Darrell Huckaby - 05/22/09

This time the Obama Administration and his Democratic lap dogs in Congress have gone too far. Surely the American public won't stand for the latest proposal of infringement on our inalienable rights.

If you are a regular reader of this column you are well aware that I have held my tongue - or pen (actually it would be a keystroke, but get the idea) for more than 100 days. I have been more than willing to give the new president a chance to show that he had the best interest of the country at stake.

When his first executive order sent U.S. tax dollars to Mexico and other foreign nations to pay for abortions on demand, you didn't hear a peep out of me.

When he broke a 221-year-old precedent and bowed to a foreign prince, not a whimper.

When he signed his first budget into law with more than 9,000 earmarks intact, even though he had promised to eliminate all earmarks, I let it pass.

But I cannot, nay, I will not, stand idly and suffer the latest indignity Congress is attempting to bestow upon "we the people."

In case you have been too busy voting for the next American idol (100 million votes - can you believe it) to pay attention to what our elected officials have been up to, I will fill you in. Certain members of Congress are said to be supportive of a new "obesity tax" that is aimed at what Yankees call "sodas." (That would be "Cokes" to you and me. Well, me at least, and probably most of you.)

That's right. The fat cats in Washington want to finance health care reform with a penny-an-ounce tax on carbonated soft drinks that contain sugar. A penny an ounce!

I remember when you could buy a whole carton of Cokes for a quarter, and now Congress wants to charge a penny-an-ounce tax. That means that every time I pull a bottled Coke out of Ben Evans' drink box every Saturday, to go with my peanuts, I will have to pony up an extra eight cents. Pick up a can of Coke from the convenience store display case the next time you buy gas and you'll owe an extra 12 cents. Buy one of those 2-liter bottles at the grocery store, or a 12-pack and you'll have to pay ... well, I'm not good enough at math to know how much extra you'll have to pay for that, but the price is not the issue. It's the principle of the thing.

We have enough taxes in this country already. Way too many if you ask me. If the government can afford to pay for the feeding and education of 12 million illegal aliens, while bailing out the banking industry and automobile industry and everybody else under the sun, it doesn't need to charge those of us who are working to support all of the above entities any additional money - especially by taxing something as necessary as an ice cold Coca-Cola.

Supporters of the idea say that the bill will be a boon to health because it will keep people from drinking so many sugary soft drinks. We will all lose weight and live longer, and if we choose to dig a little deeper in our pockets and continue to enjoy the pause that refreshes each day, so be it. But they, the government, will have lots and lots more money to give to the non-producers - who are probably drinking Cokes, too.

That's just a little too much government intrusion for me. I don't mind having an Uncle Sam, but I don't need Sam the Nursemaid.

Americans used to get riled up when we felt we were being taken to the cleaners by the people who we hired to serve us. In fact, one of the biggest impetuses for breaking away from Great Britain to begin with occurred because the Royal Crown - the one in London, not the beverage company in Columbus, Ga. - tried to force the colonies to drink East India Tea, exclusively. Our forefathers wound up throwing that stuff in the ocean and one thing led to another and before it was all over we had knocked King George to the curb and cut out on our own.

I'm not suggesting we go that far, but I don't think we should stand idly by and let them put a tax on Coca-Colas. It would probably harm the economy in the long run because if people like me have to spend more money to get their daily Co-Cola fix they would have less to spend on other necessities, like food, clothing and shelter. You think times are hard now! Just wait 'til that happens.

Soda lovers of the world unite! Write your congressman. Put a sign in yard. Take to the streets if necessary. Just say no to the tax on Coca-Cola!

Now if they want to tack an extra dollar a can onto Pepsi, well I don't see anything wrong with that. Do you?

Darrell Huckaby