According to a new study from the Tax Foundation, a liberal initiative that we’ve seen in several cities – Berkeley, California, Philadelphia, and Seattle – has had and will have a disproportionate impact on lower income Americans. We’re talking about soda taxes and extra taxes on sugary drinks, both of which are consumed in large part by the poorest Americans in the marketplace. Democrats have lauded these taxes as opportunities to raise money for local government, but they may be hurting the very people they supposedly want to help when they go about taxation in this way.
A liberal proposition backfiring on Democrat voters? What an unusual occurrence!
As it turns out, the Tax Foundation found that if Congress were to pass a nationwide soda tax, the vast majority of the revenue taken in would come from people making between $20,000 and $100,000. Certainly, those on the upper end of that scale could not really be considered “poor” by any reasonable standard, but those on the lower end are firmly in the same category that Democrats claim to want to help with progressive taxation schemes. Well, okay, the Democrats REALLY want to help people who don’t make any money at all, but that’s another matter.
“Sugar-sweetened beverage taxes theoretically offer the potential for reducing externality health-care costs stemming from excessive sugar consumption, and in this way they may raise the prospect of efficiency gains by signaling to consumers these higher social costs,” said the study. “However, these taxes also raise equity concerns to the extent these goods represent a disproportionate share of the consumption among lower-income households.”
Put in plain English, it goes like this: Democrats claim up and down that they want the richest Americans to pay more in taxes. But then they go and propose things like this soda tax that would hit middle-and-working class Americans much harder than it would those on the upper side of the income ladder. In many ways, this is similar to their minimum wage proposal movement. By hiking wages, they are not only making fast food less affordable for lower income Americans – by far the biggest consumers – but they are forcing them completely out of the job market as restaurants turn to robots and computers to do low-wage tasks for less.
Of course, one wonders if any of this is an accident. Democrats don’t do well when it comes to middle class families. They thrive with the upper crust coastal elites, the trust fund kiddies who spent their lives earning one master’s degree after another, and the welfare queens who want everything handed to them. A close look at these categories may reveal more similarities than differences, come to think of it…
Soda taxes also flirt with another of the left’s favorite pastimes: Telling Americans what to do. God save this country from their counsel…and their taxes.