Taxes Have Consequences

For some unknown reason, politicians love to spend other peoples’ money. And they love to raise taxes to get more of other peoples’ money to spend. However, raising taxes does not always work–sometimes it has unforeseen consequences. The Laffer Curve taught us that.

Last Friday, Investor’s Business Daily posted an article about the soda tax in Philadelphia. It just hasn’t gone as predicted.

The article reports:

That 1.5 cents per ounce doesn’t sound like a lot, but it is. The Tax Foundation notes that it’s “24 times the Pennsylvania excise tax rate on beer.”

“The high tax rate on nonalcoholic beverages makes them more expensive than beer in some cases,” the nonpartisan think tank wrote.

Some people, suddenly facing absurdly high costs for colas, root beers and other soft drink favorites, are turning to alcohol instead.

Probably not what was envisioned with the tax. And the tax has been put on diet drinks as well as sugared ones. So, if they had hoped to alter people’s consumption away from sugar-filled soda toward less-unhealthy, non-sugared alternatives, it was a failure.

Tax increases never sound like much–they are sold that way. Remember the luxury tax that went into effect in 1991 that nearly killed the boat industry. The tax was only supposed to impact the rich, but it caused a serious recession as the impact of the tax began to trickle down.

The article at Investor’s Business Daily further reports:

“Beverage tax collections were originally promoted as a vehicle to raise funds for prekindergarten education,” the Tax Foundation said, “but in practice Philadelphia awards just 49% of the soda tax revenues to local pre-K programs.” The majority of the money goes to government employees’ benefits and local schools that already have funding.

…the tax didn’t bring in the money the city thought it would. The city budgeted a “conservative” $46.2 million in revenues from the tax for fiscal 2017. At current projections, they’ll come up $6.7 million short. Many people are leaving Philly to do their shopping, while others have switched to other beverages, leaving a big unexpected hole in the tax revenue estimates.

“In July, city officials lowered beverage tax revenue by 14%, leaving the prekindergarten programs that the tax promised to fund in jeopardy,” the study said.

Meanwhile, local Coca-Cola and PepsiCo operations laid off nearly 150 workers and pulled some brands off Philly shelves. And angry local businesses are suing the city over the tax.

Raising taxes is never the answer. Cutting spending usually is.

Wisdom Posted By A Friend On Facebook

Shortest Speech by CEO of Coca Cola

“Imagine life as a game in which you are juggling some five balls in the air. You name them – Work, Family, Health, Friends and Spirit and you’re keeping all of these in the air.

You will soon understand that work is a rubber ball. If you drop it, it will bounce back. But the other four balls – Family, Health, Friends and Spirit – are made of glass. If you drop one of these; they will be irrevocably scuffed, marked, nicked, damaged or even shattered. They will never be the same. You must understand that and strive for it.

Work efficiently during office hours and leave on time. Give the required time to your family, friends and have proper rest. Value has a value only if its value is valued.”

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Imposing Portion Control On Sugary Drinks

CBS News today posted an article about the New York City ban on sugary drinks of more than 16 ounces that goes into effect tomorrow.

The article reports:

The cola crackdown goes into effect on Tuesday. The new regulation puts a 16-ounce limit on sugary drinks and applies to both bottled and fountain drinks.

The ban but does not include grocery or convenience stores that don’t serve prepared food. It also does not apply to diet soda, other calorie-free drinks or anything that has at least 50 percent milk or milk substitute.

So when I order my million-calorie pizza for delivery, I can order it with a 2-liter diet soda–I just can’t order it with a 2-liter regular soda. Wow!

Because lattes have more than 50 percent milk or milk substitute, Starbucks can continue offering 20 ounce drinks because of the milk content. Like Dunkin’ Donuts, customers will also be able to add their own sugar to their coffee.

Just for the record, a 20-ounce regular coca-cola has 240 calories. A grande size Starbucks Caramel Macchiato has 224. Coca-cola in that size cannot be legally purchased in a restaurant in New York City, the Caramel Macchiato can.

