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Bloomberg the Nanny

A Commentary By John Stossel

Wednesday, February 26, 2020

Good for Mike Bloomberg.

During his first debate, he slammed Bernie Sanders by saying: "We're not going to throw out capitalism. We tried that. Other countries tried that. It was called communism, and it just didn't work!"

Exactly right. It's safe to say Bloomberg is not a communist. I wonder if that means there's still room for him in the Democratic Party.

Unfortunately, Bloomberg is no principled, limited-government capitalist, either.

Like his fellow New York billionaire Donald Trump, he's used to getting his own way at his own company.

Unfortunately, he assumes government should function in a similar fashion.

Instead of a predictable governing philosophy, Bloomberg has whims -- lots of them.

The Media Research Center's Craig Bannister tallied "32 Bloomberg Bans" (some were overturned).

While he was mayor of New York City, Bloomberg targeted smoking, flavored tobacco products, fattening sodas, cars on certain Manhattan streets, loud music, grass clippings, cellphones in schools, salt, guns, Styrofoam, restaurant menus without calorie counts and restaurants without extra bathrooms for women.

When challenged about how his ban on big soft drinks inconvenienced consumers, Bloomberg contemptuously replied that you could always buy two smaller containers.

"Could be that it's a little less convenient to have to carry two 16-ounce drinks to your seat(, but) I don't think you can make the case that we're taking things away."

But he was taking something away -- freedom of choice. It's hard to do what we choose if nannies like Bloomberg control parts of our private lives.

During his tenure as mayor, police expanded crowd-control cordons at public events like parades and marathons.

Now, it's harder to see the parade. And sometimes, to cross one street, you have to walk a long way.

If Bloomberg ends up in the White House, he'd bring his nanny approach to the whole planet.

Still, in my state's primary, I'll vote for him over Bernie Sanders.

He knows how to manage people. He was a pretty good mayor of my city, much better than the political hack we have now. He sometimes even cut spending to pull the city out of debt.

He criticizes some of the Democrats' ruinously expensive proposals, saying "Medicare for All" "would bankrupt us!"

He recognizes the value of work. "In America, we want people to work... to set the alarm clock and punch the time clock. That's what America's all about."

Unfortunately, now that Bloomberg's a Democrat, he says "the free market is not always perfect," and he wants paid family leave, a higher minimum wage and higher taxes.

Although he criticized the "Green New Deal" as "pie in the sky," now Bloomberg has his own expensive "solutions." He would cut greenhouse gases by half by doing things like banning new natural gas plants. There's no way to do that without making it much harder for people to heat their homes and buy gasoline.

He spends millions pushing more gun control while issuing groveling apologies for tough-on-crime programs he once believed in.

Five years ago, he bragged about putting "a lot of cops... where the crime is, which means in the minority neighborhoods."

Now he apologizes "for the pain that (statement) caused."

But it was accurate, and most of his policies made life better for people in minority neighborhoods.

Bloomberg thinks he can have it both ways, being a Republican or a Democrat depending on which is most convenient for his ambition -- and his autocratic tendencies.

That leads him to admire places like China, where dissent is not allowed. As CEO, he was quick to cooperate with the Chinese government.

Sociologist Leta Hong Fincher writes how Bloomberg's company tried to ruin her financially when she tweeted about corruption in Beijing. Her husband had a nondisclosure agreement with Bloomberg. That meant the company could stop him -- not her -- from saying anything that might upset Chinese Communist authorities.

Bloomberg's love of power even led him to get a special exception to New York City's term limits on mayors. He got the city council to let him run for a third term -- not all future mayors, just Bloomberg.

Trump jokes about running for a third term, but Mike actually did it.

Bloomberg, unfortunately, is yet another unprincipled power-hungry political egomaniac.

I think Nanny Bloomberg has given enough orders for one lifetime.

John Stossel is author of "No They Can't! Why Government Fails -- But Individuals Succeed." For other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit www.creators.com.

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