Allen B. West

Creeping tyranny: Philly becomes first major US city to institute this tax

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I just marvel at how things have become so completely upside down in America. Here we are, days away from celebrating the 240th birthday of the United States of America. It was a nation begun with a Declaration of Independence shunning the tyranny of government that used taxation as a means of repression. That incredible document, along with our Constitution, was presented and signed in the city of Philadelphia, where Independence (Constitution) Hall still proudly stands.

But it is now the city that will soon host the convention of the new American Socialist Party and a startling new tax.

As reported by 6abc.com, “Philadelphia became the first major American city with a soda tax on Thursday despite a multi-million dollar campaign by the beverage industry to block it.

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The City Council gave final approval to a 1.5 cent-per-ounce tax on sugary and diet beverages. Only Berkeley, California, had a similar law. Soda tax proposals have failed in more than 30 cities and states in recent years. Such plans are typically criticized as disproportionately affecting the poor, who are more likely to consume sugary drinks. But Democratic Mayor Jim Kenney sold the council on the idea with a plan to spend most of the estimated $90 million in new tax revenue next year to pay for prekindergarten, community schools and recreation centers. Kenney says the tax will generate $386 million over 5 years.

“Thanks to the tireless advocacy of educators, parents, recreation center volunteers and so many others, Philadelphia made a historic investment in our neighborhoods and in our education system today,” the mayor said after the vote.

“If this tax is passed, Philadelphia would create the worst black market for nonalcoholic beverages since prohibition, which was back in the 1920s and 30s. Let’s not go back in history,” said Chris Hunter, an employee of Coca-Cola.

“As Philadelphia has done time and again, you are acting boldly to deal with very real concerns and needs of Philadelphians and our country as a whole. Thank you on behalf of the American Heart Association, the Philadelphia medical community and the broader medical establishment,” said Dr. Ken Margulies, who served as President of the Board of the American Heart Association of Southeastern Pennsylvania.

The tax, which passed 13-4, is a hard-fought win for the city. The soda industry spent millions of dollars in advertising against the proposal, arguing that the tax would be costly to consumers. The plan also attracted national attention and dollars, with former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg and Texas billionaires John and Laura Arnold, advocates for less consumption of sugary drinks, funding ads in support.

“We’re obviously very disappointed. Fifty-eight percent of Philadelphians oppose this tax because they know that it’ll hurt working families,” said Anthony Campisi, No Philly Grocery Tax. The American Beverage Association called the soda tax “discriminatory and highly unpopular.” “The tax passed today is a regressive tax that unfairly singles out beverages, including low- and no-calorie choices,” it said a statement.”

Remember, this is the same Mayor Jim Kenney who could not refer to an Islamic jihadist attack against a Philly police officer as such — he lost all credibility with me there.

But let’s be honest, this has little or nothing to do with pre-K, community schools, or recreation centers. This is all about the progressive socialist mantra of using taxation as a means of behavior modification in order to attain their desired ideological agenda. This is all about control, and the leftist socialists are very adept at making you believe this is all about what’s best for you. They don’t believe we’re capable of making any decisions for ourselves, and if we won’t voluntarily succumb and acquiesce, they’ll levy the power of government taxation in order to achieve their ends. Funny, they’ve become the new Redcoats.

We reported here about the new gun violence tax imposed by the Seattle City Council. It sounds so very nice, that the city is going to raise revenue in order to provide gun violence training and services to victims, but why is that being done on the backs of law-abiding citizens who have committed no act of gun violence?

The real end goal is to drive out gun dealers in Seattle and infringe on the Second Amendment rights of legal gun ownership. And presumptive nominee Hillary Clinton, who will be crowned in Philadelphia, has advocated for a 25 percent tax on any gun purchase in America.

President Barack Obama used the Individual Mandate Tax as a punitive measure to force Americans to purchase health insurance as part of Obamacare. Also in Obamacare, Health Savings Accounts, which are supposed to be tax-free dollars Americans can apportion for their routine medical procedures, are taxed under Obama’s signature domestic policy.

In just 240 years, we’ve come full circle back to the onerous and tyrannical tax policies of the British. The progressive socialist left doesn’t believe individuals have choice in their lives — unless it’s about killing babies. But when it comes to what we drink, as witnessed in this case, the left doesn’t hide its true intentions, although they try to mask it in some emotional manner.

Why not support education savings accounts and allow parents to sequester away, tax free, dollars that could be used for education opportunities for their children? The left wants to begin indoctrinating our children as early as possible, so now in Philly they’ve come up with a model to use taxation of what we drink as a means to finance their ideological agenda.

I just had a thought… what’s the difference between the incessant progressive socialist use of punitive taxation to punish one’s lifestyle and that of the Islamo-fascists and their Jizya tax?

Yes, Islamists believe that if you won’t willfully convert, you must be taxed in order to exist, or the last resort is death — hopefully the leftists won’t get to that point. But it is an interesting parallel in that for the leftist progressives, if you don’t voluntarily accept their agenda — like climate change – they’ll seek to leverage the power of government to involuntarily force your submission. And little Michael Bloomberg seems to pop up everywhere supporting this elitist desire to control other’s lives.

Now, just ask yourself, are these the folks you really want to be in control of America? I say that as I take a sip of my 32-ounce Minute Maid Fruit Punch…

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