(December 24, NYC) New York City, once the capital of rebelliousness, culture, social and political trend setting, the home of cutting edge innovations in fashion, style and entertainment as well as the birthplace of every genre of music from punk, new wave , hip hop and rap, has lost much of the spirit that once defined the Big Apple and New Yorkers themselves. The latest intrusion aimed at increasing the government's influence in personal decisions comes in the form of what has been proposed by Governor David "Blinky" Paterson as the "Obesity Tax."
Mike Bloomberg, the "Independant" Mayor of New York City, has imposed taxes and surcharges on aspects of individual lives that are not only excessive but also unconstitutional. He and whoever the Governor of the moment has been have been all too eager to tax cigarettes while banning smoking in public places, raised taxes on mass transportation translating practically into increased commuter fares and a host of other heavy handed taxes under the auspices of "the Public Good." That is, plain and simple, a blatant lie. Revnue is the only motivatonal factor that ever drives such "public initiatives."
Now the obese, fat people - are to be taxed for being fat. Actually, it is not that simple, it is more subtle however, the message is clear: the fat among us will pay more for their choice to be fat. Blinky wants to tax such "non-nutitional" goods such as soda. A tax on soda, beyond being absurd, would impact the lower income New Yorker's far more than those wh are higher educated, earn more and tend to have better nutritional, medical and recreational options.
The people of New York State are vehemently opposed to this tax proposal as demonstrated clearly by several recent state-wide polls. (Click on title for link.)
Blinky is patently incapable of seeing the impact such a tax would have on communities such as that he alledges to have represented in his past elected offices before being Spitzerized into the Governor's Seat. He and Mike have made the cliche' about liberals become further cemented in truth by their actions: raising taxes is NOT the answer to every problem and the notion that the government, at any level, should be permitted arbitrary, aggressive intrusion into our lives is diamertically opposite of the principals our Nation was founded on.
Wake up and open your eyes, Mr. Governor! Perhaps better fiscal management and controling your wreckless pork barrel spending on the State level would help correct the perpetual (and now your), state budgetary shortfalls.
If you are prepared to tax the fat why not tax the skinny; obviously they don't eat enough and, following your blinded logic, should be taxed for not buying emough food or soda or beer and pastries. Tax commuters who walk: they are not paying their fair share of the MTA's monetary needs. Raise taxes on cheap clothes while you're at it. People who cannot afford to shop at Macy's or along Lexington Avenue are not paying THEIR fair share of taxes, right? Where does it end Blinky, when will it end?
Legally speaking, you are on very shaky ground here as have been your recent predecessors and Mr. Mayor. Thusfar yours and theirs legislative agendas have been approved simply by virtue of targeting social issues that most people felt sufficiently strongly about that they went along with them. People, by and large, do not like those among us who choose to smoke cigarettes or enjoy other tobacco products. It appears Blinky that you may have run up against an invisible wall of demonstrable public resistance. Most folks are of a "live and let live" attitude and have expressed their views in polls accordingly. If someone is fat and wants to drink a gallon of two of Mountain Dew, Mr. Pibb, A&W Root Beer and day, why tax them unjustly?
Go back to your neighborhood Mr. Paterson and explain to the obese residents their why they will be paying more for things they like or eat because their choices are limited. See how that goes, Okay?
Gino Palermo is an attorney with The Palermo Associates and has a great interest in NYC and NY State politics.
Copyright TBC 2008 © All Rights Reserved