Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Let Them Drink Fresca

Christian e-mails to hep us to a story of a protest with an echo from the past:

BINGHAMTON--With the thermometer at 15 degrees and a gusty northwest wind making it feel even colder, a handful of hearty protesters dumped sugary soda into the Susquehanna River on Saturday to draw attention to their outrage at Gov. David A. Paterson's proposed "obesity tax."

Also known to some people as the "Fat Act."

"We're past our line-in-the-sand. We cannot handle any more taxes," said Judy Monroe, of Windsor, as she toted an "anti-obesity tax" sign along the sidewalk at the Washington Street pedestrian bridge. "It's to give people an awareness of additional taxes."

After making their point for no new taxes, 18 protesters leaned over the cold metal railing at the bridge to dump non-diet soda and water from plastic soda bottles into the icy river.

The self-described "Binghamton Tea Party" was aimed at the additional 18 percent tax on non-diet soda, sweetened iced teas and other beverages proposed in Paterson's fiscal year 2009-10 budget.

The governor said the tax is aimed at fighting obesity; others call it a money grab from middle-class families.

"New York has been a tax-and-spend state for 40 years," said Trevor Leach, an organizer from the Binghamton Campaign for Liberty. "This got us into trouble. We must return to the principles of our founding fathers."

Now that's dissent that you can truly call patriotic. And smart. Part of Paterson's budget plans also call for increased taxes on beer. Dumping that into the river as a form of protest would not be prudent.

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