1--Cook County soda/sugar tax.
All you have to know about the cockamamie tax is this: diet soda, without a speck of sugar that can make you fat and unable to run was taxed. Just like fruit juice if it had added sugar. Just like soft drinks with sugar.
Whole Foods Italian Soda, made with fruit juice but loaded with sugar, wasn't. Same as Izze Soda made with fruit juice and no sugar.
Craziness was the name of the game.
This idiotic, cockamamie tax--geared to keep the Cook County bloated budget as bloated as ever by arbitrarily taxing certain drinks a penny an ounce drove me nuts.
A few of the other cruel ironies?
- What if everyone listening to those dumb commercials that made the sugar tax sound like the Second Coming did the trick and everyone stopped buying drinks that were taxed? (Or at least started running to the collar counties to buy those drinks?) The County would have outsmarted itself, right? Their bloated budget wouldn't be balanced with the tax, would it?
- Are soda pops and fruit juices with added sugar the only things that make people fat? How about potato chips, cookies, cakes, red meat, cheese, taco chips, salami, whipped cream and fruit juices without sugar? Not to mention anything eaten to excess, no matter how healthful and low-cal. Not to mention watching TV and being on the computer all day--and not exercising. Why not tax people who buy health club memberships but never use them? How about a head tax on all those new restaurants that serve French fries made with duck fat? Or breakfast places that serve whipping cream with their coffee? At least they'd be taxing people who could afford it.
- And what about all those arrogant, do-gooder doctors who allowed themselves to be used for such a cynical purpose as pushing this cynical political tax? The ones who talked about children who were too fat to run because they apparently drank soda and fruit juice with sugar and sugar-free soft drinks? Let's face it. They were talking stereotypes. About poor children whose parents didn't know any better than to shove these liquids down their throats, and maybe even put it in their baby bottles. But guess what? Poor people in Cook County who use Link cards don't pay taxes on their groceries. And income doesn't account for common sense anyway. Everyone knows what causes obesity.
- And then there's former New York mayor Michael Bloomberg. You may call him Mr. Elitist. Or Mr. Buttinski. Why is he mixing in and spending $10,000,000 of his fortune on ads trying to slim down Cook County fatties with a cynical tax that everyone knows would have NO possibility of slimming down anything but his fortune. Not to mention the revenues of the stores in Cook County that sell all that stuff. (Don't they have fatties in New York he could work on slimming down?)
- And last but not least, why was diet soda taxed? And some soda with sugar not taxed?
If Cook County politicians were serious about their constituents' health, there are a lot of things they could do.
If it's really killing us, they could outlaw the stuff they were taxing. Make it illegal, just like heroin. That might send the right message.
Or, if their hearts were really in the right place, instead of imposing a ridiculous tax that wouldn't help anyone but the dead weight, politically connected crumbums on their payroll--whose salaries they are aiming to preserve--how about an education program that gets us off the sugar and the fats and the simple carbs?
How about scaring the hell out of us by showing how those foods, and just too much food, in general, turns into fat--unless you exercise most of the day--and how they do cause heart and kidney problems and the inability to run. And all the rest of the stuff Bloomberg's commercials told us, which made no sense for the purpose of a tax that was outrageously stupid and unfair.
Well, we had that education program these last several weeks, didn't we? Paid for by Mr. Bloomberg. Take the tax out of it and what did we see? The beginning of truth-telling by the County about what we eat and drink. And what it does to us. Was there anyone who saw them who didn't start thinking about the amount of crap they were eating that was making them fat and sick?
Hey Bloomberg, if you really care, keep the education coming. Buy commercials on the dangers of sugar and everything else that makes us fat that we can do something about, like not consuming it anymore--and keep scaring the bejesus out of us all.
There may not be a sugar tax as of December 1, but if everyone reduces their daily consumption of what was taxed--and other fattening foods--maybe the County really will save the money spent on the side effects of being fat that the cynical commercials highlighted.
But I suspect the education will stop now. Because all the politicians really care about is maintaining a bloated budget and maintaining their jobs on voting day--and they feared this senseless tax might have prevented that. They really have no interest at all in bloated people.
Unless they're paying a penny an ounce for a pound of flesh.
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