The Obama White House is at war. It's launched a multi-front campaign against carbonated soda and candy bars.
On Monday, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack vowed to ban candy and soda from public school lunchrooms. Embattled Sen. Blanche Lincoln, R-Ark., reportedly plans to insert Vilsack's candy and soda ban into the bill that reauthorizes federally subsidized school lunches. Meanwile, as my colleague David Freddoso pointed out (http://www.washingtonexaminer.com/opinion/blogs/beltway-confidential/First-Lady-obesity.html)
A White House task force has been set up to battle obesity, and First Lady Michelle Obama has embarked on a media blitz in an all-out effort to reduce the national waistline, even going so far as to suggest on national TV that the First Daughters were getting a bit pudgy.
Alas, all wars produce casualties, and the war on Willy Wonka is no different. As Deneen Borelli, a fellow at the National Center for Public Policy Research's (www.nationalcenter.org) Project 21 black leadership network points out, progressive Democrats like San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom and New York Governor David Paterson will bear the brunt of the collateral damage because they're relying on continued consumption of candy and soda as a source of new taxes.
To help deal with a $15 billion state budget deficit, Paterson has reintroduced his $1.28 per gallon soda tax proposal – which will increase the cost of a non-diet soda by 15 percent. Newsom is planning to bypass San Francisco voters by imposing a still undisclosed fee on retailers who sell individual cans of sugary beverages so he doesn't have to get the new tax approved in a referendum.
“In spreading their gospel against sugary treats, Michelle Obama and the Obama administration will hurt the ability of Newsom and Paterson to reap their sin taxes,” Borelli noted. Ah, those pesky unintended consequences.
But one can't help but wonder why such a highly coordinated, sustained campaign is being directed at Willy Wonka instead of the terrorists.