Thursday, September 14, 2017

We’re in for a month of Hell; a slew of ads warning us of pop, tax evils

I’m sure the people who are all outraged over the price of pop these days, what with the cost added due to the Cook County tax on sweetened beverage sales, feel a great injustice was done on Wednesday.
Heart Association wants pop tax

For the Cook County Board, after listening to hours of debate from people arguing both the merits and drawbacks of the pop tax, decided that the way to handle a proposed ordinance repealing the tax was to send it to a committee.

SPECIFICALLY, THE COUNTY board’s Finance Committee will hold a hearing on the issue, and only then will the measure come before the full county board for a final vote.

The crackpots who are upset that the cost of a 2-liter pop bottle is now about $0.65 more than it used to be probably had fantasies that the county board would immediately take a vote on the pop tax repeal ordinance, and that the tax would be ancient history by now!

I mock their line of logic in that our way of government is meant to be deliberate and slow – things don’t just get rammed through the process into action. Or at least they’re not supposed to be.

So the fact that we have to wait for the Finance Committee to have its next meeting scheduled for Oct. 10, with the next full county board session set for the following day? That’s the way things are supposed to be.

WHICH MEANS THAT, Yes, it’s true that the tax will remain in effect for at least one more month. But that could mean the political momentum could continue to build to a point where a majority of the county board will feel compelled to approve a repeal of the pop tax.

Or maybe the healthcare interests that want such a pop tax on the grounds it would discourage people from drinking so many carbonated beverages will be able to make their case to the point where county board officials will feel compelled to leave well enough alone and let the pop tax remain in place.

That’s the democratic process in action. That’s the way it’s supposed to be. As for the people who are upset that the county board couldn’t be strong-armed on Wednesday to giving them what they want?
Retailers don't want to collect tax for Cook County

All I can say is that such talk sounds downright un-American!

I’LL ADMIT TO finding it annoying to open my mailbox to see the assorted fliers being sent to me to try to spin me and others to believe their side of the issue. It’s feeling like an Election Day is pending, and at a time when we’re bracing ourselves for the level of partisan nonsense we’re getting from the gubernatorial dreamers.

It’s like we never get a break from the politicking. Which is, I’ll admit, a hell-ish sense to have to feel.

But I’d be more bothered by strong-arm tactics. The sense that the process will allow both sides to make their arguments, with the majority sentiment prevailing, does provide a sense of relief.

Now as I have written before, I support the idea of this particular tax because I realize Cook County government has financial obligations to meet and needs the income. I suspect that people will really start complaining if those obligations, particularly the ones related to providing health care services to the public, are not met.

SO WHILE I am not enthused about the idea of a tax, the alternatives strike me as being worse.
Besides, the reality is that if sentiment against this tax is really so intense, then there will be a future chance to express ourselves. Because there are those future election cycles in which county board President Toni Preckwinkle and the county board members who voted for the tax will have to face re-election.

Political people who backed the pop tax could easily find themselves out on their keisters come the 2018 election cycle. It’s a political risk that elected officials have to take with every single vote they cast.

Turning out a politician who disappoints us? That’s about as all-American a concept as we have!


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