• A bag tax is a money-grab by politicians, grocers and union honchos

    Politicians, grocers, unions and special interest groups that benefit from bag taxes and bag bans want you to believe that they are acting to help the environment and reduce pollution.

    That is a smoke-screen. The truth is this is about lining the pockets of these elites at the expense of middle class and working class families.

    Take, for example, the recently-enacted California state bag ban, SB-270. It creates a whole series of money transfers from California’s families to special interests.

    • Article 3, subsection 42283.7: “All moneys collected pursuant to this article shall be retained by the store….”
    • Article 4, subsection 42285: “Any civil penalties collected pursuant to subdivision (a) shall be paid to the office of the city attorney, city prosecutor, district attorney, or Attorney General….”
    • Article 6, subsection 42288: “[T]he sum of two million dollars ($2,000,000) is hereby appropriated from the Recycling Market Development Revolving Loan Subaccount in the Integrated Waste Management Account to the department for the purposes of providing loans [to special interests who supported the bill].”

    How convenient!

    • Formerly-free bags are now paid for by consumers, with the money handed over to the supermarkets and their allies who pushed for this new law.
    • Prosecutors are incentivized to redirect resources from real crimes to punish stores and businesspeople by letting the prosecuting offices keep any monies they can extract from job-creators by claiming violations of the law … “in the amount of one thousand dollars ($1,000) per day for the first violation”! (Article 4, section 42285.)
    • And millions are made available for loans to entities who supported the new mandate and its indirect tax on working families.

    “Green” legislation indeed: shoppers’ greenbacks will be lining the pockets of the bill’s supporters.

    Oh, and don’t forget: many of these same entities give big campaign contributions to the very politicians who made this bill law.

    Finally, let’s remember that other industries and special interests are paying close attention to what happens with this law. Think of any service or goods currently provided free by businesses that might like to have the government force them to get payment for them.

    You know those clean towels you get at hotels each morning? How about a new “green” law to prohibit daily fresh towels unless you pay a fee to discourage all the laundry detergent and energy used to wash your towels. The hotel industry would love such a mandate, especially where, as in California’s bag law, the business gets to keep the revenue!

    How about free water given by restaurants, or free beverage refills? Why not a “green” law to charge a dime for each glass of water (imagine all the water wasted in glasses that also then have to be washed), or how about a “health” law prohibiting free refills of high-calorie beverages? Restaurants might love being “forced” to charge you for your currently-free refills.

    Big Government knows no bounds. If the California law stands, expect more cozy deals between industries and politicians to create new ways to take your money and give it to them.