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Saturday, December 20, 2008

New York's Obesity Tax

New York Governor Patterson is proposing a tax on sugary soft drinks, any fruit drink that is less than 70% fruit juice, and other fattening items, to combat child obesity. So, in a sense, he is proposing an obesity tax.

Patterson's explanation for the obesity tax is that it is essential to encourage parents to ensure their children drink less soda, which is bad for you, according to Patterson. The tax is an 18% tax to be placed on these items in addition to any other tax already imposed. The idea is to tax the obesity causing items heavily in order to curb consumption. Isn't that always the liberal Democrat response to anything they have deemed to be bad for you, or needs to be controlled? The response is always to increase taxes!

If the left doesn't want you smoking? They increase taxes on cigarettes. Fossil fuels are bad for the environment? No problem - increase the tax and force auto makers to build shoe boxes on wheels that may be death traps, but hey, they get great gas mileage. Wealthy? Shame on you. The left thinks it is bad for those in poverty! Tax increase.

The Left wishes to curb your behavior, and control your activities. They want to save you from yourself. The government wants to save you from yourself because apparently you don't know how to run your own life.

I am not arguing that soda pop is good for you. In fact, most of the things that the liberal Democrats want to try to impose on you as being essentially good and should be done by people - - - I basically agree with, but I don't agree with their tactics. In other words, I agree that child obesity is a problem. I agree that our children eat too many fatty foods. I agree that our children, and everyone in society, for that matter, drink too much soda. But it is not up to government to dictate to us how to solve that problem, and how much we are allowed to eat or drink or whatever. Because, however much government does that, all it does is allow them to gain more control over your life. But, it doesn't change an individual's heart. It is the heart that causes people to do the wrong thing. A change of heart is what is needed to encourage people to help the poor, and so forth.

I agree that we should be out there feeding the homeless and helping the poor and helping people that find themselves in difficult situations of no fault of their own. But this should not be achieved through welfare, not through taxation, not through government control. That is what charities are for. That is what having a big fat heart is about. Volunteer your time, donate your money, or whatever. But that needs to be your independent decision. Government shouldn't dictate to you that you have to give to this poverty stricken group, or pay for that program. It is not up to government to determine that you have to volunteer your time. The government has no business telling you, when it comes to these things, that you have to do anything other than what you think is best for you. Now, obviously that statement right there can be taken to the opposite extreme, and I am sure the liberal left readers of this blog already have all kinds of attacks ready for that one.

Understand this: In the end, what it comes down to is the liberal left has their set of morals (relativistic and pluralistic as they may be) that they feel must be pushed on you, and that you must comply to, otherwise they see you as immoral. You must not be thinking about the best interest of society if you reject their version of things.

Once the left begins to dictate to you like that, they begin to control what you can say or do. But isn't that in opposition to free will? What about freedom and liberty? They seem to think that as long as you're getting fat, it doesn't matter if they are compromising the standards, principles and values of this nation when they try to manipulate your behavior through taxation. Who is the government to tell you not to eat fatty foods?

You shouldn't eat fatty foods. . . you should curb your appetite, and do whatever it is that needs to be done. You should be healthy, as a personal, individual desire. But all the government dictation in the world is not going to change your heart, and make you do the right thing willfully.

And notice I use the word "dictate" quite a bit. Because that is what they are doing - the government is dictating to you what you can and can't do, what you should and shouldn't do, and they are going to make sure you do the "right thing" by taxing you. They are going to herd your behavior in the direction they want it to go through taxation. I suppose higher taxes are sort of like sheep dogs. They bite you and bark at you and push you in the direction they want you to go. Higher taxes and government regulation and government control are the sheepdogs of government - and you, my friends, are the sheep.

"Dictate," by the way, is the root word from which "dictator" comes from.

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