Uncle Sam thinks he knows what’s right for your health, and he’s using your hard-earned money to teach you that lesson. Two years ago, the Goldwater Institute reported that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) gave Pima County, Arizona nearly $16 million through its Communities Putting Prevention to Work program to reduce obesity and promote healthy lifestyles. Our friends at Cause of Action, a watchdog organization that reports on government waste, have released a report detailing how Pima and other counties have been spending your tax money.
In Pima County, the money is funding a contract with the University of Arizona to develop restrictive zoning codes for “green-space development” and government programs that will encourage people to make “informed dietary choices.”
The Cause of Action report also gives us a peek at what could be on the horizon if the CDC continues to push its paternalism. Alabama, Georgia, and California have all used Communities Putting Prevention to Work money to lobby for new taxes on unhealthy activities, such as drinking soda and using tobacco products. This advocacy, which is part of the CDC’s long-declared proclivity for encouraging local governments to “control the food environment,” may even violate federal laws that prohibit lobbying with taxpayer dollars.
The government has no business using our money to dictate what we eat. Local governments like Pima County should stop selling out our freedom to win the federal pork wars.
Cause of Action: CPPW: Putting Politics to Work
Goldwater Institute: Pima County has super-sized plan for starving private property rights