VIDEO: Bernie Questions Why Cigarettes Remain Legal in America

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Either we have a free country or we do not. Modern liberal ideology demands an inversion of the very principles upon which our nation was founded. The left believes that what we are allowed to consume and allowed to do comes from government approval. Everything else is forbidden.

In reality, our republic was built upon the premise that we are free citizens and that certain behaviors are disallowed by the government.

As liberal “progressivism” proceeds, more and more behaviors and attitudes result in punishment or simply outright bans. The left fully embraces these kinds of “progressive” acts of tyranny.

From Big Gulp bans to trans-fat bans to ever-increasing taxation upon soda and cigarettes, the Big Apple and plenty of other tyrannical cities have become accustomed to getting intimately involved with what each and every New Yorker consumes.

While Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders both agree that it’s acceptable for the Nanny State to tax citizens’ beverages in order to curb their behaviors, where Sanders draws the line is on taxation that affects the poor.

In a recent interview with NBC’s Chuck Todd, Sanders explained that he, in theory, supported the notion that someone should tax soda to help pay for universal pre-kindergarten education. Discussing the Philadelphia proposal, Sanders claimed that he disagreed with it in practice.

Why? According to Sanders, the city government should be targeting the job-producers for tax increases, not the soda drinkers who may be poor.

When asked why he opposed it, Sanders responded,

“I’ll tell you why. Because it is a totally regressive tax and right now, at a time of massive income and wealth inequality, when the wealthy are getting wealthier– many of them pay an effective tax rate lower than working people. You have large multinational corporations not paying a nickel in federal taxes. That’s where you get the money. Somebody’s making $20,000 a year and they buy a bottle of soda, I don’t think you charge them $0.30 more for that bottle of soda. Now, the goal of universal childcare—

–absolutely something that I strongly agree. And I applaud the mayor there for coming forward. But raise the money in a way that is progressive, not on the backs of low income or working people.”

Yes, heaven forbid that we tax those who already avoid paying income taxes or who use food stamps to buy their Mountain Dew…

When Chuck Todd questioned if he was against cigarette taxes, too, Sanders performed some amazing political gymnastics to try and explain how he could oppose soda taxes but support cigarette taxes.

“No, I’m not. Cigarette taxes are– there’s a difference between cigarettes and soda. I am aware of the obesity problem in this country.”

Todd noted, “I don’t think Michael Bloomberg would agree with you on that one.”

“Well, that’s fine,” Sanders replied. “He can have his point of view. But cigarettes are causing cancer, obviously, and a dozen other diseases. And there is almost the question as to why it remains a legal product in this country.”

What we have here is a telling glimpse into the leftist mindset. In just a few short seconds of answering, Sanders indicated that the goal should be to punish the job-producers of society by increasing taxation to pay for other peoples’ childcare and that government should be allowed to pick and choose what behaviors they will discourage or promote through the use of taxation as a form of punishment.

Then, to top it all off, Sanders questioned why government has not made cigarette smoking illegal.

That this man possesses this shocking fondness for despotism is not the most-disheartening part of this story.

That he is a longtime senator for this country is shameful and that he has mounted a competitive presidential campaign with substantial support nationwide indicates just how far we are adrift from the goals and ideals of our once-great republic.

About the Author

Greg Campbell
Greg Campbell
An unapologetic patriot and conservative, Greg emerged within the blossoming Tea Party Movement as a political analyst dedicated to educating and advocating for the preservation of our constitutional principles and a free-market solution to problems birthed by economic liberalism. From authoring scathing commentaries to conducting interviews with some of the biggest names in politics today including party leaders, activists and conservative media personalities, Greg has worked to counter the left’s media narratives with truthful discussions of the biggest issues affecting Americans today. Greg’s primary area of focus is Second Amendment issues and the advancement of honest discussion concerning the constitutional right that protects all others. He lives in the Northwest with his wife, Heather, and enjoys writing, marksmanship and the outdoors.
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