Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney fought hard to pass a new tax on soda and other sugary drinks.
He won, and the 1.5-cents-per-ounce tax is now in place, affecting both merchants and consumers, because that's how taxes work.
Businesses pay the levies, and they offset the cost by charging higher prices. That is as basic as it gets.
The only person who doesn't seem to understand this is Kenney, who is now accusing business owners of extortion.
"They're gouging their own customers," the mayor said, according to KYW News.
Philadelphians are obviously outraged by the skyrocketing cost of things as simple as a soda, which has prompted some businesses to post signs explaining why the drinks are now do damned expensive.
Kenney said that this effort by businesses to explain the rising cost is "wrong" and "misleading."
The mayor apparently thought the city council could impose a major new tax on businesses, and that customers somehow wouldn't be affected.
Obviously, this isn't how it works.
"In the real world … sandwich shops and grocery stores, of course, are adjusting the retail price of sugary drinks to make up for the added cost imposed by the tax," Reason's Eric Boehm noted.
He added, "Kenney can fight the grocery stores and soda distributors opposed to the tax — though it was probably wrong for him to assume they would just go along with things after it passed against their wishes — but he can't fight the laws of economics."