Bloomberg’s Food-Stamp Soda Ban: Illegal, Immoral, Fattening? (Village Voice/Runnin’ Scared)

Lots of ink spilled today about Mayor Bloomberg’s proposed ban on food stamps being used to buy soda, but few have asked: Can he legally do it, and should he?

If you’ve been remotely awake today (or at least clicking on your morning Runnin’ Scared links), you’re no doubt aware that Mayor Bloomberg has asked the U.S. Department of Agriculture to allow New York City to bar its 1.7 million citizens with food-stamp cards from using them to buy soda. “This initiative will give New York families more money to spend on foods and drinks that provide real nourishment,” declared the mayor, while Governor Paterson — who actually co-sponsored the measure, but is getting ignored in the media because nobody remembers that he’s still governor — added that allowing food stamps to be used to purchase soft drinks “subsidizes a serious public health epidemic.”… [read more]