Rosa DeLauro AP

It takes some serious gall for a legislator to turn to British taxes from 1764 for inspiration, but that’s what Rosa DeLauro (D-Conn.), did when she introduced the Sugar-Sweetened Beverages Tax (SWEET Act). The Democrat’s goal: tax every teaspoon of sugar, high fructose corn syrup or caloric sweetener that you buy. The tax would start at one cent per teaspoon of sugar and increase as future masterminds in Washington, D.C. see fit.

Here’s what she had to say regarding the SWEET Act:

“Added sugar is pervasive and almost inescapable at the supermarket. And of course, many times it is the sugary foods and drinks that are the easiest for the families living on the edge of poverty to afford. When a 2 liter cola is 99 cents and blueberries are over $3.00, something has gone very wrong. As [the movie] “Fed Up” shows, this is not just the free market at work. All too often sugary foods or drinks with high fructose are cheaper as a direct result of government polices. It is long past time that we pass and support policies that work to our better health instead,” (Rosa DeLauro, D-Conn.).

With that in mind, I’m working on legislation right now to tax sugar-sweetened drinks, like sodas, in a way that reflects the serious damage they are doing to our health. I hope to introduce legislation in a matter of weeks.”

How does one woman cram so much idiocy into so few words? First off, comparing the economics of blueberries to the economics of soda is just plain weird. It makes just as much sense as saying “When a box of Dunkin Donuts ‘Munchkins’ is $4.99 and a basket of cherries is $9.99, something is wrong.” Apparently the congresswoman has never taken Econ 101. The only thing “wrong” is that there is not a single area of your life — not one — that a woman like Ms. DeLauro believes is off limits to the federal government. If Ms. DeLauro doesn’t like subsidies and tariffs artificially warping sugar prices, then she should focus on getting rid of them — but she doesn’t. Why? The answer is simple: control.

Ms. DeLauro feels as though she should have some amount of say in every teaspoon of sugar you consume, so she goes about creating laws that will allow her that luxury. Those laws must be overseen by men and women who think like her, so a tax is put in place to fund studies, government agencies and bureaucratic overseers. If by some strange chance that tax should happen to curb sugar consumption and cause a budget shortfall for food-policing efforts, then some other group or tax bracket would be called upon to pick up the tab (e.g., “the rich”).

There is something sick and insidious about the individual who perpetually finds new ways to encroach upon the lives of those who just want to be left alone. Such politicians justify their self-described acts of “kindness” without ever stopping to think about how much evil has been inflicted upon the world under the banner of kindness. In a different time and a different place Americans would run Ms. DeLauro out of town, but these days Americans are so used to having individual liberties stripped away by political parasites that they hardly stir from their Netflix or XBox-inspired stupor. Worst of all may be that by allowing legislation like the Affordable Care Act to pass, citizens can expect a litany of new laws in the same vein as the SWEET Act.

Let us, for a moment, go back to the time U.S. District Judge Roger Vinson asked pro-Obamacare attorneys in Florida the following question: “If [lawmakers and regulators] decided everybody needs to eat broccoli because broccoli makes us healthy, could they mandate that everybody has to eat broccoli each week?” His question was completely dodged, but honest people know exactly what he was getting at: laws are being enacted under the presumption that there is no limit to the power granted to the federal government. If you deny this, simply listen to what politicians like Rosa DeLauro say and examine the rules and regulations they tirelessly try to impose upon you.

The Declaration of Independence states:

Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.

People like to joke that Americans are violent people. That is not true — at least as it pertains to individuals who cherish the nation’s founding. Americans would rather suffer endless violations of their civil liberties, doled out like Chinese water torture by 535 members of Congress and the regulatory agencies of the Executive Branch, than to resort to violence. Americans are patient, but there comes a time for everyone when patience runs out. When one sugar tax too many has been passed, Americans will put an end to the long train of abuses of freedom and individual liberty inflicted upon them over the course of many, many years.

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About the Author Douglas Ernst

I'm a former Army guy who believes success comes through hard work, honesty, optimism, and perseverance. I believe seeing yourself as a victim creates a self-fulfilling prophecy. I believe in God. I'm a USC Trojan with an MA in Political Science from American University.

