Buried in legislation that would begin treating “sugary drinks” in Rhode Island as something akin to cigarettes or alcoholic beverages is one of the best arguments for turning down the government when it wants to give us things. H5787 and S0452 — led by Central Falls Democrat Representative Shelby Maldonado and Pawtucket/North Providence Democrat Senator Donna Nesselbush — would create new, burdensome licensing requirements for businesses seeking to sell the evil elixirs and impose an inflation-adjusted tax on them, enforcing the law not just with fines and licensing consequences, but with a criminal charge.
Central to the rationale for the law is this language:
Medicare and Medicaid spending would be eight and one-half percent (8.5%) and eleven and eight tenths percent (11.8%) lower, respectively, in the absence of obesity-related spending.
There you go: The price of letting government pay for things, like health care, is that government then gets to tell you how to live. This will get worse if we don’t make such politicians pay a political price of their own.