In the latest installment of social justice warrior politicians lose their minds, Seattle’s Democratic mayor Ed Murray is seeking to expand the city’s proposed sugar tax to include diet sodas, never mind the fact that diet soda contains no sugar. The reason? No, it isn’t the usual explanations like fighting childhood obesity or to encouraging water consumption or even added revenue, but to attack what he calls “white privileged institutionalized racism”.
Confused yet? Here is the tortured reasoning, along with some background. In February, Murray pushed a two cent per ounce tax on sugary sodas, to be paid by soda distributors. This was estimated to bring the city an additional $16 million per year in revenue. When it was pointed out to the mayor that poor minorities are disproportionately affected by the tax because they consume more soda than whites and that distributors weren’t paying the tax but passing the tax onto consumers, something had to be done. The answer was to add diet soda, which affluent whites drink in mass, to the tax scheme.
Per Lynx Media:
“So Murray added the diet soft drinks favored by his wealthier, whiter constituents to the list of beverages included in the tax — despite the fact that they tend to have no calories and thus do not contribute to obesity and other weight-related health issues.
Calling it an “issue of equity,” the mayor defended the new tax as a means of combating “white privileged institutionalized racism.
His proposal now includes a 1.75-cent tax per ounce on all types of soda, as well as energy drinks, bottled coffees, sweetened teas and fruit drinks, which would theoretically generate an extra $2 million in revenue each year.”
It is surprising that Seattle would be going ahead with the soda tax after the disastrous outcomes of similar tax schemes in other major cities. Philadelphia, for example, where a 1.5 cent per ounce tax was approved last summer and went into effect on January 1, is seeing beverage sales drop over 50% at some stores resulting in hundreds of laid off workers.
The fact that Seattle’s mayor is going full steam ahead with a beverage tax despite Philadelphia’s failure is proving what we’ve always known the socialist/leftist mantra to be: if we can’t all be equally wealthy and happy, then we must do everything we can to all be equally poor and miserable.