New York City Mayor Mike Bloomberg made an appearance on Meet the Press Sunday to respond to a recent judicial ruling striking down his “soda ban” as “arbitrary and capricious.” SPOILER ALERT: If you thought you’d heard the last of this madness, think again.
Bloomberg says “Our (government’s) job is to educate…. We’re not banning anything.”
Oh, I see. You’re merely informing the public about the dangers of large sodas. You’re going to make folks buy 2 medium sized drinks or 4 small sized drinks so they realize how much you’re drinking… and what an a-hole you are. That’s really his argument. Buy four rather than one. Watch the interview.
It was at this point in the discussion that Bloomey absolutely lost me. He attempted to make the argument that government has an interest in combating obesity – the same way it was able to prohibit smoking in public places. (But hang with it. The smoking comparison’s only the tip of the iceberg.)
BLOOMBERG: We allow you to smoke, we just don’t allow you to smoke where other people have to inhale the smoke you are exhaling or comes from your cigarette. The same thing with obesity – which incidentally is a public interest because we’re going to spend $5 billion on treating people with obesity in our hospitals in New York City alone this year.
On some levels, that’s fair. Nanny state loving politicians like Bloomey have all but guaranteed a lifetime of the “rest of us” picking up the tab for every free-loading hippie with a bad habit, or twelve. I blame them – the politicians and the free-loaders for that problem; not the soda drinking taxpayer. But it is what it is. The “American People” wanted government-run health care. Now they’ve got it. And you’re stuck with the bill… and intrusive politicians like Bloomey.
But Bloomberg’s response illustrates the biggest problem in the line of logic that the Mayor tries to draw between smoking and soda consumption. Second hand smoke is a threat to other people. Being fat because you drink too much soda is not. No one has ever become fat by watching someone else drink a 64-ounce soft drink. No one. And if it’s really a “we’re going to have to pay for their health care costs” argument, just make it; and ban everything else worth eating, drinking, or doing while you’re at it.
No doubt bewildered by Bloomberg’s rambling, host David Gregory asks, “Where is the line? How far is too far for government to go?”
His response read like a Bloomberg nanny-state manifesto…
BLOOMBERG: ”I do not think we should ban most things. I do think we there are times when we should infringe upon your freedoms. For instance, when you’re drinking, we shouldn’t let you drive. Uhhh. If you’re carrying a gun, we shouldn’t let you on an airplane. Uhhh umm. There’s a lot of things that we do - if there’s asbestos in the classroom, we remove the kids from the classroom til you clean the air. But in terms of smoking, if you want to smoke, I think you have a right to do so and I would protect that. If you wanna own a gun I certainly think that’s constitutionally protected. You certainly have the right to own a gun if you want. If you wanna eat a lot and get fat, you have a right to do it. But our job as government is to inform the public.”
To recap: Second hand smoke, drinking and driving, asbestos in schools, and guns on planes… all on par with drinking a Big Gulp.
You’ve gotta be kidding me, Mr. Mayor. You have officially lost it.