- The Washington Times - Friday, April 23, 2010

Government mandates what types of cars we’re permitted to drive, what types of light bulbs we can use and even what toi-

lets we have. Top state and federal income tax rates will soon total more than 50 percent of income in many places. Add sales taxes, the salary cut that goes to Social Security and Medicare, and it’s clear that Americans are becoming little more than wage slaves to feed the bureaucracy. We certainly can’t choose what we do with all our money when it’s taken from us. The power to tax is the power to control, and Americans are being overly controlled by government.

This extends to the most minor aspects of our lives. For example, the Food and Drug Administration is proposing to regulate how much salt is in our food. Micromanaging everyone’s life is not the proper scope of the federal government. There’s a simple solution for those who want less salt: Buy foods with less salt. There’s no justification for government salt mandates.

Food labels already inform consumers how much salt is in each serving. To make it easy, labels show how much of the daily recommended total is in each serving. The information is there; it’s up to the consumer to decide what to have. Many diners see these warnings and decide to buy high-salt foods anyway. Now Big Brother wants to control that choice.

This is a cautionary tale about Obamacare. Once government has taken over everyone’s health care, it’s going to ramp up bureaucratic control of everyone’s life. The FDA claims that cutting salt consumption by about 10 percent could prevent hundreds of thousands of heart attacks and strokes over several decades and save Washington $32 billion in health care costs. There’s a slippery slope to this argument.

Some people run so much they harm their joints. Others don’t get enough exercise. Is government going to regulate what it sees as an allowable amount of exercise? After all, government might have to pick up the health care costs to cover the results of either extreme.

There’s also a basic problem regarding the purported claimed savings: Everyone eventually dies. If a man doesn’t have a heart attack at age 65, he might at 80. If a woman has a long life, she might eventually get cancer. The question really isn’t about avoiding medical costs but when they will have to be paid.

The nanny state can’t help telling Americans how to live their lives. Liberals claim a woman has a right to an abortion because “it’s her body.” Yet that same woman can’t be allowed to decide how much salt to put in her body. So much for choice.