19 comments

  1. The food police strike again, I see. I drink more water than I used to, but I do like to enjoy a nice can of pop here and there and don’t need nanny state tyrants like DeLauro to tell me what I should eat and drink. I’m capable of doing that myself. No evil corporate conspiracy is influencing how I eat and drink. Like you said, she doesn’t understand economics at all. Maybe the prices would go down if people like her actually used their brains and eliminated subsidies and tariffs. What a concept!

    1. It’s just funny that she’s shocked that a blueberry, which can only grow in certain climates during certain seasons, is somehow more expensive than drinks that can be made with natural or artificial sweeteners. What that heck is she thinking? Supply and demand escapes her, I guess. Regardless, she implies that poor people are so stupid that they can’t read food labels, use the internet to look up healthy foods, use coupons and make wise choices regarding their diet. I was considered “poor” by the government’s own standards for quite some time, but I was able to eat a balanced diet and exercise. It’s really not that hard. I just had to eat a lot more tuna fish, black beans and frozen vegetables at one point in my life. (Besides, there’s an argument to be made that many frozen vegetables are more nutritious since they are flash-frozen immediately after they’re picked; that locks in nutrients.)

      When you treat people like infants, then they act like infants. On some weird level, I think women like Ms. DeLauro know that. It’s much easier to control a baby than a responsible and independent man with a good head on his shoulders.

    2. I’m considered “poor” and yet I’ve managed to lose weight in recent months, largely because I eat less and don’t stuff myself like I used to. I also go for walks every day (except when it’s scorching hot) and do sit-ups every night before I go to bed. I have no ambition to be a muscle-bound Adonis, but at the same time I don’t want to be one of those people who have to be lifted out of their homes with a crane.

      People like her think on emotion rather than facts or common sense. The concept of supply and demand is anathema to her. People like her also know that there are plenty of lemmings out there who are incapable of thinking on their own and are therefore easy to control.

    3. Congrats on your weight loss, Carl! Interesting…you were able to lose weight without the help of a single politician. You decided you didn’t want to be lifted out of bed “with a crane,” on your own and then began a regimen that included a smarter diet, exercise and sound judgment as it pertains to what you put in your body. No taxes needed. No politician telling you what to do and when to do it. Who would have thought? 😉 Amazing…

      Instead of “You didn’t build that!” maybe Ms. DeLauro can turn the phrase into “You didn’t lose that!” There were roads that you walked down that someone else built…floors that somebody else sanded that you did sit-ups on, farmers that grew the food you ate, etc. So therefore, the sugar tax still shall pass.

  2. Can’t wait for DeLauro to call for a flour tax, just so Wooster Street will be ticked off enough to have her sleeping with the fishes.

  3. What Rep DeLauro proposes is a consumption tax, and it punishes the poorest because almost all their income must be consumed with food and shelter; a higher income person usually doesn’t consume the whole income…..so close to 100% of the poorer person’s income is taxed compared to much less of the rich (depending on lifestyle)- and somehow great swaths of this country buy into the lie that conservative policies soley protect the rich and liberals are more fair. This is what Romney needed to explain to the 47% instead of writing them off….huge blunder on his part.

    Anyways, with a squeezed budget, it is easier to buy soda instead of healthier drinks. Rep. DeLauro is right that soda is cheap- of course she seems to be ignoring the supply/demand reasoning behind it; but if we are going to raise soda tax to discourage unhealthy behavior, we should maybe lower business tax to help get people working, so more people can afford the healthier stuff on a more consistent basis….that last part always seems to be missing from liberal proposals. I hate to break it to them, but once you are rich- you got the advantage no matter what the tax law, rich people stay rich no matter what party is in charge- all this proposal does is sock it to the less rich one teaspoonful at a time.

    And on some level Rep. DeLauro has to know this…..maybe control is the true goal, and if that’s the case we are all lemmings going over the cliff as Carl mentions.

    1. This is what Romney needed to explain to the 47% instead of writing them off….huge blunder on his part.

      Yep. That one stung. When people say, “Oh, he should run again!” I just shake my head because that line will never go away…

      but if we are going to raise soda tax to discourage unhealthy behavior, we should maybe lower business tax to help get people working, so more people can afford the healthier stuff on a more consistent basis….that last part always seems to be missing from liberal proposals.

      Zing! Right on point.

