Joining us in condemning Mayor Bloomberg’s approach is leading syndicated columnist, Cal Thomas. His piece, which appeared in dozens of papers over the last few days, boils the issue down to its essence.
Are there no limits on government’s power, no place where it cannot go?
I know the rationale. If the homeless eat nutritional food, it could reduce the number of health problems and presumably lower the cost of health care.
But more than the issue of salt and portion size is the greater issue of liberty, which is being slowly but steadily eroded by big government that wants to save us from ourselves. The freedom to choose what to eat, drink, smoke and a lot of other things — and to accept the benefits and consequences that go with these choices — are the wedge issues that government uses to snake its way into new areas of our lives.
Our Founding Fathers issued many warnings about the dangers of growing and intrusive government, which they sought to control with the Constitution. Among the best was from Thomas Jefferson: “Most bad government has grown out of too much government.”
No better example of that can be found than in what Mayor Bloomberg has forced on the hungry of New York City.
Withering criticism of the Mayor’s Nanny state approach continued today, with an editorial in Investor’s Business Daily:
Today, state power over the individual has expanded, with Bloomberg successfully banning smoking in all commercial locales and the serving of trans fats in all city restaurants — the latter a dubious health measure since other fats can be worse for your body.
Much of the supposedly nonnutritious food that Bloomberg has banned from the homeless really amounts to leftovers from what the city’s rich eat. No wonder a Rasmussen poll this week found 82% of American adults opposed to such a ludicrous ban.
But lefty New York politicians such as Bloomberg are proud to see their diktats emulated elsewhere, in spite of the cost in personal freedom. Elk Grove, Calif., for instance, is now considering banning smoking in all apartment complexes.
Our message of sound science, individual responsibility, freedom, and the importance of limited government is resonating around the country and around the world. (See this clip from Russian Television). Yet only 82% of the country agree with us on such a clear-cut instance of government power taken to the extreme. So we’ve still got our work cut out for us.