From Jerry Rogers:
A tax on beverages is fundamentally unfair in two respects. First, such a tax is regressive, betraying—for Democrats particularly—the sacrosanct principle of tax fairness. Mayor Kenney’s “zip code” tax will disproportionately harm low-income individuals, as they spend a larger portion of their income on consumer goods like soda. Second, Kenney’s tax is arbitrary. There are many types of consumer goods that could have been Kenney’s target, but he is specifically going after sugary beverages. What product might be next? Good tax policy should be pro-growth, simple, and fair. Kenney’s proposed “zip code” tax on beverages is none of these things. A soda tax will hurt Philly’s families and businesses, and it won’t fund universal pre-K [he supposed purpose of the tax]. Those who have means will buy their beverages elsewhere. And, such arbitrary taxation will have businesses and jobs fleeing Philadelphia faster than you can say “Jersey Girl.”More.
Reality check: Much nutrition science is now widely recognized as bunk. Of course no one should live on soda pop, but one would think the city had bigger issues.
Indeed, it does. But nothing signals virtue like banning soda pop.
Incidentally, if universal pre-K is such a good idea, why isn’t it part of the education budget, coming from property taxes? More on pre-K later.
See also: Whole foods scams don’t inspire rage (They pass the progressive virtue test. )