      I hate to break it to them, but once you are rich- you got the advantage no matter what the tax law, rich people stay rich no matter what party is in charge- all this proposal does is sock it to the less rich one teaspoonful at a time.

      And on some level Rep. DeLauro has to know this…..maybe control is the true goal, and if that’s the case we are all lemmings going over the cliff as Carl mentions.

      That’s the thing. I’m not sure how taxing a rich guy does much of anything in terms of affecting my life in a meaningful way. It might make some people feel good for a moment to say, “Yeah! We taxed the rich guy!” but … at the end of the day I still have to work hard at my job, look for ways to provide value to the company that employs me, and figure out what my long-term goals are. Taxing Mitt Romney more is not going to dictate whether or not I become successful at “x”. It’s the point where hard work and preparation meet opportunity that my future unfolds.

    2. That’s the funny thing, whether they charge 10 cents for a can of soda or $10, that soda is always less a burden to Romney than most of the rest of us…..oooh, soda tax, we sure showed him!!!!!

      I know Romney came from a pretty well off family, but he also ran Bain and produced a great Olympics, we should aspire to that level of success. And that is my greater point, all these little taxes combine into a bigger hurdle for the less wealthy.

  4. Sugar /is/ unhealthy in large doses, and keeping it out of the reach of those who would abuse it is a good idea. But is taxing it really the way to go about doing so? If anything, it may very well make people desire sugar MORE.

    SWEET Act… LOL. Definitely a sour one, as per usual.

    1. Sugar /is/ unhealthy in large doses, and keeping it out of the reach of those who would abuse it is a good idea.

      Blueberries, eggs, salt, french fries, apples, peanut butter and jelly, steak, fish, and anything else you can consume is “unhealthy” in large doses. I wholeheartedly disagree with the idea that you, or me or the 535 members of Congress should be able to arbitrarily dictate what “abuse” is when it comes to common foodstuffs and then go about trying to keep it “out of the reach” of grown men and women — again, like they are babies. Alcohol is arguably much more detrimental to society than sugar — how did that go when politicians tried to prohibit adults from using it?

      Remember when Michael Bloomberg tried to keep 16 oz. sodas out of the reach of New Yorkers and it failed spectacularly? That’s because it was a clear example that guys like him will never stop. It should scare anyone who cares about individual liberty that large swathes of the population do not see the logical end of Bloomberg’s train of thought.

      I am a healthy responsible adult male who takes care of my body. If I decide that I want to eat a tub of ice cream one night because that’s what I want to do and I am infringing on the rights of no one else, that is my prerogative. I shouldn’t have to forgo that experience because Ms. DeLauro taxed my ability to purchase ice cream into oblivion or because you’re concerned about my dental health. My dental health is between me and my dentist.

    2. I’m with Doug and Truth on this. ANYTHING in large doses can be unhealthy. It doesn’t matter what it is. The government has no right to dictate what people should eat and drink. They’re not “protecting” anyone. They’re trying to control peoples’ lives. It scares me that so many people are naïve lemmings who don’t have a problem with nanny state whackos like DeLauro and Bloomberg. It is up to the individual, not faceless bureaucrats, to decide what he or she puts in his or her body. It’s funny how progressives are all for choice when it comes to abortion, but when it comes to what you eat or drink, you’re deemed too stupid to make that decision on your own.

      Alcohol is more detrimental to society than sugar. At the same time, banning it was one of the dumbest decisions America has ever made and only led to the rise of organized crime. Tobacco is more detrimental than sugar and alcohol combined, but I think banning advertising for it went a bit too far because of the revenue it generated.

  5. Wow…the idea and reasoning are both ignorant at the core. Anything can be bad if you have too much even fruit. This is another case of certain people trying to pass items under the ignorance of their voters. If this came from a republican they would say it is racist since it impacts a particular group more than others. In addition, Douglas is 100% spot on that DeLauro knows nothing about how business works, the item she mentioned does not have the same supply (FYI my wife and I also sell baked goods and produce on farmers markets). I am happy that I do not drink soda, I drink water, coffee and tea…way to much coffee (I drink my coffee black).
    Did she not learn anything from history…taxation without representation….hmm

  6. Sure it’s pure ad hominem, but you neglected to mention that DeLauro is by far Congress’s UGLIEST member.

    Her views make her all the more repellent.

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