By John Ruberry

“And it was inevitable that some of these people pushed back…”
Ray Bradbury, The Martian Chronicles.

Could it be that the deep-blue residents of America’s second-most populous county, Cook County–Chicago is the county seat–have had enough?

Probably not, at least yet. But serious dissent may be bubbling as the effects of Cook County’s unpopular soda tax sink to the bottom of the glass.

Cook County Board President Toni “Taxwinkle” Preckwinkle, a former Chicago alderman who represented the University of Chicago area–the Obamas were among her constituents–touted that tax as a public health measure. The new tax covers not just soda but also many other sweetened beverages including those with corn syrup, such as diet sodas, some iced teas, and bottled sweetened Starbucks coffee–but not, for instance, cavity-causing Frappuccinos prepared at a Starbucks location by a barista. Even “free refills” are taxed now. But Preckwinkle, a hardened leftist, exposed her true colors by suing a retail association that delayed collection in a legal challenge of the tax for a month for $17 million of what she claims is lost revenue. That is how thug states such as Venezuela and Russia are run. Dissent will not be tolerated–enemies will be punished.

Preckwinkle defeated a Democratic incumbent in a 2010 primary election vowing to repeal an unpopular one-percent county sales tax. She phased it out, yes. But last year Preckwinkle brought it back.

And the soda tax was never about health. If it was, then why the lawsuit? Taxwinkle is a liar. Besides, federal law prevents taxing food stamp recipients–there are nearly 900,000 of them in Cook County–on their sweetened beverage purchases. Poor people consume larger amounts of sweetened beverages than wealthier folks and the health problems blamed on these drinks, such as diabetes and obesity, are more prevalent among the less wealthy.

The soda tax is a penny per ounce. That doesn’t seem like much, but the cost of a case of Diet Coke, as you seen in this Tweet, soars by 5o-percent after the Taxwinkle tax is figured in.

My friends and co-workers–and yes, there are some liberal Democrats within that group–are furious about the soda tax, even the ones who don’t drink what most people here call “pop.” Yesterday one man told me, “I live just south of Lake County, I’m going to buy all my Coke there,” adding, “There is a big sign outside the Target there, ‘No county sugary drink tax here.'” And of course he won’t only buy soda there–he’ll probably buy most, maybe all of his groceries there. Why wait in two long check-out lines? Grocers on the wrong side of the county line not only will face lower sales, some may be forced to close down and of course lay off their employees. Oh, I forgot to tell that new Lake County shopper that he should top off his gas tank up there, as there is also a Cook County gasoline tax.

And there are so many other taxes Cook County residents, particularly Chicagoans, have to endure. In an example provided by the free market Illinois Policy Institute, the base price of a two liter bottle of pop is $2.49. But when the 67 county soda tax is added, on top of the nation’s highest 10.25 percent sales tax, and an additional 3 percent Chicago soda tax, the true cost of that soda jug is $3.49. And if you accept a bag, paper or plastic, when you buy that sugary drink in Chicago, there is an additional 7 cent per bag tax. Unless you are paying by food stamps, formally known as SNAP–the “N” stands for nutrition–with your Illinois Link card.

When was the last time you devoured a grocery bag?

Keeping track of all of these taxes are a nightmare for retailers. That extra cost of course is passed on to consumers.

Last month Illinois’ income tax rate was hiked by 32 percent. Illinoisans are burdened with among the highest property rates in the nation. Yet, Illinois, Cook County, and Chicago are functionally bankrupt, which exposes another left-wing lie–fiscal stability in Democratic-run sinkholes is always only just one more tax hike away.

Why does Crook County need the soda tax, and yes, the next tax, what ever that one is going to be? To pay for lavish but woefully-underfunded county worker pensions and the Cook County Health System.

Chicago is a sanctuary city and Cook is a sanctuary county–Cook County health facilities are often the health care provider of choice of the area’s large population of illegal immigrants. No, I’m not saying we should cut off care to illegals with health concerns, but as a Cook County taxpayer, it’s fair to know what that care costs me.

Liberalism is very expensive.

Blogger in downtown Chicago

Next year Taxwinkle will face voters. She’ll probably be reelected. Rebellions take time to build, after all, it took ten years from the passage of the Stamp Act until the first battle of the American Revolution to be fought.

How did Preckwinkle fare in her last election? She ran unopposed.

Shame on you, Cook County Republican Party.

Meanwhile Illinois, Cook County, and Chicago continue to lose residents.

Quietly, the rebellion has begun.

John Ruberry regularly blogs at Marathon Pundit.

…although I think that the opportunity to tweak Mika on this one might actually be too tempting to pass up:

According to Duke-National University of Singapore researchers writing in the Archives of Internal Medicine
, “A tax on sugar-sweetened drinks in the U.S. would generate billions of dollars in federal revenue and have little impact on weight loss.” The researchers concluded that the best plan for reducing consumption of sugary drinks is to end sugar subsidies, not increase taxes.

You mean that a soda tax wont actually make people healthier? How about that! As the daily caller points out there is an interesting omission in the bloomberg news story that reported it. They detail a whole lot of polls who were for these taxes but leave out a particular one.

And perhaps most significant: Not a word about public health pioneer Mayor Bloomberg, owner of Bloomberg news.

Now Bloomberg is a No Labels guy (and the fellow with the bucks) but billionaires don’t like to be teased. Will the need to keep a possible No Labels candidate/fundraiser viable trump all else? We shall see.

I’m fat, lets be honest about it. I’ve been thin and have on occasion lost weight but right now I’m fat. If Mika saw me in person she would be on my case over it.

When she goes on about soda, I roll my eyes but I can see the mom in her. When she goes on about a “frigin’ gallon of pop” I think she really cares about this thing and I can’t help but like her when I see this. I just don’t think she realizes that people have the right to be wrong and to enjoy the little things in life.

The real reason for this isn’t soda, it’s because of video games. The fact that we are sitting in front of the Computer instead of playing baseball (the greatest game ever made) or kickball (my favorite as a little kid) basketball (I still love to play but I don’t get much of a chance and I’m kinda old.) When we see this stuff going on again the problem will be solved.

Find a way to draw the kids away from the keyboard and watch the pounds melt away.

The conversation came up over this study concerning the soda tax.

Researchers at the University of North Carolina studied more than 5,000 young adults.

They found paying a dollar more for soda caused people to consume 124 fewer calories a day.

Using that formula, researchers say over one year, an 18-percent tax on soda could cause someone to shed up to 5 pounds.

Maybe it’s just me, but with the number one issue being people out of work, I think taxing an industry and imposing a regressive tax on the lowest income might be bad timing. I also think that if such a tax didn’t apply to smaller amounts then you would see the migration to places like McDonalds where you can get free refills with your value meal.

That will shrink our waistlines. Good Plan!