Nanny State Update: Cost of Government Day Arrives Amid Bans on Feeding Homeless People & BBQ Grills
While taxpayers celebrated the Cost of Government Day, Nanny state regulators continued to add to the burden of government over the past two weeks, banning everything from baby formula in hospitals to feeding homeless people in public. On the federal level, 2,695 pages were added to the federal register along with 165 new rules regulating everything from this year’s cherry harvest to hearing aid compatible cell phones.
Happy Cost of Government Day! Last Thursday, the Americans for Tax Reform Foundation and the Cost of Government Center released their annual Cost of Government Day report, which calculates the day of the year when the average taxpayer has earned enough income to pay off his or her share of the spending and regulatory burden of government. This year, taxpayers worked 197 days to pay off the cost of government. In keeping with the spirit of the day, the Americans for Tax Reform Foundation hosted the 2012 Sin Tax Party to celebrate finally paying off the burden of government through indulging in the “sinful” products that suffer extra taxation to fund the growth of the Nanny State.
Massachusetts Hospitals Ban Baby Formula Gifts: New mothers in the state of Massachusetts will no longer be treated to free baby formula gifts courtesy of a new ban put forward by the state’s maternity hospitals. Governor Romney stymied a similar proposal in 2005 on the grounds that maternal choices should be left to the mother, but anti-formula advocates ultimately succeeded in preventing women from receiving diaper bags and formula samples in an effort to induce them to breast-feed.
Philadelphia Cracks Down on Feeding Homeless People in Public: Random acts of kindness will no longer be tolerated in the City of Brotherly Love where officials have just banned feeding the homeless in public. Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter said the goal of the new policy was to raise the living standards of the city’s homeless population saying, “I believe that people, regardless of their station in life, should be able to actually sit down, at a table, to a meal inside …” Despite the mayor’s claims, Philadelphia’s homeless are already finding meals in short supply as small charities fold under this regulation.
Bellevue Council Overrides Veto to Ban Barbeque: The Borough Council of Bellevue, PA, a northern suburb of Pittsburgh, overrode the veto of the borough’s mayor to pass a ban on barbeque grills within five feet of any home or other property protuberance. So the next time a Bellevue resident attempts to light up their grill, they’ll have to get a tapemeasure to make sure they are in compliance with the city’s new regulation.
Feeding the Ducks Banned in Northampton: The town of Northampton issued new rules this week to make it illegal to feed wildlife either intentionally or unintentionally. Commonplace activities like feeding the ducks will now be susceptible to steep fines and taking out the trash is subject to new guidelines that require wildlife resistant trash cans. Even birdfeeders may be deemed to be in violation of this new statute, which will go into effect pending a second vote in August.
Oahu Beaches Ban Ice Cream Trucks and Board Rentals: Visitors to the beaches of Oahu, Hawaii may be in for a surprise in the near future when they find common amenities unavailable to them. A new regulation banning all commercial activities from several local beaches would prevent kayak and surfboard rentals, shuttle services, exercise groups, food catering, bouncy houses, and even ice cream trucks from doing any type of business transactions on city property.