We have been told that Cook County Board President Preckwinkle's new "soda tax" has been enacted as a public health measure. Specifically, heavily taxing sugar-based drinks aims to reduce consumption and, thereby, seeks to attack health scourges like obesity and diabetes -- which are fueled by such drinks.
I'm sure the wise souls on the county board did the research and expect that their action will have the positive effect they seek. Success, for them, would be a complete reduction of consumption of such drinks to zero. Thanks to this board, that is what we can expect. Or, can we?
If the county board truly believes the boatload of nonsense they have been putting out, why would they expect $67.5 million in revenue from the soda tax in 2017; and $200.6 million in 2018? Why would they plug any revenue from this source into their budget if they truly believed the initiative was going to actually work?
The truth, of course, is that they do not believe it will work, and they don't want it to work. The soda tax has nothing to do with public health and is just another insidious grab of personal liberty and money from taxpayers by a bloated, corrupt, ineffective and soulless unit of the "nanny state." The board's bogus commitment to public health is further belied by its exempting purchases by those on welfare (with SNAP Cards) from paying the tax.
Additionally, the soda tax is bad for business. Those who can will switch to tap water in restaurants and buy their packaged goods outside of Cook County.
The courts, or the board itself, must dump the soda tax law; and the voters should dump all of the tone-deaf, thoughtless characters on that board who voted for it.
Charles F. Falk