Philly moves the goalposts on soda tax

Source: Independent Institute
by William F Shughart & Josh T Smith

“When you’re losing, it’s good advice to play another game. Or do as Philadelphia has done with its recent soda tax: Change the rules and move the goalposts. Though the soft-drink tax was pitched primarily as a boon for pre-K education and, secondarily, for its supposed health benefits, only 49 percent of the funding actually is slated for pre-K. Apparently, it’s not just ‘for the children.’ As much as 20 percent will go to city programs and benefits for public employees, with an additional 9 percent earmarked for programs like the Community College of Philadelphia. The bait-and-switch goes to show that politicians who think they can engineer positive social outcomes by fiddling with the tax system make big promises but usually can’t be trusted to fulfill them.” (08/16/17)