Proposition E is the “Soda Tax” proposition and I must say that when I first heard about this I was thinking, “why do we need another tax?” In the first place, San Francisco is one of the most expensive places to live on the entire planet. Gas costs more. Food costs more. Housing costs more. Beer cost more. Need I say it, but parking tickets are outrageous. They are so punitive that when the City of San Francisco raised parking ticket prices a few years ago to raise revenue, and then were alarmed that revenue actually went down, they did not realize that $60 for a street cleaning ticket makes people be very careful where they park the Volvo. San Franciscans break into a cold sweat when the street cleaning truck goes by, in a mad mental dash confirming the last place they parked their car.
Anyway. About this soda tax thing. I don’t drink soda very often but when I do, I prefer a bottle of Mexican coke. The Mexican cokes, with the real sugar take you back about 30 years. Now that bottle of pop will cost another 24 cents, or 2 cents and ounce. I remember when a coke cost a quarter but that is another story.
So my first thinking on Proposition E was, why this regressive tax that in the end really only effects poor people? You work a crappy job pushing a broom all day, or cleaning toilets or hauling stuff to the dump and your simple gratification at the end of the day is a can of soda. Maybe they should tax the big folks like GE, Twitter and Google all companies with office floors of tax lawyers finding ways to shelter the profits? Let the common folk get their simple pleasures.
But then I read in the paper that the beverage industry has spent 9.1 million to try to defeat Proposition E. 9.1 million! San Francisco has around 450,00 registered voters. About 200,000 actually turn out to vote in any given election. So that means that every vote costs $45 to the beverage industry. By election day it will be $50. I think the beverage industry is nervous and does not want to have San Francisco set precedence for this type of taxation. Once it passes in San Francisco, it is all just a matter of time and that it will pass in other places. Just look at smoking. Thirty years ago who would have thought that smoking in bars would be illegal. And then I thought, why not tax soda? Obesity and diabetes are out of control here in the land of the free. Somehow we all will have to pay the medical bills for these ailments. Slowly I then went from a “stop taxing me to death” stance to a vote “yes” on Proposition E. My message to The Coca-Cola Company is you cannot buy my vote. Now, if you had only dropped off a case of coke and a bottle of Jamaican rum before our last party that may have done the trick, but in all honesty my vote is not for sale. As a matter of principle, you lost my vote on this one. San Francisco. Let’s prove the big money wrong and show them they cannot buy our vote.
Vote Yes on Proposition E. It needs a 2/3rds super majority to pass.