November 12, 2013

Forget the Red Scare. Something truly malevolent is happening in Washington these days, and Senator Rand Paul is on it, alerting all the good citizens out there to this menace, with the FDA's phase out of trans fats. Paul made his comments last night at a speech in Charleston, South Carolina.

Jonathan Chait at Ny Mag easily swats the populist hyperbole down.

They are not, in fact, coming after your doughnuts. Trans fats are not essential to make doughnuts or, really, anything. Some restaurants still use trans fats because, even though they’re incredibly bad for you, they’re longer-lasting and slightly cheaper than other oils, and very few customers would ever know the difference. But Dunkin’ Donuts, Krispy Kreme, and many others have already eliminated trans fats, and customers have detected no difference in taste. (The libertarian magazine Reason hyperbolically warned in a headline, “Start Hoarding Donuts,” which possibly caught Paul’s eye, though the item itself acknowledges that nothing remotely like a doughnut ban is taking place.)

The doughnut ban is just the latest assault on freedom in the imaginary world in which Rand Paul spends most of his time. In this world, the IRS has hired 16,000 new IRS agents to enforce Obamacare, Obama is giving away free phones, Medicaid is bankrupting Kentucky hospitals, and all sorts of other terrible things that aren’t actually happening are happening.

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