Paul Ryan on Bloomberg’s proposed ‘Big Gulp ban’: ‘You can’t make this stuff up’

{mosads}Despite that, the “Big Gulp” likely would not be banned under the proposed restriction, because it is sold in stores rather than restaurants. But companies like McDonald’s and Coca-Cola spoke out against the proposed new rules, making an argument similar to Ryan’s.

“The people of New York City are much smarter than the New York City Health Department believes,” the Coca-Cola Company said in a statement, noting that they already have calorie information “prominently placed” on their beverages and in restaurants. “New Yorkers expect and deserve better than this. They can make their own choices about the beverages they purchase.”

The company urged New Yorkers to “loudly voice their disapproval about this arbitrary mandate,” and by the end of the day, many New York lawmakers did just that.

“People will come to see this very much in the interest of public health,” Deputy Mayor Howard Wolfson said Thursday at a press conference, according to reports. “This is going to start a nationwide movement toward this, a nationwide trend. I think it will prove to be very popular.”

The ban would apply only to drinks that contain more than 25 calories per eight ounces and includes exceptions that would most readily apply to Starbucks venti-size coffee drinkers.

Under Bloomberg, the city’s health department has waged anti-obesity campaigns and placed advertisements urging consumers to think twice about what they are eating or drinking. In previous years, the city required calorie counts posted by restaurant chains and banned the use of trans-fats.

Ryan voiced a libertarian-leaning objection to the ban, saying it is a step on the road to a government “nanny state.”

“We believe in economic freedom; we believe in individual freedom; we don’t want a nanny state. We don’t want a government micromanaging your life,” he said, pivoting in the interview to slam President Obama’s policies and promote his budget proposal, which has been adopted by the House Republicans. “And we don’t want a government micromanaging our financial services sector, our energy sector, our healthcare sector because what you end up with that is, you end up with crony capitalism, you end up with corporate welfare. You end up with having big business and big government joined in a common cause to erect barriers to entry against entrepreneurs, against businesses, against families and that doesn’t work. If you want to see how that movie ends, look at Europe and we don’t want to go down that path.”

Bloomberg countered the “nanny state” criticism on MSNBC, saying people can still buy the quantity they want in stores or by buying a second serving.

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“We’re not taking away anybody’s right to do things, we’re simply forcing you to understand that you have to make the conscious decision to go from one cup to another cup,” he told MSNBC’s Andrea Mitchell.

–This post was updated at 4:32 p.m. 7:15 p.m.


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