April 19, 2002

Look out America! It has been reported that California's social engineering zealots and political manipulators are at it again. Democratic Sacramento Senator Deborah Ortiz has proposed the California Soda Tax Act that would raise up to $300 million a year to fund childhood obesity prevention programs in schools and to bribe schools to stop selling soda and junk food to children. Senator Ortiz also wants to raise the tax on cigarettes by 65 cents per pack.

California's smokers know exactly where taxmasters like Ortiz are coming from. The punishing tobacco tax, created by the arrogance and opportunism of filmmaker Rob Reiner's Proposition 10, hauls in $700 million per year to fund his private and unaccountable California Families First Act for the children, even though most of the money is spent on everything but smoking-related problems.

But there's more to the soda tax than meets the eye. "Fat taxes" are on the way to punish people for choosing to eat and drink what they want because obesity, like smoking, they say, causes too many deaths and costs too much in preventable health care. Another California lawmaker wants to impose a "junk food tax" to help finance health programs, including dental care, for children. And, of course, the anti-fat zealots will undoubtedly move against advertising fatty foods. Look out television networks! McDonalds, Burger King and Carls Jr. ads are numbered.

To round-out this round of the social witch-hunters' agenda, Democratic Senator Don Perata from Oakland is proposing a ballot measure that would impose a 5-cent tax on every round of ammunition sold in the state because, according to the gun-control advocate, "Bullets cause injuries that are expensive to treat, and, generally speaking, the public is footing the bill." Perata wants to use the bullet-tax to fund California's cash-strapped trauma centers.

Constitutionally speaking, though, the people are supposed to be protected from tyranny, including tax discrimination. But it's difficult, at best, when media-driven children exploiters, fear-mongering and lynch-mob mentality rule election days, simply because behavior control-freaks know full well that only about 25 percent of eligible voters actually vote, and that they can easily target the majority of those voters to get elected or get ballot measures passed.

Instead of being taxed and held up to public hatred and humiliation without resistance, maybe it's time for alleged overweight people, legitimate gunowners and smokers to band together, take-up voting arms, and turn the tide against the behavior control crusade.

For those who remember the good old days of the Proposition 13 Tax Revolt. It's time to do it again. It's called democracy, even in California.

Daniel B. Jeffs, founder
The Direct Democracy Center