'First My Tobacco, Next My Guns'; the Hidden Iceberg of Big-Government Philosophy

The Washington Times (Washington, DC), November 3, 2008 | Go to article overview

'First My Tobacco, Next My Guns'; the Hidden Iceberg of Big-Government Philosophy


Byline: Ken Blackwell, SPECIAL TO THE WASHINGTON TIMES

Sen. Barack Obama said that he would be willing to impose a nationwide ban on smoking in public. Taken with other recent statements, this paints a picture of Mr. Obama believing in an extraordinarily powerful federal government, regulating even the minor details of your life. The American people should reject this radical big-government philosophy at the polls.

In 2007, Barack Obama asked if he would sign a federal law that would outlaw public smoking nationwide. Mr. Obama said that he would prefer to see state or local governments do that, but he would enact such a ban if local efforts were inadequate.

Smoking is not healthy. Habitual smoking is linked to all sorts of health problems. While an occasional cigar might not harm you in any measurable way, smoking cigarettes every day can kill you.

But just because something isn't good for you doesn't mean that the federal government has the right to make it illegal. You can't legislate perfectly healthy behavior in a free society. Many foods we eat aren't very healthy. Drinking skim milk is healthier than 2 percent milk. Yet it's not the role of government to tell you what you can and cannot do when it comes to these things.

We have a federal system in America. Most issues are left up to individuals in America. Issues that involve public health, safety and morality are left to the states. That's why issues ranging from speed limits to prostitution to storing explosives are set by your state governments. Most areas of your life are off-limits to the federal government.

All voters should beware of Mr. Obama's intentions because it's not about tobacco. He talks about government taking the controlling role in medicine, health care, education and the environment. Just last week a 2001 radio interview came to light in which he said the Supreme Court should have been involved in redistributing income to achieve economic justice. Mr. Obama clearly believes that the federal government can regulate any part of your life that he thinks it should.

When Mr. Obama starts talking about redistributing wealth, he's talking about a government that can fundamentally reorder your life. A government that decides what incomes are too much or not enough and then uses taxes and welfare checks to redistribute income in a fair fashion has essentially unlimited power.

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