Soda pop tax: fizz or fizzle?

How are you feeling about the "soda pop tax?"

Opinion

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By Arlene Jones

Columnist

How are you feeling about the "soda pop tax?" The tax is currently on hold, but the judge in the case is supposed to deliver his permanent ruling on July 28. I love my Pepsi. And I will keep buying it. But should the tax go through, I will not be buying pop, tea or even water in Cook County. And I am asking others subject to paying the tax to do the same thing.

It is time that, as taxpayers, we have our own version of the Boston Tea Party. Back then the rallying cry was "No taxation without representation." That cry can be updated to: "No representation by over-taxation." What is sickening to me is that the county doesn't seem to be looking to find a way to save money. All they know is tax, tax, tax to accommodate an ever bloated budget and wasted spending.

Even more sickening is that President Toni Preckwrinkle (Taxwinkle) only seems to know how to increase taxes. When the initial vote was taken for this new law, the vote was tied. Preckwrinkle was the deciding vote and she voted in favor of it. If Todd Stroger lost his presidency because of a one-penny sales tax hike and Preckwrinkle turned around and instituted it herself, shouldn't she lose her job when re-election time comes? I say "yes, Yes, YES!"

I heard a young woman on the radio who claimed that she testified in favor of the tax on sweetened drinks before the county board. She has a medical condition and is looking for the tax to cover her medical costs. In fact, when the tax was first proposed, it was labeled as a way to help with health care expenditures. There is one problem with that line of thinking. Those who get LINK Card benefits will not be taxed. That's right. Just like they don't have to pay for bags, they won't be taxed or denied the ability to buy all the sweetened-with-sugar drinks. It seems discriminatory that those who depend on the government to feed them are immune from the rules and laws that the rest of us are obliged to obey.

One interesting aspect to the entire "soda pop tax" debate has been 1st District Commissioner Richard Boykin's opposition to it. He actually voted against the tax and was summarily dismissed by Preckwrinkle when he suggested that fat in the budget could be trimmed. Those are fighting words to suggest that cuts be made instead of increasing taxes. More importantly, the county cannot make people buy pop in it. So many will be going to DuPage, Will and Lake counties to buy their pop. Southsiders will go to Indiana. So the state and county will be losers in the end. Didn't they learn anything after taxing people to death on cigarettes? Truthfully, it was because of those taxes that the "Loose Squares" became a profitable business.

Pay attention, voters, as these slimy politicians do all they can to take our money and then misuse it in the end. Come November 2018, we all should be in line to vote Preckwinkle and her band of tax-increasing buddies out of office!

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