Rep. Paul Ryan suggests New York City soda ban a step toward 'nanny state'

ADVERTISEMENT
Ryan, speaking Thursday on CNBC, was responding to a ban on large soda and sugary drinks announced Wednesday by Bloomberg. The ban will apply to movie theaters, restaurants and street vendors. 

"Hey look, I gave up pop for Lent three years ago," Ryan said. "I haven't had one since. but that's up to you, do what you want with your life. We believe in economic freedom, we believe in individual freedom, and so we don't want a nanny state. We don't want a government micromanaging your life. 

"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."

Alcoholic drinks, fruit juices and diet soft drinks are exempted from the ban. The ban only applies to drinks that are 16 fluid ounces or larger. Bloomberg explained the ban as an effort to fight obesity. 

Efforts to reduce sugary drink consumption nationally have been made before. In 2004 Sen. Edward Kennedy (D-Mass.) introduced the Prevention of Childhood Obesity Act (S.2894), which aimed to reduce American obesity among children. The bill included a provision requiring schools that receive federal funding to ban vending machines that sold foods "foods of poor or minimal nutritional value in schools."

More in Senate

Senate Republicans push to punish 'sanctuary cities'

Read more »