Citizens Against Government Waste: New York City Mayor Bloomberg
(Washington, D.C.) – Today, Citizens Against Government Waste (CAGW) named New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg its June 2012 Porker of the Month for proposing a ban on sugary drinks larger than 16 ounces at restaurants, food carts, movie theaters, and any other venues that receive letter grades from the city for food service. If the measure is approved by the city’s health department after a three-month comment period, which began on June 12, the ban will take effect six months after enactment and be enforced by the city’s regular restaurant inspection team, which will levy $200 fines for noncompliance.
With this move, the mayor fully embraces the dubious distinction of becoming the national face of the overreaching “nanny state.”
Mayor Bloomberg, who already imposed bans on trans fat and smoking in parks, has made several forays on his misguided crusade to curtail the consumption of sugary drinks in The Big Apple, all of which have failed. According to a May 31 Wall Street Journal (WSJ) article, “The mayor has the power to enact the proposal through the city’s Board of Health, over which he has presumed control because he has appointed its members.” Several polls indicate that a majority of New Yorkers oppose the ban.
The mayor’s action is capricious and will increase costs to New York City taxpayers, who will be forced to underwrite the expansion of the size and scope of enforcement and inspection activities by the health department. New Yorkers can still buy large bottles of sugary drinks in grocery and convenience stores, order a refill in their 8, 10, or 12-ounce cup, and purchase a wide array of sugary foods in restaurants and other establishments. Nevertheless, Mayor Bloomberg’s proposal will serve as a bellwether for like-minded big-government acolytes in other cities and counties, who are already considering how to emulate the policy...
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