By Nick Arama
Back five years ago, I remember the story about the soda tax they were imposing in Philadelphia.
Why were they imposing a soda tax on people? As John Stossel explains here, they claimed that it was to raise money for early childhood education, and they all cheered when it passed like the craven clueless bureaucrats they were.
But as Stossel notes, it didn’t quite go as they planned.
5 years ago… I reported on Philadelphia’s new tax on soda. The politicians promised to spend the money on early childhood education.
5 years later… here’s what happened: pic.twitter.com/SFVNU23VEy
— John Stossel (@JohnStossel) December 26, 2023
Immediately, it hurt the poor store and restaurant owners, who often are operating with a tight budget. Then, the other people it hits: the poor customers. But they don’t want to pay it if they can go a couple of blocks away and buy soda without the tax on it. As one woman put it succinctly, “Like who should pay $3.00 for a drink that they used to get for 99 cents?” Well said. Another man sounded doubtful about the money going to preschool and said they weren’t helping him, “They’re tearing me up.”
As Stossel observes, it seemed counterproductive as it hit the poor most — the people who couldn’t afford the extra dollars that the city was now demanding.
What happened? Soda sales naturally dropped by 38 percent.
Meanwhile, alcohol sales went up.
Stossel noted that the citizens of Philadelphia pay 44 taxes. Who the heck would want to live there and deal with all that — in addition to the crime?
I love the pizza parlor owner’s response to the hip-hop arts two-day program.
“Like we need that. Like we need that,” he says derisively.
Stossel relates that the city says they’re “funding the arts.”
“What arts?” the store owner said. “People trying to live!” The city lives in this incredible socialist bubble while crushing the people like this guy. They say they have to raise money, Stossel explains. “Stop stealing,” the store owner says. “That would be nice.”
Five years later, the city councilman Stossel spoke with had left the government.
The pizza parlor was still there, fortunately.
But did the tax money make big improvements to education as they promised?
Not surprisingly, the answer is no. As Stossel details, less than half the money went to that. Most went into the general fund for the politicians to do with what they liked — as usual.