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The Constitution Diet

December 15th, 2008 by Bill Brown · 2 Comments · Politics

New York’s Governor David Paterson has unveiled his office’s budget proposal to bridge the $15 billion deficit his state faces. Among the litany of “drastic belt-tightening” items is a 15% tax on non-diet sodas. This “fat tax” has long been the final stop on the slippery slope, but it always seemed too far-fetched to believe it could actually happen. Democrats stereotypically want the government to be hands-off when it comes to your body, but it turns out that that policy of laissez-faire applies only to one’s genitalia.

There is a legitimate obesity epidemic, though:

The Paterson administration also announced steps yesterday to expand the state’s social services net, including a 30% increase in welfare payments over three years starting January 2010, increased money for food banks and expanded access to the state’s Family Health Plus program.

Paterson also hopes to make it easier for people to enroll in Medicaid by eliminating face-to-face interviews and fingerprinting requirements.

Government budgets, which are really just a measure of how much the state took from the people, are ever-expanding. Government at all levels need to go on a special diet, one that I like to call The Constitution Diet. It’s quite simple: treat the Constitution as it was intended—an enumeration of powers—and don’t spend any money or exercise any power that isn’t in there. Diets are hard, but this one will make the people of America more fit for the future.

2 Comments so far ↓

  • Bill Brown

    Before anyone raises the objection, I know that the Constitution has enumerated powers that aren’t legitimate—read rights-protecting—like the post office, taxes, and duties but this rubric would get us awfully far towards a properly-limited government. (And I know that another contradiction of the Constitution is that almost every illegitimate expansion since its drafting has been linked to an expansive interpretation of one of its clauses.)

  • Myrhaf

    The more the government intervenes with health care, the more I expect them to pass laws against obesity. They might even levy a fat tax not just on refreshments but on people. This will seem logical to the statists, but just 20 years ago the idea would have been laughed at. I could stand to lose some weight, but I don’t want to be ordered to do it by two-bit dictators in the Department of Fat People…or whatever it’s called…