Paid Telephone Lies About Sugary Drink Tax
Following is a transcript of a call last week. How many lies
(or misstatements or stretching the truth) can you find?
BS (Big Soda paid caller): I'm calling on behalf of the Community
Coalition against Beverage Taxes and I would like to give you
a little information.
On November 6 you and other residents of Richmond will be voting
on a beverage tax which will increase significantly the price
you pay for soft drinks such as teas, juices, sports drinks like
Gatorade, vitamin water and any sort of beverage sold in Richmond.
Now say for example you go to the local supermarket and purchase
a 12 pack of any sort of beverage. It will go up in price three
or four dollars. Now we are arguing to vote NO on the tax because
it is unfair and misleading. They haven't clearly stated what
they are going to do with these millions of dollars a year. The
supporters claim that the beverage tax will help childhood obesity
in Richmond however the money raised goes directly into the City's
general fund account meaning the politicians can spend it on
themselves if they like or salary hikes for themselves or petty
programs. Given Richmond's already strained budget you can bet
that the Council won't be using this money for new playgrounds
and anti-obesity programs. So can we count on you to join us
to vote no on the beverage tax in November?
RR: (Richmond Resident) Is this going to be
a tax on all beverages?
BS: All beverages, Sir. All beverages are going to go up.
RR: Like beer?
RR: (unbelieving): Beer and diet pop and all
that will go up too?
BS: Yes sir. Everything except for water.
RR: (More unbelieving): Beer and diet pop will
RR: I heard the beverage companies are paying you guys to do
this. Are you paid by the beverage company?
BS: I'm not directly paid by the beverage company.
I'm actually paid by a different company. It is funded by the
Association for Strategic Advocacy fund committee but a lot of
this is funded by the American Beverage Association.