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JIM KINNEY, “MAYOR SODA TAX,” SPEAKS

- July 25, 2016

Kinney Successfully Pushed Through A 1.5-Cent-Per-Ounce Soda Tax In Philadelphia, “The Highest Of Its Kind In The Nation.” “The day after Philadelphia became the first big U.S. city to tax soda by the ounce, Mayor Kenney got powdered up for a CNN interview as the phones in his office kept ringing. … The 1.5-cent-per-ounce tax City Council passed Thursday is the highest of its kind in the nation.” (Julia Terruso, “USA, Meet Jim Kenney: How 'Big Win' On Soda Tax Raises Philly Mayor's Political Stock,” Philadelphia Daily News, 6/20/16)

Clinton Has Endorsed Philadelphia Democrat Mayor Jim Kenney’s Soda Tax. CLINTON: “We obviously have to do a whole lot more to avoid what they call the ‘school to prison pipeline’ and replace it with a ‘cradle to college pipeline’ and that really starts early, and it starts early with working with families, working with kids, building up community resources. I’m very supportive of the mayor’s proposal to tax soda to get universal preschool for kids. I mean I don’t, you know, we need universal preschool, and if that’s a way to do it, that’s how we should do it.” (Hillary Clinton, Roundtable In Philadelphia Pennsylvania, 4/20/16)

Sanders Called Clinton’s Endorsement Of The Soda Tax A Violation Of Her Pledge To Not Raise Taxes On Middle-Class Americans

At An Event In Philadelphia, Sanders Highlighted That Clinton’s Support For The Soda Tax Violates Her Pledge Not To Raise Tax On Middle-Class Americans, Saying A Soda Tax Would Be Placed “On The Backs Of The Poorest People In This City.” “Speaking of Mayor Jim Kenney’s proposal to tax soda and juice drinks to pay for universal pre-school, Sanders said he shares the mayor’s goal of providing child care. The senator differed with the mayor and Clinton over how to pay for the proposal. ‘I do have a serious disagreement with how you fund this. You don’t have to fund child care on the backs of the poorest people in this city. That is a regressive way to raise funds.’ Breaking her own pledge to oppose any new taxes on those making less than $250,000 a year, Clinton earlier this week supported the tax that would hurt the poorest people in Philadelphia.” (Press Release, “Sanders Addresses Philadelphia Panel On A Moral Economy,” Bernie Sanders 2016, 4/22/16)

Sanders Called The Tax “Regressive” And Said The Tax Could End Up Costing Low-Income Families “A Lot Of Money.” QUESTION: “Thank you senator. Thank you. So, we want to go local here to Philadelphia here for a moment. Mayor Kenney recently introduced a plan to provide universal pre-school to all four-year-olds in Philadelphia. We think that’s a great idea. It’s a great idea is it not? We want our kids to start school earlier, get their education (inaudible). But, to pay for this, he wants to put a tax on soda, that would disproportionately low-income and middle-class Philadelphians. What are your thoughts on this? And does this sound like a moral issue to you?” SANDERS: “Well, here’s’ what it sounds like. I absolutely agree with the mayor that we need a revolution, as I mentioned earlier, in child care and pre-K. Too many kids are in inadequate child care centers, where the instructors don’t have the training or the background to provide the quality care those kids need. No argument, I would go further than the mayor. I think this is a right, not just for four-year-olds, but for all of our children. But I do have a serious disagreement with how you fund this. When you have massive income and wealth inequality, when 58 percent of all new income generated today is going to the top 1 percent, you don’t have to fund child care on the backs of the poorest people in this city. That is a regressive way to raise funds. Now I also note, and I’m not going to argue with anybody, we have an obesity problem in this country, I don’t want kids getting hooked up on sugar, I agree with that as well. So let’s deal with that issue, let’s get kids off of sugar, let’s make sure that we have the best child care system in the world in America. And I will fight for that as President, but you don’t do it through regressive taxation. Now you can talk about getting a 12 ounce bottle ofsoda, that’s like 30 or 40 cent tax on that bottle of soda. At five bottles, bottle a day, that’s two bucks a week for a low-income family, that’s a lot of money. That’s a lot of money. So again, the goal is, the right goal, but the method and the approach and the raising funds is the wrong way to do it in my view.” (Sen. Bernie Sanders, Remarks At A Campaign Event, Philadelphia, PA, 4/22/16)

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