Tax: NH Soda
Healthy by force: Nanny will keep you fit
Jan. 10, 2010
The days when you have the freedom to indulge in guilty pleasures without being punished by your government may be coming to an end.
Already the government taxes tobacco products not to raise revenue, but to discourage smoking. In Concord, two Grafton Democrats have introduced a bill to tax sugar-sweetened soft drinks, not to raise revenue, but to make the drinks more expensive so fewer people will buy them.
Rep. Beatriz Pastor, one of the sponsors, told New Hampshire Public Radio, “I support the bill because the medical research shows unequivocally a link between high consumption of sugar drinks and adult onset diabetes and obesity beginning with children.” Tax policy is becoming health policy.
The state has banned smoking in all bars and restaurants. Every other state requires adult drivers to wear seat belts, and New Hampshire only barely escaped such a mandate last year. Some Democrats in the Legislature want to mandate motorcycle helmet use. If that happens, it is only a matter of time before all bicyclists, skiers and snow boarders are made to follow.
In Los Angeles, new fast food restaurants have been banned in some neighborhoods. Officials in some cities want to control what food is served in restaurants to make sure residents don’t eat too much that is bad for them.
If the health care bill pending in Washington becomes law, no American citizen will be allowed the freedom to live, no matter how briefly, without health insurance. The purpose of the mandate is to collectivize everyone’s health. Your body is no longer to be your own. It will belong to everyone. Your good health will be used to improve the health of others.
Our bodies are gradually becoming socialized. The choices we make about how to live, what to eat and drink and what pleasures we enjoy are increasingly to be guided by the hand of the state.
Underlying all of this legislating is the theory that society must collectively dictate individual behavior for the purpose of making society collectively healthier. Individual will must be stamped out and replaced with the will of the state.
This is not some science-fiction fantasy. This is happening right now. If we as Americans, as Granite Staters, don’t stand up and oppose this dramatic enlargement of the nanny state now, while we have the chance, we will find our choices narrowed year after year until we wake up one day with little control over any decision that the self-appointed experts deem a potential risk to our health or safety — which is more or less everything.