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The latest twist on the junk food tax

by Greg Belfrage

SIOUX FALLS, SD - Pay people to cook at home.  That's the headline of a recent Kristin Wartman column at the New York Times.  

Pay people to cook at home.  

The headline was a blaring warning that I wasn't going to like what I was about to read.  My blood pressure was already rising. 

However, I consider myself to be a reasonable person.  I am open to differing points of view.  I forged bravely ahead into Wartman's column, fully knowing that a stroke would likely claim me at any moment.

Wartman's argument boiled down to a proposal... let's raise taxes on unhealthy foods, such as soda and junk food, so that parents can stay home to cook healthy meals for the kids.  Oh, and she'd also like the government to fund education on cooking, meal planning and shopping for parents.

Instead of writing columns for the New York Times, Wartman should be penning letters to Santa.  She's obviously living in fantasy land.  

Wartman's scheme is wrong on so many levels.  It would lead to higher taxes, more social engineering, more federal government power, less choice and less parental responsibility.

I'm so tired of the self-appointed nanny-state crowd involving themselves in the personal lifestyle decisions of Americans.  The idea that parents should be subsidized so they can stay home and cook meals belongs in a George Orwell novel, not in the opinion pages of a major American newspaper.  And certainly not on the floor of any legislative body in this country!

I have a fundamental disagreement with raising taxes on certain products simply to change the lifestyle behavior of consumers.  Whether its cigarettes or fatty foods, taxes shouldn't be raised on products simply to discourage their use.

Do you think for one moment that those higher taxes would actually go where they are intended?  

Ask the anti-smoking groups what happened to the tobacco settlement funds that were awarded to states.  Those dollars were supposed to be spent on tobacco prevention and treatment programs. Instead, many states funneled them directly into their general budget fund.

There was a day in America when parents sacrificed so that mom could stay home with the kids and cook meals.  Today we expect our more affluent neighbors to sacrifice on our behalf.

I'd laugh if it weren't so tragic.

Greg Belfrage is heard mornings from 6am-9am on KELO Newstalk 1320 AM/107.9 FM.