Connecticut Democrat Rep. Rosa DeLauro is pushing Congress to pass a bill that would tax all sugar at a rate of one cent per teaspoon. Praising a new Philadelphia tax on soft drinks, DeLauro held a press conference this week to recommend that more be done on the federal level to push Americans away from sugary drinks and snacks.
“Congress should follow Philadelphia’s lead and enact the SWEET Act, which would reduce the human and economic costs of health conditions related to those beverages,” DeLauro said. “And while we continue to pressure Congress to act, more cities should step up and lead on this critical issue. At a time when one-in-three children and adolescents are overweight or obese, with the numbers even worse for adults, we must take action.”
Taking action, of course, means punishing Americans for making their own food choices. Mind you, this type of tax would affect everyone – not just the overweight. Millions of people with absolutely no fitness problems whatsoever will be inconvenienced by this tax, which could have an extraordinary effect on the price of thousands of food products. It’s the government deciding your lifestyle for you.
No one would deny that a diet filled with cake and soda is a bad idea, but there’s little evidence that this kind of taxation would change America’s eating habits. People don’t eat like this because it’s cheap; they eat like this because they like to eat like this. And that should be their right, however unfortunate the choice may be.
What’s remarkable is that the same liberals who propose these taxes oppose propositions like the one in Maine. Republican Gov. Paul LePage has been fighting the Obama administration for the right to ban food stamp recipients from spending public dollars on sugary snacks and drinks for months. But no, in that case, liberals insist that we cannot take away these individuals’ options. In that case – and in that case alone – liberals suddenly remember that America is supposed to be the land of liberty. As long as you’re spending welfare dollars, you should be able to buy whatever you like.
It makes no sense, but then, what else is new when it comes to the Democrats?