New York City mayor Mike Bloomberg hates salt and sugar and last week he asked for a two-year federal exemption to disallowing his 1.7 million NYC welfare recipients from using food stamps to buy soda pop and other sugary concoctions.
The request, made to the United States Department of Agriculture, which finances and sets the rules for the food-stamp program, is part of an aggressive anti-obesity push by the mayor that has also included advertisements, stricter rules on food sold in schools and an unsuccessful attempt to have the state impose a tax on the sugared drinks.
Then, curiously, the New York Times reported — two days after Bloomberg made his exemption request — that the mayor provides sugary drinks at his private business and in Gracie Mansion:
At the sixth-floor pantry in its glossy Upper East Side headquarters, employees can pick from a health-conscious menu of celery sticks, bananas, freshly made peanut butter and 100-calorie snack packs.
There is also free Coke, Pepsi, orange Fanta, ginger ale and Mountain Dew — exactly the types of drinks Mr. Bloomberg this week said he wanted to prohibit poor New Yorkers from buying with their food stamps. …
Mr. Bloomberg talked about the “enormous correlation” between those drinks and obesity and diabetes, and asserted that taxpayers did not want to subsidize bad nutrition.
Then the mayor answered “Yes” when asked if he allowed soft drinks to be served at Gracie Mansion, where he holds events but does not live.
But wait, Mr. Bloomberg and his aides said, this was not a case of “do as I say, not as I do.” His gustatory practices have evolved.
Mayor Bloomberg needs to live the example he expects others to follow. He cannot publicly ban sugar with one hand while the other privately feeds his cronies soda pop and other unhealthy liquid anachronisms.
The Mayor must not take a moral stance against the citizenry while simultaneously sinning as a leader of employees he is vested to protect.
I thought food stamps could only be used for staples like, bread, milk, eggs etc. anyway.
But it’s always the way with these guys and their “Do as I say not as I do”, it’s like when someone rails against homosexuals and it turns out they are homosexual themselves.
I had no idea you could use federal food stamps to buy pop — it doesn’t make sense to me because there is ZERO nutritional value — but you can also use food stamps to buy Twinkies… same ZERO benefit there, too.
I agree the duplicity in American politics is just sickening. If Bloomberg stands for something as an elected official and makes his personal mandates public policy — then he also needs to stand even more so firmly in private and not serve hot dogs and ice cream to his invited guests at mayoral functions — otherwise he becomes a dictator who picks on the powerless to make himself feel better.
It’s rather unfortunate, David! Mayor Bloomberg should treat his guests with the same healthy food he would want everyone to eat.
Yes, Gordon, that seems like a natural conclusion! So why the duplicity? What is gained for him personally or publicly with this two-sided sugar twist?
Two points you’all are missing.
One – Bloomberg offers people a choice to his well-heeled and well-funded guests, but doesn’t think the poor deserve the same choice.
Two – This dichotomy between what Bloomberg thinks is OK for the wealthy and what is OK for the poor is purely economically motivated. He knows that: the poor in NYC are largely Black, Blacks are much more prone to diabetes and heart diseases, and that the poor will end up needing tax-dollars to pay for their medical care.
Essentially, Bloomberg thinks that Blacks can’t be trusted with their own health and lifestyle and that NYC can’t afford to pay for their “poor judgment” anymore.
Nice guy, isn’t he? I thought that there was a name for his sort…
Oh, I agree on all counts, jonolan. It’s a duplicitous policy where the Haves aren’t touched — and are actually functionally enabled — while the needy are punished. It’s a putrid philosophy for governing a people.
Yes; but, when you think about it, it’s good animal husbandry. Improve the feed, improve the herd and lower the medical overhead of bringing them to market (ballot box).
I just don’t like it when politicians apply that philosophy to people.
The animal reference is, unfortunately, right on point. It’s a disgusting situation.