Reflecting on the soda pop impost



Some people won’t swallow

The new tax on soda.

Their lives would be sweeter

They think with its coda.


Filed under: Food and Drink, health


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  • I thought the rhyme was "cola."

    The tax is a hypocritical mess, especially since diet pop is taxed.And it is now in everyone's face, because since it is so arbitrary, stores in Cook County have to put a sign under each item that is taxed. For instance, apple juice isn't, but reconstituted apple juice is.

    But this is the greatest economic development plan for Lake County ever. On my way to dinner at somewhere at 185 N, I stopped at the Jewel at 79 N. and took advantage of the $2.47 a 12 pack, must buy 4, limit 8, of diet pop.* The talk in the aisle was "there's no tax here." Sign printers are also cleaning up. Besides the signs in Cook County I mentioned, the "No Cook County Cigarette Taxes" ones have been changed to "No Cook County Taxes," and even the restaurant where I ate has a "No Cook County Soda Tax."

    I may have goofed on my last political prediction, but I don't see how Bloomberg can save Preckwinkle with an 85% unfavorable rating. That's even worse than Boy's boy.
    *For some reason, Mariano's in Buffalo Grove did not honor the Mariano's Glenview ad.

  • Sumptuary taxes have been around for hundreds of years. They serve a double purpose; they raise revenue while discouraging unhealthy or immoral behavior. The most common ones today are alcohol and tobacco taxes, but they have included such things and luxury goods and playing cards.

    Taxes on soft drinks and other sweetened beverages seem to me to be a reasonable sumptuary tax. It raises revenue and discourages unhealthy conduct. Such taxes are most apposed by those who are engaged in the taxed industry and the consumers of the taxed goods. Some addicts will go to other jurisdictions to purchase the taxed goods, but a child trying to decide whether to buy a coke will not go to Lake county. No tax will eliminate unhealthy behavior, but this one may discourage it.

  • In reply to jnorto:

    Then why:
    1. Are they taxing diet beverages? What's so unhealthy about them?
    2. If we are to believe the doctors who say they see all the obese 5-year ikds, their parents, ahunts, or whatever are buying for them, and since the docs work for the county, I bet those parents are exempt from paying the tax because they are on SNAP.

    In short, it is blatant hypocrisy, and Philly shows that Preckwinkle won't collect the taxes she thinks. Remember she also engaged in the deception of campaigning on repealing the Stroger sales tax and then reimposed it. No matter what term you want to put on the tax (why didn't she raise the cigarette tax to $4/pack?) maybe, for once, Democracy will work in Cook County. As I said,I'm voting for her opponent and I'm taking my business elsewhere (actually somewhere that is much closer than the alternatives in Cook County. It was bad enough that most eating places charged a 12% sales tax, taking the chance that the soda tax will be charged on something like hot chocolate, which it has, is too much)..

  • In reply to jack:

    As to your point 1, there are a number of articles on this. One recent one from Forbes is:

    Point 2, more than poor kids drink this stuff and more than Cook County Hospital employees conduct these studies. Beyond this we get the picture: you will not be voting for Preckwinkle.

  • In reply to jnorto:

    Forbes: Interesting that none of the doctors on the public payroll are advertising that old folks who drink too much diet pop are having strokes. Certainly Bloomberg could have found some doctor at NorthShore Medical Group to say so, but he didn't. I bet caffeinated coffee is worse. And the Forbes article says "Why might diet sodas contribute to these risks? So far nobody knows for sure," So, it sounds like the usual 12:20 Medical Watch on WGN that anything you eat is both good and bad for you, according to some study or the other.

    Point 2: My point was that someone's parent is paying for it. For instance, there is a $2.75 20 ounce machine at the park district,but I've never seen a child put a coin into it, at least not before asking a parent for it. Maybe not coincidentally, the vendor raised the price of the snacks by 25% to 35%. Let the vendor play that economic gamble, but again, kids ask their parents for the money. Bloomberg's money would be better spent educating those parents. He should also educate the parents to lay off the bacon and the Big Macs, too, both themselves and their kids.Maybe he can organize a car pool to the Whole Foods in Englewood. That at least would be constructive.

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