Searching for relevance after bruising losses in the soda tax fight in California, the loss of his hand-picked choice of Christine Quinn in the New York Mayor’s race, and the loss of the gun-related Recall elections in Colorado, Mayor Michael Bloomberg appears to be packing it in and heading to Mexico.
With nothing but time on his hands now that he is termed out of office, Bloomberg is spending vast personal resources to help pass a National soda tax South of the border.
In the U.S. and abroad, Bloomberg-style beverage-banning policies have either been rejected outright, have failed or have been repealed, but that never stopped Michael Bloomberg from pushing his socialist agenda to tell you what you can eat, what you can own, and what you can pour down your thirsty hatch.
In California, soda taxes were recently defeated in the Bay Area town of Richmond and in El Monte, California, just outside of Los Angeles. In fact, even Senator Bill Monning’s Statewide soda tax failed this year in a California State Senate subcommittee.
And rightfully so.
Data shows that soda taxes simply don’t work. In Arkansas and West Virginia, two of the poorer States in the U.S., there are excise taxes on sodas to discourage their use yet those two States continue to rank among the most obese States in the nation.
Bloomberg’s Big-Gulp-grabbing policies have even seen failures in his home State of New York. His aggressive soda tax was rejected by the New York State legislature just as it was in California and even more recently, a judge struck down the nanny Mayor’s Big Gulp ban in New York, setting his agenda back even further.
And so Bloomberg has set his sights on a foreign country.
Enter Mexico, the country with the highest per-capita rate of soda drinkers. Bloomberg and his allies are trying to pass a National soda tax in an effort to reduce diabetes in that country – a law that has shown very little effect in other countries. For example, Denmark passed a soda tax but then repealed it, citing that it only served to hike food prices and create job losses. It was almost identical to the experience that nation had with a “fat tax” – the world’s first tax on foods containing high levels of saturated fats, which had the same unintended consequences and did relatively little to improve the public health.
In an era when most politicians are attempting to import freedom into foreign countries – i.e., free markets, free elections – Mayor Bloomberg is trying to import more regulations. But with gangs, corruption and the drug war, the reality for Mexico unfortunately is that nation has far bigger problems than the soda they drink.
I truly believe in the “three strikes and you’re out” theory of political relevance. After high-profile failures of soda taxes and soda bans in California and New York, respectively, if Bloomberg’s soda tax fizzles in Mexico, you can say “Adios” to what’s left of his political career.