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Flat Tax? No, Fat Ban

Radley Balko finds lard of a different nature than pork spending on the menu of the Mississippi legislature: a state legislative bill sponsored by two Republicans and one Democrat that would effectively ban all restaurants in the state from serving the “obese.” Lest you think the sponsors are kidding, blogger Sandy Szwarc contacted the main sponsor of the bill (a Republican from the Memphis suburbs) and he’s quite serious:

He kindly took a moment to answer my question while the legislature was in session. He said that while, regrettably, he doesn’t believe his bill will pass, this is serious. He wrote it, he said, because of the “urgency of the obesity crisis and need for government action.” He hopes it will “call attention to the serious problem of obesity and what it is costing the Medicare system.”

I am literally at a loss for words.

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About Chris Lawrence
Chris teaches political science at Middle Georgia State College in Macon, Georgia. He has a Ph.D. in political science (with concentrations in American politics and political methodology) from the University of Mississippi.

Comments

  1. yetanotherjohn says:

    The problem with legislation like this is the loop holes. Fine, we keep the obese from porking out in a restaurant, but what is to keep them from buying groceries and porking out at home. The law obviously needs to be expanded to all forms of potential caloric intake. And of course we need some real teeth to the enforcement, so if an obese person dies, then the heirs should be able to sue anyone who provided them with food. And the criminal system should go after these enablers with manslaughter charges. Vending machines will need to have scales installed so they can judge what you can buy.

    Why can’t people recognize that until the government takes control of every aspect of all of our lives, bad things will continue to happen.

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  2. legion says:

    So we’re proposing laws that call attention to crisis issues? OK, here’s my new law: any time a Republican claims a platform point of ‘keeping big government out of the hair of citizens’, they get a kick in the junk with a steel-toed boot.

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  3. Anderson says:

    I always find out what’s going on in my own state from reading the national blogs …

    I hope that this garners Rep. Mayhall a lot of well-deserved attention. And I would like to see him spend one Friday night at a BBQ joint, explaining to the obese customers that they cannot be served.

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  4. JKB says:

    It is quite obvious that these “elected” officials have never met any of the voters. The thing is that while you can lose weight, you can’t lose stupid. These officials have obviously stuck their nose in the stupid trough way to many times.

    Also, given the cultural acceptance of large women in the African-American community, could this bill be a sideways attempt to ban people from protected classes from participating public activities?

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  5. Of course we can change human nature by fiat. Why do you ask?

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  6. Michael says:

    I see a new generation of rum yum runners bringing the people what they want, despite government trying to protect them from themselves.

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  7. Michael says:

    The thing is that while you can lose weight, you can’t lose stupid.

    But you can lose stupid people. I say obese people should be given discounts on the most unhealthy foods. That way if they choose not to control themselves, we don’t have to worry about their retirement.

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  8. Steve Plunk says:

    More proof that government, Republican or Democrat, believes it is the solution to all the world’s ills. I say it that way on purpose since the elected representatives believe they embody government and control it. Stupid.

    When might we find real small government conservatives available for office?

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  9. JKB says:

    “But you can lose stupid people. I say obese people should be given discounts on the most unhealthy foods. That way if they choose not to control themselves, we don’t have to worry about their retirement.”

    Or maybe we leave people alone and phase out the socialist programs that make “we” have to pay for other people’s stupidity. Whether that be eating to much or dropping to much acid during the summer of love. See a bit of personal responsibility gets rid of all sorts of unpleasantness.

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  10. Michael says:

    Or maybe we leave people alone and phase out the socialist programs that make “we” have to pay for other people’s stupidity.

    We always pay for other people’s stupidity, that is the cost of a having a civil society.

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  11. Pug says:

    So I guess they’ll be standing outside with the smokers while they stuff BBQ sandwiches down their craws?

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  12. Mark Jaquith says:

    As a counterpoint, they’re trying to ban the zero-calorie sweetner Aspartame in Hawaii. So, they want you to be chubby, but not obese. Got it.

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  13. [...] much of a first. James Joyner is at a loss for words. By: Rick Moran at 6:05 [...]

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  14. Why aren’t more people questioning whether this falls under the purview of what any government whould actually do, regardless of the potential efficacy of the solution, the good intentions driving it, or the “seriousness” of the “crisis”? Must everything either by mandatory or prohibited before these little commissars are done?

    No doubt Representative W.T. Mayhall, Jr. will next offer legislation to support more research into the Ludovico Technique.

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  15. John says:

    dumb dumb dumn

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  16. mannning says:

    Obviously, the next step is food rationing, so that no one can buy enough calories to maintain their fat level higher than “planned”.

    Hmmmmm, I love Italian food!

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