This column presents facts regarding the United States Constitution, the Declaration of Independence, the Wisconsin State Constitution, and various other documents in reference to modern topics. Mark hopes to encourage interest in those works so that others can consider whether our government is practicing within its constitutional limits. In the last category, he may indicate his opinion. Mark is a resident of New Berlin. Readers are encouraged to visit the following sites for more information on the United States Constitution and Thomas Jefferson's views on politics and government.
President Obama recently commented in Men’s Health Magazine he thinks a “sin tax” on soda is an “idea that we should be exploring”.
Does any federal agency have the power to regulate eating behavior through tax policy?
The Constitution, Tenth Amendment:
The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.
An excerpt from the Declaration of Independence
Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.
The answer is obvious. No, neither Obama nor Congress has such powers, but they will take them, our liberty, and our money in the name of protecting us if we do not actively oppose their attempts to do so. We must not wait for them to further implement the “long train of abuses and usurpations”. Indeed we must recruit our neighbors who have not yet awaked from their apathy to call their elected officials today and tomorrow.