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Citizens of Berkeley, CA Vote in Idiotic Sugared Drink Tax
Congratulations, Berkeley, CA! Over half of your citizens are people that not only hate personal choice, but also have a completely unrealistic concept of what government-serving taxes on consumable goods will accomplish! (Read my earlier article on sugar taxes here.)
Fresh off of their City Council’s unilateral decision to force pot dispensaries to give away product to the poor for free, the citizens of Berkeley showed exactly why they elected such idiots to positions of power when they went en masse to their local polling center and voted for a 1 cent tax to be levied on sugary drinks within the city. From the IBT:
Three-quarters of voters in the city of 100,000, known for its far-left politics, approved the tax. It applies to soda, energy drinks, sports drinks, sweet teas and syrups used in coffee—pretty much any sugar-sweetened beverage with some exceptions for diet soda, chocolate milk, 100 percent juice drinks, some coffee drinks and alcoholic beverages.
The tax would be roughly 12 cents for a can of soda and 68 cents for a two-liter – not exactly something that is going to break the bank for most people, but plenty enough to add a massive amount of revenue to the city’s coffers.
And where does the money go? Don’t worry, the campaign website (“Berkeley vs. Big Soda” – don’t you love how liberals love to label things as “big” because “big” always means bad to liberals…except when it refers to government!) for Measure D assures you they know exactly where it’s going!
The tax revenue would go into the city’s general fund. Accountability is written into the measure: Measure D creates a panel of experts in child nutrition, healthcare, and education to make recommendations to the City Council about funding programs that improve children’s health across Berkeley.
Once Measure D passes, the panel can be formed. Panelists are required to have thorough background in nutrition, education, and/or healthcare. To encourage representation from across Berkeley, each councilmember plus the mayor will appoint one panel member. Panelists are not paid.
Ah, so…the general fund gets the money – that always works out, right? I’m sure it’s not like almost every city where taxes are funnelled to the general fund are always used for more pressing items, like massive city worker pensions or other initiatives once politicians get their hands on them. But…some panelists will recommend that the city do something or other with it! And with no actual power to enforce the spending, that’s assured to happen. Super job, guys.
As the IBT article points out, many shop owners may simply keep the costs of sugary drinks down to deter customers from running away from the products, and instead amortize this new tax across their other products. This, of course, will then pass the tax onto everyone instead of the soda-drinkers that the people of Berkeley so despise.
Also, since the tax only applies to stores within Berkeley’s city limits, which encompasses roughly 18 square miles, many, many people will simply stop off for groceries on their way home from San Francisco or Oakland where they work, instead of spending money locally, or even take a 10 minute drive to save cash if they do in fact want to buy sugary drinks. So this measure will cost business owners in the city money as an added penalty.
Fun Fact: Measure D passed with 75% of the vote, which means that if you ever visit Berkeley, three out of every four people you see, statistically, are morons.
Grifters the world over, take note – you’ll make a killing.
90 Year Old WWII Vet & Two Pastors Arrested for Feeding Homeless in FL
Fort Lauderdale just passed a new law aimed at stopping churches and other groups from feeding the city’s homeless population, snaring a 90 Year old WWII veteran who owns a nonprofit and two pastors. From Ben Swann.com:
The new rules ban the sharing of food with homeless people within 500 feet of residential property and require a permit and the pricey installation of portable toilets, driving costs up in what critics call an effort to prevent charities and churches from feeding the poor. Said Abbott, “I have tried to abide by their regulations, but we just are not able to provide a port-a-potty.”
On Sunday, soon after the law went into effect, Arnold Abbott held a public event to feed the poor and was joined by two Christian pastors, Dwayne Black of The Sanctuary Church and Mark Sims of St. Mary Magdalene Episcopal Church. Police were dispatched to the scene and halted the newly-criminalized charitable activity, charging Abbott, Black, and Sims with an infraction that carries a $500 fine and a 60-day jail sentence.
Those responsible for these laws are simply sick of seeing homeless people – that’s what this all boils down to. And while I can appreciate that, as I live in Los Angeles – one of the homeless capitols of the world – and also grow tired of seeing rows of decrepit RVs and tent cities, banning kind-hearted folks from giving them food they have purchased legally should be under the purview of government. That is simply cruel.
Jon Stewart Catches Flack For Stating He Didn’t Vote On CNN; Apologizes For Some Reason
People constantly apologize for politically correct reasons where there is absolutely no apology needed. The fact is that it’s easier to just apologize and shut the yapping maws of the vocally offended than to stick to ones guns. Jon Stewart, who is so often honest and unapologetic, bowed to the PC police after a recent statement that he (gasp!) didn’t vote on Tuesday. Talk about the absolute definition of doing something to be politically correct. From Fox:
Talking to Christiane Amanpour hours earlier, about his new movie Rosewater and the midterm elections, she had asked him, “Did you vote?”
“No,” he had responded.
“No?!” she’d exclaimed.
“I just moved. I don’t know even where my thing is now,” he said.
First of all, I’ve known where my thing is since I was 13,” Stewart told his The Daily Show audience at the top of tonight’s live election-results episode. “To set the record straight, I did vote today. … I was being flip, and it kind of took off. I shouldn’t have been flip about that. … It sent a message that I didn’t think voting was important or that I didn’t think it was a big issue. And I do, and I did vote. I was being flip, and I shouldn’t have done that. That was stupid. So, I apologize.”
Acknowledging our own Marc Clair’s essay on whether libertarians should indeed vote (I think we should, despite my not actually getting to the poles yesterday), let me loudly say “who gives a rotten damn if Jon Stewart votes or not?”
Just like everything in life should be, voting or not voting is a personal choice based upon one’s worldview. If you think voting helps and it’s worthwhile (despite the inherent corruption of the system), then vote! If you don’t, stay home and make fun of people’s “I Voted” stickers like I did. Or march into your polling center wearing an “I Voted” sticker from last year, then get in a massive argument with the pollsters over whether you voted already or not, deteriorating into yelling about how you can wear stickers that say whatever you damn well please and how “You’re an American, and have rights!” You know, have some fun with it.
Seems like these politicians and PC police that are calling to yell at Jon Stewart for saying he didn’t vote are either A) general politicians terrified people will stop voting and realize that it’s all a big scam, or B) Democrats that think his sway is so powerful over the younger generation that should he opt not to vote, neither will they, and Republicans will rule the House and Senate.
WHOOPS! Guess that last bit happened anyway.
Long story short, make up your own mind. Who cares about Jon Stewart’s vote?
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