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Obama Should Look Anywhere but Here for Inspiration

by on September 15, 2009

Just in case anyone’s not alarmed yet about the current national administration, know that President Obama is thinking like David Paterson. Treating New York’s leader like an idea factory should depress those outside of the state and scare the hell out of everyone who lives within his domain.

The New York Daily News brought attention to an irritatingly meddlesome initiative first suggested by the governor and now being floated by the president. Namely, it’s a plan to fight the scourge of drinking pop:

“It’s an idea that we should be exploring,” the president said. “There’s no doubt that our kids drink way too much soda. And every study that’s been done about obesity shows that there is as high a correlation between increased soda consumption and obesity as just about anything else.”

It’s good the president is focusing on important things, although he missed a golden chance to lecture kids about their soft drink consumption during his school time speech last week. Who else will address the horrors inflicted by Dr Pepper? The only other option would be to let parents raise their own kids.

The article made sure to note the original source of the notion to punish carbonated beverage aficionados:

Obama is floating the idea seven months after a storm of protest forced poll-challenged Gov. Paterson to drop his plans for an 18% tax on soda and other sugary drinks.

The proposal’s initial failure should have been a strong enough sign. The president should realize that, like everyone else, New York’s residents have had enough of being told what to do and how much to pay for doing it. As with more and more Americans, people around here don’t want to be punished by a government intent on modifying private behavior. That’s not stopping Obama from tossing about a scheme that got zero traction even in a navy blue state.

The suggested regulation was rotten even by Paterson’s meager standards. On a national level, the bizarre levy would serve as the equivalent of Bill Clinton’s midnight basketball: it’s the most banal example possible of a federal government that simply must intrude in our lives. They fix our problems, you see. Meanwhile, current elected officials aren’t serving as a model of discipline.

Of course, such an annoying tax deserves the same fate it met on the state level. But what about the man who suggested it? Maybe Paterson is angling for a czar slot after November 2010, when the governor loses his first race for the governorship. To be fair, he could also be sunk in the primary, but he’ll need work either way. Regrettably, he’s just another disagreeable New Yorker who would be a perfect fit with the current administration. If nothing else, he can teach our president that saying “pop” is much more fun than using the term “soda.” It’s the only possible good thing that could come of a Paterson idea.

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