What this says is that all that the coffee shops  have to do is put the sugar in a place where the customer can add their own sugar to their drink. This will result in higher cost to the coffee shop, more of a mess where the sugar is added, and general inconvenience for everyone involved. It also does nothing to solve the problem of obesity.

This law is government at its worst. New York City has bigger problems than residents buying large sodas.

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Don’t Mess With My Pizza Order

Yesterday the New York Post posted an article about some of the consequences of Mayor Bloomberg‘s ban on serving or selling sugary drinks in containers larger than 16 ounces. That ban means that when you call your local pizzeria for a delivery, that delivery cannot include the standard 2-liter bottle of Coke (which you can legally buy in the grocery store).

The article reports:

Typically, a pizzeria charges $3 for a 2-liter bottle of Coke. But under the ban, customers would have to buy six 12-ounce cans at a total cost of $7.50 to get an equivalent amount of soda.

There is some serious food for thought in the fact that you can no longer get a 2-liter bottle of soda with your pizza. First of all, how many people are going to eat the pizza? If the entire pizza is going to be eaten by only one person, the large bottle of soda is the least of his worries. If the pizza is going to be shared, can we also assume that the soda is going to be shared? Therefore, how can the city know that any one person eating the pizza and drinking the soda will actually get more than 16 ounces of the soda? Therefore, the law probably should not apply.

The article further reports:

Families will get pinched at kid-friendly party places, which will have to chuck their plastic pitchers because most hold 60 ounces — even though such containers are clearly intended for more than one person.

Changes will be made at the Frames bowling alley in Times Square, where 26-ounce pitchers are served at kids’ parties, said manager Ayman Kamel.

“We’re going to try to get creative,” he said, noting drinks with 100 percent juice are exempt from the ban.

“We’re figuring out a way to have freshly squeezed juice for the birthday parties. We might have to raise the price about a dollar or so.”

At this risk of totally skewing the issue, what happens to bars that provide pitchers of beer to tables of patrons? Is beer subject to the same restrictions as soda? Does beer have sugar? Do the carbs in beer count as sugar? Has anyone ever been arrested for driving under the influence of Coca-Cola?

This ban is an exercise in stupidity and unintended consequences and needs to be repealed.

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An Ego With No End

Fox News is reporting today that the Obama Administration has made some small additions at WhiteHouse.gov to biographies of former Presidents–going all the way back to Calvin Coolidge. I am sorry that anyone has the power to tamper with biographical information on the official White House site, but I guess if you are the President, it comes with the territory. President Obama has added little fact boxes at the end of the biographies of former Presidents relating his accomplishments to theirs.

The article reports:

For instance, the following line was added to the official bio of the late President Ronald Reagan: “In a June 28, 1985, speech, Reagan called for a fairer tax code, one where a multimillionaire did not have a lower tax rate than his secretary. Today, President Obama is calling for the same with the Buffett Rule.” 

Well, that kind of egotistic ridiculousness deserves a response, and the people at the Daily Caller were more than happy to provide one. A few of their suggestions:

On his desk in the Oval Office, President Harry Truman had a sign that read, “The Buck Stops Here.” After three years in the White House, President Obama’s 2012 campaign has internalized a similar motto: “The Buck Stops with George W. Bush.”
 
Coca-Cola was first sold at Jacob’s Pharmacy in Atlanta, Ga., in 1886. One of the two main ingredients in the original recipe was cocaine. In 1929, Coca-Cola became completely cocaine-free. During the 1980s, it is unclear if Barack Obama was totally Coca-Cola-free, but unlike Coca-Cola, he definitely wasn’t cocaine-free.
 

 In 1905 Theodore Roosevelt became the first sitting president to win the Nobel Peace Prize. He earned the prestigious award for helping end the Russo-Japanese war. In 2009, President Obama became the third sitting president — and the fourth president overall — to win the Nobel Peace Prize. He won the award for not being George W. Bush.

Please follow the link to the Daily Caller to read the entire article. It is the correct response to the meddling with the presidential biographies at WhiteHouse.gov.
 
 
 
 
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