Lew's View: Shopping bag fee

- Lew Leone is the vice president and general manager of WNYW-FOX 5. He is taking to the airwaves with his thoughts on current affairs. It's called "Lew's View." In this commentary, Mr. Leone takes on New York's new 5-cent shopping bag fee.


We all know that Mayor Bill de Blasio is a progressive and that one of the main goals of his agenda is to deal with the problem he sees with income inequality. That's why I can't understand why he supports a regressive tax on New Yorkers. I'm talking about the five cent fee he's going to impose on plastic shopping bags.

Why do I call it a regressive tax? Well, first of all it unfairly affects the poor to a greater extent than the more well off. At one end of the income scale you have the one percenters who use services like Fresh Direct and Amazon to have their groceries and other purchases delivered and they have no need for plastic bags.  The upper and middle class also take taxis, Ubers and car services to deliver them door to door which means they can load up and not make more frequent trips to the store and use more plastic bags to schlepp home on the bus ,subway or walk home.

The use of reusable bags while good for the environment is very unsanitary. Unless you wash the bags after each use you expose yourself and your family to germs and bacteria from meats and produce. This also affects the poor more than others because they are less likely to have in-home washers and dryers.

This is just another attempt by Bill de Blasio to do the bidding of special interest groups. His last attempt failed miserably when he tried to ban the use of Styrofoam which he claimed couldn't be recycled. Luckily his ban was overturned by the New York State Supreme Court because they found the mayor's thinking "arbitrary".

The solution here is very simple and shouldn't cost New Yorker's a nickel. De Blasio should spend some of the money he has raised to further his Progressive Agenda to encourage all of us to recycle our plastic bags. It will cost already cash-strapped New Yorkers nothing and save hundreds of dollars for the families that can least afford it.

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