Obama open to a “sin tax” on soda, other products — but what does that mean for health care reform?
According to Agence France-Presse, the president has given an interview in an upcoming issue of Men’s Health magazine in which he claims to be open to a “sin tax” on so-called “fizzy drinks” in an effort to reduce obesity rates in the United States.
Over the past few years, we’ve seen that personal responsibility has given way to a propensity to sue fast food restaurants for making us fat. Now, it appears that the president and his Democrats will take full advantage of the blame-shifting culture currently permeating the nation, and use it to once again expand the size, scope and reach of the federal government.
The most telling part of the piece is the following:
The president — reported to be one of the fittest US commanders-in-chief in decades — stressed that “obviously there is resistance on Capitol Hill to those kinds of sin taxes.
“Legislators from certain states that produce sugar or corn syrup are sensitive to anything that might reduce demand for those products,” he said.
In addition, “people’s attitude is that they don’t necessarily want Big Brother telling them what to eat or drink, and I understand that,” Obama added.
“It is true, though, that if you wanted to make a big impact on people’s health in this country, reducing things like soda consumption would be helpful.”
Could the president have made his agenda any more clear? Here, he uses the same sort of moral equivalency test he applies to every issue (Israel/Palestine: On one hand, six million Jews were murdered in the Holocaust; on the other hand, Palestinians have been roaming the desert for sixty years in search of a home) to weigh government intrusion in Americans’ daily lives against what he views the proper role of government to be: On one hand, people want to be able to make their own choices when it comes to what they eat and what they drink; on the other hand, however, managing obesity through government intervention would go a long way to reducing health care costs.
This is exactly what I’ve been talking about for months now: health care reform is the federal government’s ticket into each and every aspect of our everyday lives. Just like cap-and-trade would provide the government with unprecedented control over Americans’ homes and garages–remember that, according to presidential candidate Obama, we cannot set our thermostats at 72 degrees and drive around in SUVs and expect the rest of the world to be okay with it–health care reform would provide the government with the means of controlling, by rationalizing downhill health care costs, everything from the food we eat to the speed we drive to the number of children we have to the amount of sugar in our condiments. Oh, wait — on the latter, Congress has already found some sort of authority to regulate that.
That’s right. Somehow, the federal government found the authority in the seventeen enumerated powers in Article 1, Section 8 of our Constitution to regulate the amount of sugar manufacturers can put into ketchup. Add that to congressional injection into the Major League Baseball steroid injection debate, as well as Senate hearings into New England Patriots coach Bill Belichick’s sign-stealing practices, and not to mention government involvement in the age at which Americans can drink and the flush capacity of toilets in American homes, and you see that the government can rationalize itself into nearly every aspect of our lives already. Barack Obama’s assessment that, somehow, health concerns outweigh the role, scope and reach of government defined by our founders is extremely telling when it comes to exactly what the health care debate, the energy debate and nearly every other aspect of this administration’s agenda is really about.