Letters to the Editor: March 23, 2016

Soda tax is a slippery slope

Salty potato chips, hot dogs at the ball-park, cheese steaks, Tastykakes, crabfries at Chickie’s & Pete’s.

If the 3-cents-per-ounce soda tax gets approved it would be just a matter of time before other ‘unhealthy’ beverages or food items get the sin-tax slapped on them.

Under the mayor’s plan a 2-liter soda at the current price-point of $1.50 would amount to an extra penalty tax of $2.04, which is more than the cost of the actual bottle.

High-fructose corn syrup can be found in numerous foods and beverages on grocery store shelves in the United States and it is widely used as a sweetener in soft drinks, juices, and processed foods.

The actual biggest killer is developing heart disease based on a high-sodium diet. About 610,000 Americans die from it each year — that’s one in every four deaths.

Over 40 different other cities across the United States have rejected the extra taxation on sugary drinks and this would turn out to be one more burden for overtaxed citizens of Philadelphia.

Fun fact: Five years ago as a council member, Kenney rejected the soda tax that the previous mayor proposed. But, I guess he was just playing politics.

Jason Kaye


Kenney’s secret meeting

Mayor Jim Kenney would have been well-served had he invited me to the secretive, March 5 lunch meeting regarding his three-cents-an-ounce sugary drinks tax.

With all due respect to my fellow union brother and electricians union leader John Dougherty, who was present at the meeting, it is Teamsters Local 830’s members — not his — who stand to lose their jobs if this ill-considered, regressive tax is passed.

The mayor’s proposal would more than double the cost of all sugar-sweetened beverages sold in the city. Sales would plummet. Layoffs across the beverage industry would ensue.

Teamsters Local 830 estimates that as many as 2,000 regional jobs in the beverage industry would be lost. It’s my members’ livelihoods that are at stake. At a minimum, we deserve a seat at the table and a voice in the conversation.

Daniel H. Grace

Secretary/Treasurer, Teamsters Local 830

Irish continue struggle

The 100th anniversary is approaching for the Easter Rising, April 24 to 29, 1916 in Dublin, Ireland, in which 16 heroes were executed by the British after the fighting was over.

James Connolly, though wounded and unconscious, was awakened and shot to experience a martyr’s death at the hands of the enemy.

Here is the list of the fallen: Eamonn Ceannt, Thomas Clarke, James Connolly, Sean MacDiarmada, Thomas, MacDonagh, Patrick Pearse, Joseph Plunkett, Con Colbert, Edward Daly, Sean Heuston, Thomas Kent, John McBride, Michael Mullen, Michael O’Hanahan, William Pearse and Roger Casement.

Though the Battle of the Four Courts and the Easter Rising headquarters at the General Post Office failed, later the partial success of Michael Collins and his forces in the Anglo-Irish War (1917–1921) ended with the treaty and his execution, allegedly by his own men dissatisfied with the terms separating six counties from the whole country. The struggle for Irish freedom and independence continues.

Bob Dawson

Fox Chase

Shrink the government

I would like to thank Jason Kayne for his letter to the editor: “Poverty is out of control.” His opinion on the matter is spot on. The President Obamas and Hillary Clintons and Bernie Sanders and Jim Kenneys of the world have this idea that government is here to solve all of our problems.

The fact is it is creating more problems. Everyone wants higher wages but these people want to tax the same people that they want to pay the higher wages.

Less taxing and less government will lead to higher wages and more jobs. Let us remember the taxpayer pays for the government.

The bigger the government, the higher the taxes.

David Lee

Far Northeast