“It’s Appropriate For Government To Intervene At Times To Make Sure That The Choices That Are Presented Are Healthy For Us”

big-gulp-nyc-soda-ban

In Washington DC it seems politicians are eager to take up a soda ban:

At a recent debate between candidates for the at-large council seats, current Councilmembers Michael Brown and Vincent Orange said without hesitation they would vote to ban the sale of large drinks.

That news was music to Councilmember Mary Cheh’s ears.

“I’m very excited by that,” said Cheh (D-Ward 3), who fell one vote short of passing a tax on sodas and other sugary drinks.

Cheh authored the Healthy Schools Act and says she thinks the New York City ban is a good idea she’d like to bring to the nation’s capital.

“If I could get the votes to do it I would certainly try to put that in place,” Cheh tells WTOP.

“I would consider legislation to do that, I would like to see that done,” she added.

While Cheh, Orange and Brown are the only three elected officials to come out in support of the ban, several others say they are open to a ban, including Mayor Vincent Gray.

“I think there probably are some good health reasons to support something like that,” Gray said. “We’ll be happy to look at it, we haven’t taken a position on that one way or another.”

That’s all very disturbing, but perhaps the most chilling is this comment from Chen about the need for government to reduce the number of choices available to citizens in order to ensure they make the right decisions:

Despite the criticism she knows she’ll take from some colleagues and residents, Cheh isn’t shying away from legislating some food choices.

“I know ‘nanny state’ and all that, but it’s appropriate for government to intervene at times to make sure that the choices that are presented are healthy for us,” she says.

In other words, we have freedom…to pick from among the choices the government thinks we should be allowed to make.

Which, of course, isn’t freedom at all.

Rob Port is the editor of SayAnythingBlog.com. In 2011 he was a finalist for the Watch Dog of the Year from the Sam Adams Alliance and winner of the Americans For Prosperity Award for Online Excellence. In 2013 the Washington Post named SAB one of the nation's top state-based political blogs, and named Rob one of the state's best political reporters. He writes a weekly column for several North Dakota newspapers, and also serves as a policy fellow for the North Dakota Policy Council.

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