STUMP » Articles » Cook County Soda Tax: Persuasion and Comparisons - Why Not Tax Juice? » 18 August 2017, 12:07

Where Stu & MP spout off about everything.

Cook County Soda Tax: Persuasion and Comparisons - Why Not Tax Juice?  


18 August 2017, 12:07

(I promise I will get back to pensions, but I am enjoying myself way too much.)

Okay, brace yourself. Bloomberg has an ad to support the soda tax.

Watch Bloomberg’s ad backing Preckwinkle’s pop tax:

The cavalry is coming to the rescue of embattled Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle and her pop tax, and it’s being led by New York billionaire Michael Bloomberg.

The former New York City mayor tomorrow will begin airing what a spokesman says will be a $2 million-plus TV ad campaign in the Chicago media market. The spots don’t mention Preckwinkle, but do make the case she has tried to make that the penny-an-ounce levy on sweetened tax is about health, not raising money.


The spot depicts a teenager in front of a vending machine. Only, instead of cans of pop, there are signs saying “obesity,” “tooth decay,” “kidney failure” and the like.

In the background, an announcer declares, “When kids drink soda pop, they’re getting a lot more than they bargain for.” The announcer goes on to mention that drinking just one can of soda a day can make a child gain 10 pounds a year in weight, and declares that a soda tax “can make a difference” by making children healthier and providing money for county health programs.

The ads, which also will run on radio and online, were commissioned after Bloomberg “decided it was important to counter all the one-sided advertising from the soda industry,” said a spokesman. “This is a campaign to counterbalance all the special interests that profit off soda.”

It’s only 30 seconds. Just watch it.

Are you convinced?

Also: go to the YouTube page. Only two comments so far, but I think that won’t last for long — either they will close comments or it’s going to fill up with a bunch of comments like this one:

Mariodude27 10 hours ago
This garbage video literally contradicts itself. You don’t give a shit about anyones health, it’s all about the money. Fuck off.

I think this is a really stupid ad, and for the ~80% of people who hate the soda tax, this will almost likely make them even angrier.


Oh, and this video auto-played for me right after.

Which do you think is more persuasive?

Here is the update from the original article.

Update—Illinois Retail Merchants Association chief Rob Karr, whose group sued to block the tax, is not amused.

“It’s interesting that they’re leading with deception again,” he told me in a phone interview. “(The levy) has never been about health. It’s always been about revenue. That’s why (the county) sued us for $17 million” after imposition of the tax was held up for month.

Besides, he added the tax applies to bottled tea and coffee, sports drinks and a lot of other things beyond soda pop.

I don’t think Preckwinkle is going to win the “it’s not a money grab” argument. As IRMA says – if it’s about kid’s health, then delaying the tax one month does diddly. So trying to sue for lost tax revenue makes it obvious that it was about money (mind you, Preckwinkle did back down from that extremely idiotic move.)


So, other than the obviously-low-calorie water, how about oh-so-healthy fruit juice?

Let’s check the calories! I’m gonna have fun by just sticking to Coca-Cola products. You know they own Minute Maid, right? And you can’t get Bigger Soda than Coke! Obviously, fruit juice doesn’t have fat or protein, so all its calories come from eeeeevil sugar.

Apple juice: 15.2 fl. oz, 210 calories = 13.8 calories per oz

Orange juice: 11.5 fl oz, 160 calories = 13.9 calories per oz

Honest Kids juice drink: (based on grape, lemon, and cranberry juice) 6.75 fl oz, 40 cal = 5.9 cal per oz

And finally, regular old Coke: 12 fl oz, 140 calories = 11.7 calories per ounce.

So regular fruit juice is even worse calorie-wise than regular Coke.

(The Honest Kids juice looks pretty good, though.)

Why isn’t fruit juice being taxed, if it’s all about fat kids? If you want to mention vitamins, get a gander at the standard nutritional info for apple juice:

You can find apple juice with Vitamin C… that’s been added to the juice. Regular old apple juice isn’t all that nutritious. (It’s better to eat an apple)

In addition, you don’t actually need a hell of a lot of Vitamin C. It takes very little to prevent scurvy.

Most diets tell you not to drink high-sugar fruit juices like apple, grape, or orange juice because they’re about as bad as soda, if you’re trying to avoid calories. As we see above, they’re actually worse, calorie-wise.


So, guys, why are you not taxing juice if it’s “for the children”?

Also, it’s not kids who are the ones drinking iced coffee & tea (mostly).

It’s just because you want money, and thought this would be an easy-to-defend tax.

If your defense is “BUT FAT CHILDREN”, then why not juice? It’s worse than soda in terms of calories and sugar.

Admit that it’s only about the money. People might not hate you quite so much. People hate being lied to.

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