On Tuesday, ReasonTV uploaded a new video featuring John Stossel. The video, titled “The Philly Soda Tax Scam,” studies the ways in which the sweetened beverage tax in Philadelphia has negatively impacted businesses and consumers.
During the video, Stossel interviews Bruno’s Pizza shop owner Melvin Robinson:
ROBINSON: It’s a bad tax.
STOSSEL: What do your customers say?
ROBINSON: What they say? They ain’t buying it.
He also speaks with several customers, one of whom states, “I refuse to buy soda in Philadelphia.” Another says, “If I gotta get a soda or a juice, I go right across the street.”
The customers can simply cross the street because Bruno’s Pizza sits at the edge of the border between Philadelphia and Montgomery County, where there is no sweetened beverage tax.
Stossel speaks with City Councilman William Greenlee (D), who admits that “it definitely is more, but it’s for what we feel is a good reason, for a good cause.”
When Stossel brought up the fact that the sweetened beverage tax is regressive, harming lower-income individuals most, Greenlee replied, “Remember, we’re raising enough money to put 2,700 kids in pre-k and to open 1,100 community schools.”
Stossel goes on to note the failure in trying to regulate eating habits, mentioning that Denmark’s infamous fatty foods tax was repealed about a year after it was implemented, as Danes simply went elsewhere to shop for food.
Speaking about how tax dollars are being spent, Stossel says, “$4 million for the Office of Art and Culture — funded two sessions of dance instruction. Teach youth empowerment, social issues through hip hop.”
Business owner Melvin Robinson isn’t having it:
ROBINSON: Like we need that. Like we need that.
STOSSEL: They’re funding the arts.
ROBINSON: What arts? People [are] trying to live.
STOSSEL: Politicians say we’ve got to raise money.
ROBINSON: Stop stealing. That would be nice.
Watch the entire video here: