GLENN: The city of Philadelphia is in outrage. Why? Because the soda tax. It is in effect and people realize, "Wait a minute. I voted for, what?" And it's causing a hailstorm. But there's a fake news story that the media fails to call fake news because the media, I would imagine, would be for the soda tax. And that is the mayor of Philadelphia blaming the high price of soda not on the tax, instead on price gouging. Uh-huh. We'll give you the facts. Fake news. Philadelphia. Not here. Beginning, right now.
GLENN: If you ever want to know anything about global warming or soda tax or really bizarre fascist dictators that you've never heard of in countries you didn't even know existed, Pat -- or, Stu is your guy. Stu is absolutely the guy.
Favorite dictator, Stu?
STU: Well, Turkmenboshi, I would say had to be number one.
GLENN: His reign?
STU: Well, he died -- he was, of course, replaced by Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedow.
GLENN: Right. Okay.
STU: In Turkmenistan.
PAT: Don't insult our intelligence like we must know that.
STU: Which was actually his dentist. Was Turkmenboshi's dentist, who they put as the new dictator.
GLENN: Really? Really?
STU: So in case you want to read up on that. We can always talk about that.
GLENN: Okay. We can talk about that some other time. I just want to get your bona fides out there, that I don't just say that higgledy-piggledy. When it comes to weird dictators you've never heard of, anything on global warming, or soda tax, Stu is the guy to go to.
STU: Stunningly, not a good combination to pick up the ladies throughout the life.
GLENN: No. Stunningly not really a collection of anything that does you any good at all.
STU: It really didn't work well. No. Except for right now, while Philadelphia is putting together --
GLENN: Shine, baby. It's your moment.
STU: -- the most ridiculous soda tax of all time. And they're applying it to all sorts of different things.
If you remember, a lot of cities have tried to pass these things, which were supposedly designed not for them to get money, of course, but for -- to protect us from ourselves and our bad choices.
GLENN: Of course.
STU: We're all getting too fat. And I realize that this show is not the one to --
GLENN: We're not the one to point that out.
STU: We got it. We are too fat. However, we're fat by own decision-making.
GLENN: Right. We go in eyes wide open.
STU: Absolutely. And mouth wide open, to be perfectly honest about it.
STU: So they decided to try to pass this in Philadelphia by saying, "Well, you know, sure, it will have some health benefits. But really what we need is new money for Pre-K and all sorts of programs that everyone wants."
GLENN: Sure. This is going to be good for you. Help the children.
STU: It's going to be good for you. So it got through. They were successful to push it through. Started this month, for the first time.
The tax is 1.5 cents per ounce. So, you know, obviously a 20-ounce bottle of soda is going to add 30 cents. He might say, "Eh, it's not that big -- if you're paying two bucks, now it's 2.30. It might not necessarily hit you that hard." However, it gets worse, of course.
For example, Carbonator Rental Services in Philadelphia sells the syrup for sodas.
GLENN: So this is when you go into -- you know, if you're lucky to have a fountain in your house or you go into a restaurant and they're just pulling it out, there's nothing better than direct out of the fountain.
GLENN: McDonald's makes the best Cokes on the planet.
STU: Their straws are great too.
GLENN: Yeah, just wanted to throw that out.
STU: But -- so that's -- so normally they sell a 5-gallon box of syrup. You want to get into the straw talk, Jeffy? He seems interested.
Five-gallon box of syrup, usually 60 bucks. Sixty bucks.
GLENN: So this is the -- they come with the fizz and the syrup. And they mix it together.
GLENN: So you can have a glass of carbonated water, or they can add this syrup. A little bit of that syrup. So how much is the syrup?
STU: Normally it costs $60.
GLENN: Sixty dollars for the syrup.
STU: In December, $60 for the -- it's a lot of soda for $60.
STU: The new city tax applies to this beverage because it's sugary and it's a beverage.
STU: It applies $57.60 of additional cost.
GLENN: Wait. The syrup is $60.
STU: Sixty dollars for the syrup.
JEFFY: Right. Okay.
PAT: $57 for the tax.
STU: It's 60 cents for the tax.
PAT: That's price gouging right there. That's price gouging.
STU: Because, again, we're going from $60 to up 117.60 for the same product.
PAT: So in order to service their customers, they need to lower the price of that syrup to $3.
GLENN: Well, no, no, no. No, no, no.
PAT: Right? So it's $60. Right?
GLENN: So if they could stop price gouging, they might be able to, you know, pay the $15 of a working wage that they should be paying for those minimum jobs of making that syrup.
PAT: Well, yes, that too.
STU: I know. I know. Because they're supposed to do both of those things.
PAT: It's gone up to $117.60 for the same syrup.
STU: Reason has a story on this. In the real world, sandwich shops in grocery stores, of course, are adjusting --
PAT: That's essentially doubled the price.
STU: Yes. Because they were trying to make the case, it's not going to be that big of a deal.
In the real world, sandwich shops, grocery stores, of course, are adjusting the retail price of sugary drinks to make up for the added cost imposed by the tax.
And, by the way, the tax -- you know when you go to a store and you buy something and then you get the receipt and there's like a sales tax at the bottom -- right? That's how everything -- the way they structured this tax is that it hit before the retail side.
GLENN: Oh, my God.
STU: So they put it in there, so it's not separately listed on any of the receipts. It's just all the prices are jacked up through the ceiling.
GLENN: You know what, everybody should have on their menus and on receipts: Soda is this price because of this price of tax.
STU: And that's starting to happen around the city. They're saying, this is why this happening.
PAT: You'd have to.
STU: The mayor who passed the tax says, the efforts of alerting people why their soda costs so much are wrong and misleading. And suggested that it could be an extension of the expensive fight put up by soda companies.
Big soda is at fault here.
GLENN: This is so crazy.
STU: It is so crazy.
GLENN: When now Coca-Cola is sending in the mob to break some legs and get every dime out of their -- that's crazy.
PAT: Every country over 200 employees is evil now. And they only act in their own best interest. And they don't care what they destroy in their wake.
GLENN: The cities don't. The cities don't. The city council. The mayor. They don't. They're always acting in your best interest, even though the bills that they pass, the regulations that they put in, on cities, drive the jobs out, make your cities less safe, make your cities more expensive, drive businesses to other cities or other states, and they're just fine. There's nothing bad about them.
If a -- if a company decides to leave the state, the state will say, "Look at the evil company." But nobody -- who is on the bandwagon saying, "Wait. It's the state's income tax that is killing us right now."
PAT: Uh-huh. Uh-huh.
GLENN: It's their regulations on my business that makes it unaffordable for me to go here.
STU: Right. And in Philly, what they did was do everything they could to hide it from people. And then deny the reality that that's the reason why the prices are going up.
PAT: And sadly it works.
STU: It does.
PAT: It works.
GLENN: But will it work here?
PAT: In this article, they're interviewing the owner of a really small convenience store, who was doing really well before this tax.
Now he says he can count on one finger in the last week the number of people who have come in and bought soda, tea, or energy drinks, in any quantity bigger than a can.
Because you think about that. A 12-ounce can of soda is going to cost you, what? Sixty cents? Seventy-five? I hardly ever buy soda. So more than that? A dollar?
STU: Yeah. Yeah. More.
PAT: So then -- a dollar would be 1.18, if let's say it's a dollar. But when you're talking about the bigger quantities, like you mentioned, it can double the price.
STU: I hold in my hand Diet Arizona Blueberry Green Tea, which is for some reason I purchased. I bought two of these. These are gallon containers for $6, which I thought was a really good value.
Two gallons for $6. I thought that was solid, okay? If I was in Philly buying it, it would not be $6. It would be over, with all the taxes, over $10. Now, you talk about trying to do this with a family, to get -- when you're buying in large quantities --
GLENN: No. No. No.
STU: You are absolutely bilking the family that buys in bulk.
GLENN: No. No, you're not.
STU: You're not?
GLENN: Families should not be buying high sugary drinks.
STU: And that's the point, this isn't even a sugary beverage. There is no sugar whatsoever in it.
GLENN: It's green tea, and it's not even green. There's something wrong with that.
STU: It's blueberry, so it's blue.
JEFFY: So if there's no sugar in it, why are you getting taxed?
STU: I know. Isn't that interesting? Well, they've applied the tax to non-sugary drinks. Because, remember, this isn't about health. This is about getting more money.
GLENN: The children.
PAT: It's for the children.
PAT: For the children.
STU: Again, $6 for iced tea --
GLENN: It's your moment to shine, Pat.
STU: I thought it was my moment to shine on taxes.
GLENN: It was his. Look, very few times you can talk about sugary taxes, and even fewer times you can talk about Michael Jackson.
PAT: That's right.
GLENN: So this is his moment to shine.
PAT: Did I stole your moment? Steal it?
STU: No. These are good moments. Soda and Michael Jackson. So $6 turns into $10. That's a 67 percent tax.
PAT: That's madness. That's madness!
STU: Think about that. That's incredible, that they expect people to swallow this.
GLENN: They're going to.
STU: It's insane.
PAT: They literally need a tea party revolt in Philadelphia. Literal tea.
STU: I think they may have even in Philadelphia, overreached so badly --
JEFFY: This has been coming for years.
STU: I mean, a lot of these cities have tried to do this with small taxes and saying it's about health.
They've tried so hard, and they've gone so overboard, that perhaps, maybe we have a chance here to push back against this movement and say this is insane. Because people rally are pissed off about this, even in Philadelphia.
PAT: Well, they have to be.
STU: You have to be. It's killing you.
PAT: One and a half cents an ounce!
STU: An ounce.
GLENN: If I were Pepsi or Coke, I would be buying massive, massive ads on anything that anybody in Philadelphia is watching.
I would be buying massive ads and saying, "Look, here's what your mayor said. We want you to know, Coca-Cola is the same price." Go to New Jersey.
STU: Buy it in New Jersey.
GLENN: You'll buy it for the price you bought it last week.
PAT: Well, in this case, it's even easier than that. Go to Bala Cynwyd. You know, that's all you have to do.
GLENN: Go across the city line.
PAT: Across the line and go to their suburb, and you'll pay a lot less.
GLENN: Right. The only ones who are being hurt by this are the ones who are trapped in their food deserts, having to go buy their -- because they can't afford to go to Bala Cynwyd and drive out of the city. Anybody who uses a bus, anybody who walks to the supermarket, anybody who does that, you're the one being hurt.
STU: Think about that.
PAT: It's so easy to do too. Because you have Wawa in the city limits, right? Then you'd have Wawa just outside the city limits. And you can just show them the price. Here's the price in Philadelphia. Here's the price in Bala Cynwyd.
STU: Think about this. There's three groups affected by this policy: The consumer, totally screwed. The business owner, totally screwed. The government, helped.
How often is this the direction and goal of policy in this freaking country?
PAT: Almost always is.
JEFFY: Really, and the government hasn't really helped because they're selling less product.
STU: Yeah, but they're getting a huge income stream from people like me who would still go and buy it because I'm an idiot.
But if you need to fight this stuff, this needs to be overturned.
JEFFY: I agree.
STU: And I think like -- you look at this, and like, they get money, for whatever stupid policy, they say they're achieving, which of course, will wind up in ten years realizing they didn't achieve it and they'll ask for more money and more taxes.
GLENN: Well, what they'll do is they'll -- if this hangs on long enough, they'll say, "Well, we have to replace this money," and they'll just find a group that they can pin that on, that they can make everybody hate.
STU: Need to kill it fast, right?
GLENN: Yes. Because if it holds on, then they'll have the money and they'll say, "We need to raise this much money because we have to replace it." And they'll just find a group that is in a minority or can be sold to let people. Gas companies. Oil companies. Big business. Whoever. And they'll drive the jobs out even more.
PAT: It's for the children. And we love the children.
GLENN: You won't let him have that moment. You won't let him have that moment. Yeah.
STU: When you talk about the overreach, you know, you can talk -- you can get people to pay an extra little bit here and there.
To go from $60 to 117 is completely ridiculous. But, I mean, look at the guy -- this is the guy who owns the company whose product is now from $60 to 117.60.
He says, "We're not talking about a couple of bucks on a 60-dollar item." If it was, probably people wouldn't be bitching and there wouldn't be an opportunity to overturn this and push back against this. That's bad.
GLENN: Progressives overplay their hand every single time.
STU: Which is weird, because progressive, it's designed not to overplay your hand.
STU: Progressivism is, let's take the very little bit that we can and keep --
GLENN: They always think they're at the finish line. And only once did the Americans choose a nonprogressive to reverse it all, and that's in the 1920s. Usually they just -- they grab somebody who is offering those progressive ideas, just in a different package. Richard Nixon is a good example.
STU: '80s, I would say they did not choose progressive.
GLENN: But I don't consider him a progressive, as much just a flatout bad Marxist. Jimmy Carter.
STU: In the '80s. Ronald Reagan. Do you know the guy I'm referring to?
GLENN: He wasn't a progressive.
STU: Right. You said only one time have they chosen -- I think -- oh, you're saying --
GLENN: I would say, you know, the big progressives --
STU: Right. Okay. I see what you're saying.
GLENN: Woodrow Wilson.
STU: Not an ideological, necessarily progressive, that was reversed by conservatism -- that's only happened --
PAT: They're tired of waiting. And they've gotten so close lately. I think they're just tired of waiting, and now they're trying to push it the rest of the way. Don't you think?
They've gotten a little impatient lately because Obama brought them so far. And they're like, "We're right there. Let's just push it the rest of the way."
GLENN: Because they know what I have been saying is true.
PAT: The pendulum. Pendulum.
GLENN: Yes. And this doesn't last.
GLENN: It doesn't last long. It's on the verge of collapse.
GLENN: The question is, who is going to be the one holding the reigns when it collapses? Is it going to be the left or is it going to be the right?
PAT: I don't know. But it's horrifying.