Seattle’s Democrat Mayor Ed Murray, hasn’t had a particularly good 2017. He’s now facing the allegations from no less than four men who say he molested them when they were teenagers.
So, Murray did what any good Democrat would do to get some favorable press: He decided to tax diet soda because white people drink it.
That’s seriously the incredibly awful rationale behind a new soda tax proposed by Mayor Murray which taxes both diet and regular soda because taxing just the sugared product would disproportionately affect non-whites.
Like many big city Democrat mayors, Murray and his cohort in Seattle leadership originally planned to tax only regular sweetened soda because of what they claimed were health reasons. Murray announced the initiative, which proponents hope will raise $18 million, during his state of the city speech in February.
In a perfect world, given how this has worked out in other cities like Philadelphia and New York, the media backlash would have absolutely killed this initiative.
“The 2-cents-an-ounce tax would apply only to sugary beverages, such as regular sodas, energy and sports drinks, and bottled teas and coffee that are sweetened with sugar,” the Seattle Times reported. “For a 2-liter bottle of Coke, the tax could add $1.35 to the cost.”
The Times came out against it, which seemed pretty reasonable until you realize they weren’t taking a swing at the nanny state. Instead, they said the nanny state needed to check its white privilege.
“Mayor Ed Murray’s proposed tax on sodas exempts one kind of soft drink more typically favored by an affluent, educated and white population in Seattle and beyond: diet drinks,” the Times’ Gene Balk wrote.
The “proposed tax could also place a heavier burden on the very groups it’s aiming to help” and noted that “Asians and whites consume artificially sweetened beverages at a slightly higher rate than blacks or Latinos.”
So, let’s review. Seattle wants to pass a tax on sugary drinks to encourage better health outcomes. However, certain groups that activists deem to be privileged — Asians and whites — already drink the products that would encourage better health outcomes. Therefore, those products should be taxed too, completely negating any purported public health benefit the tax was originally supposed to have.
Needless to say, Mayor Murray disregarded such preposterous advice, instead deciding to push ahead with — nah, just kidding. The Seattle Times reported on April 27 that Murray announced he’s “adding diet pop to the list of beverages covered by the tax.”
The soda tax is clearly the least of the Murray-related outrages gripping Seattle at the moment, although it makes it clear yet again that this is not a man who should be in charge of anything more important than the returns department at Walmart. However, what’s amazing is that Murray is hardly alone. In fact, by the sound of things, Murray actually had to be goaded into this nonsense by people of less sound mind than he is.
So-called “sin taxes” are reactionary, facile, job-killing levies that do little to improve public health. In fact, all they tend to accomplish is feeding the hog that is government inefficiency. However, if you buy the idea that sin taxes are an agreeable form of social engineering, it makes absolutely no sense to also tax the healthier alternatives you’re trying to steer people toward because white people already buy them.
Reason reports that the city council will vote on the measure in June. However, considering that the body has an elective socialist among its numbers and is “notoriously tax-happy,” don’t expect logic to score an upset there, either.
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