Thingish Things

The Soda Precedent is Worse Than Obamacare

Written By: William F. B. O'Reilly - Jul• 02•12

I’m not a lawyer. I don’t even play one on TV. So I can’t claim any legal veracity to this opinion. But I would argue that Mike Bloomberg’s coming ban on sodas over 16 ounces in New York City poses a greater threat to our freedoms than the decision on Obamacare.

It feels that way anyway.

“Overturn Obamacare” will be the rallying cry for conservative-minded Americans, myself included, going into November’s election. But it’s important to fully understand what the decision said. It supported the central argument of the attorneys opposing the Affordable Care Act — that the government cannot force Americans to buy something they don’t want — and instead ruled Obamacare a gigantic tax increase, which, however odious, is constitutionally acceptable.

The howls of protest at the Court’s decision are only beginning, while the small yelps over the Big Gulp liquidation have gone silent. Mayor Bloomberg is pushing through his decision as an executive order, so no vote on the matter is required. It was announced; briefly ridiculed, and is set to become official city policy for thousands of small businesses and millions of Americans as early as next March. Expect other municipalities around the country to seek to do the same — at least one already has..

The mayor’s dictum — on top of his Scrooge-like bake-sale ban in city schools and his attempt to lower salt use in restaurant kitchens — is breathtakingly insulting. His thinking insists that people are too stupid to make their own decisions on matters of ingestion. But more than that, it assumes it is government’s business to oversee a principal bodily function.

The rest of this column is available at Newsday Westchester.  Thanks for reading!

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