Jacob Sullum

Likewise, the New York City Board of Health defends its new rule requiring calorie counts on menu boards as a way of giving consumers useful information. But since the rule applies only to restaurants that already provide nutritional information online, in brochures and on posters, it's really a way of nagging people who would rather not be reminded how many calories are in that cheeseburger or frozen coffee drink.

Before we get carried away scolding Democrats for all their scolding, let's recall that Republicans are leading the crusade to stop you from using the Internet to play poker or bet on football games. It's a Republican administration that has revived the effort to prevent adults from looking at dirty pictures in the privacy of their homes. And while the war on drugs is a bipartisan project, Republicans are noticeably more enthusiastic about imposing draconian prison sentences on drug offenders.

Broadly speaking, Democrats want to protect you from the physical threats posed by habits such as smoking, overeating and crossing the street while listening to an iPod. Republicans are more interested in protecting you from the moral threats posed by temptations such as drugs, gambling and pornography. Between them, they've got you covered, body and soul.

Jacob Sullum

Jacob Sullum is a senior editor at Reason magazine and a contributing columnist on Townhall.com.
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