We get it coming and going.
While the first lady campaigns against obesity, and the president signs laws called Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act, and some call for bans on fatty foods or the toys that attract kids, and call for taxes on fatty foods, we are subsidizing the very foods to blame.
Today the Washington Post, as reported in the Review-Journal, seems to be saying the obesity issue is becoming a wedge issue for Republicans. Some like Sarah Palin are telling Michelle Obama to butt out of parental prerogatives, while others are praising her efforts.
But over at the Cato Institute, Patrick Basham is pointing out the silly right-hand-not-knowing-what-the-left-hand-is-doing aspect of all this. Under the title “The Fed’s Fat Factory,” Basham says:
“The US Department of Agriculture spends billions a year on farm subsidies that indirectly promote obesity.
“How? The subsidies maintain an oversupply of certain foods at commensurately cheap prices. Subsidies have proved a catalyst for agribusiness to produce far more food than the population can eat, reducing the price for consumers. Cheap food has led restaurants to serve larger portions, and arguably this has contributed to the obesity problem.
“The feds’ farm policies also promote the substance anti-obesity campaigners call ‘liquid Satan’ — high-fructose corn syrup.”
This is commonly used in soft drinks and the like, because our tariffs and quotas on imported sugar make it relatively cheaper.
So, certain people are proposing to tax the things that make kids fat, while we are subsidizing them. There’s got to be some fat irony in there somewhere.