Chicago gets BIG wake-up call after less than 3 months of soda tax

Liberals have a mistaken belief that the average American is too stupid to make healthy choices for themselves, so they’ve opted to take matters into their own hands in various cities around the world, attempting to prevent folks from drinking unhealthy soda by massively increasing the price – via taxation.

Because when you need to punish someone, what better weapon than raising prices on goods and services while filling government pockets at the same time?

This, of course, limits a person’s freedom of choice, but hey, that’s the price to pay for making people healthy. That’s what the big government people keep saying.

Well, it looks like Cook County in Illinois had a giant wake-up call and is finally making the right decision and ditching the tax.

According to WGN-TV, The Chicago-area’s penny-per-ounce tax on soda and sweetened drinks was repealed Wednesday after a monthslong conflict that included a court battle and millions of dollars’ worth of television ads on both sides.

The Cook County Board voted 15-2 to end the tax starting Dec. 1. The vote came just more than two months after the tax took effect Aug. 2.

The tax prompted lawsuits, a warning from a federal agency that Illinois could lose millions in funding for food stamp benefits and complaints of plummeting sales from store owners. But among its supporters were health advocates such as billionaire Michael Bloomberg, whose super PAC ran more than $2 million worth of ads defending the tax as a way to fight obesity and other health conditions.

Cook County, which includes Chicago, became the largest jurisdiction in the U.S. to enact the tax on sugary and artificially sweetened beverages when the board approved it in November with Board President Toni Preckwinkle as the deciding vote. It applies not just to soda, but also to sports drinks, iced tea and lemonade, and comes on top of beverage taxes imposed by Illinois and Chicago.

Some retailers opposed to the tax posted signs in the soda aisle telling customers they will pay $1.44 more on each 12-pack of soda because of the tax, and urging them to tell their county commissioner to repeal it. The Illinois Retail Merchants Association, which unsuccessfully sued to try to stop the tax, called the repeal “great news for consumers and retailers.”

Sure, it’s always a good idea to get rid of sodas and drink and eat healthier foods and beverages, but that should be a personal choice, not something decided by “elites” who think they can take away a person’s private choice or discourage that choice through taxation.

If people don’t want to be healthy, that’s their personal right. It’s not smart, of course, but freedom means people can make stupid decisions if they want to, so long as they don’t endanger the lives and property of others.

Let’s hope this same mentality spreads across the country.

[NOTE: This article was written by Michael Cantrell. Follow him on Twitter @MCantrell0928 and on Facebook]

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