In case you ever wanted to know why this blog is called The Clampdown and why the tagline is “I’m not working for The Clampdown” the reason is right here in this entry (and also it’s a great Clash song).
Many of us have a sweet tooth…it’s chocolatey goodness we crave. Many of us prefer the sour tastes of the world. While I enjoy both of these tastes on occasion, my weakness is for the salty goods. Pretzels, potato chips…the saltier the better. I put way too much salt in my food, but my blood pressure is good.
So this strikes home: the Food and Drug Administration is launching a ten-year program to cut down the amount of salt in processed foods. They are doing so in the name of health, claiming that lowering sodium intake will result in fewer deaths from hypertension and heart disease.
Sneaky folks that they are, the changes will be slowly phased in so people won’t even be aware of the difference because their taste buds will be slowly acclimated. A little less salt this year, another tiny subtraction next year, and ten years later you won’t even notice that your food is as bland and grey as the bureaucrats who brought you this decision. Like the myth of the frog that will be boiled alive if you turn up the temperature slowly, the FDA is stating that we won’t be able to tell the difference if they just make the changes gradual enough. Unless, of course, you have a memory that extends back eleven years.
This is just the latest and stupidest manifestation of the Nanny Government sticking its nose where it doesn’t belong. It does so “to help,” of course, by regulating business and industry and by forcing you to accept dietary changes that…well, that you’re just not smart enough to understand are for your own benefit.
This new program needs to be fought not just because it represents a massive government intrusion into our lives, but because it is only the tip of the iceberg.
Thanks to the Democrats in Congress and the President of the United States, the government now has a massive stake in the health care industry. This massive stake means that they have a financial interest. A huge financial interest.
What this boils down to is that the government will be getting involved in all manner of things that were previously considered none of its damn business. If it affects your health, it affects their cost.
Over the past 20 or 30 years, whenever Democrats have wanted to increase the size of government, they claimed that they were doing it “for the children.” It was an emotional catchphrase designed to circumvent rational debate. By phrasing it this waythat government intervention in this, that, or the other thing was necessary for the future of America’s youththey were able to cast anyone opposed to their statist goals as being somehow anti-child. The rallying cry for the next 20 or 30 years is likely to be “for the health of our children.” The government will now be claiming outrageous regulatory powers under the guise of “health care.” It started several years back with the government assault on tobacco companies and laws designed to prevent the “dangers” of second hand smoke by regulating businesses. Then there were the laws passed banning “trans fats” from food. Now in New York they want to add a tax to all sugary drinks: soda, powdered lemonade, etc. The goal is to “combat obesity.”
Today we add the Salt Police of the FDA, trying to save us from ourselves, and spare us the horrors of hypertension even if it means making our food bland and tasteless. And through all of thissecondhand smoke, trans fats, obesity, Coca-Cola, Lay’s Potato Chipsthere is never even the acknowledgment that Americans are living longer and healthier lives than ever before. Clearly there are real health problems in America, including obesity, hypertension, diabetes, heart disease, etc., but the way to solve these problems is not government regulation of business. The way to solve them is personal responsibility. If the government were to ban salt completely, my guess is that a whole new generation of “sweet tooths” would spring into being. Ban cigarettes, and people will smoke cigars; ban cigars, they’ll switch to pipes. It is a parent’s job to make sure the child doesn’t eat the entire Easter bunny in one sitting; it is not the government’s job.
The health care reform bill that was just signed in to law is a Trojan Horse for a single-payer system, to be sure. But it also carries within its hollow core the meddling busybodies of the Nanny State, now given free rein to regulate our lives right down to the seasoning in our soup.
UPDATE: Hot Air is on this, too and over at the Weekly Standard Mary Katherine Ham weighs in. Mmmm…ham…delicious salty ham…