“Remember that scene from 1984 where Winston Smith is hectored by a grim woman on the other side of the view screen for insufficient vigor in touching his toes?” asks Mike Rosen in The Rocky Mountain News. Well, that woman might be coming to a billboard near you.

The government of West Virginia has initiated a statewide media campaign to influence average citizens’ eating habits. The first wave of ads includes billboards depicting a man’s potbelly and a hamburger, with a headline reading: “Super Size Food — A Super Size You!” That’s your tax dollars at work.

How are these wasteful and silly ad campaigns justified? Rosen explains: “First, government taxes you to pay for all or some of your medical care. Then it forces you to lead a healthier lifestyle to keep government expenses down. Q.E.D., government has the right to control your life.”

Legislators from California to Texas are already pushing bills that would watch, regulate, tax and restrict what you can eat and drink. Sooner or later someone may advance a serious proposal to go right to the heart of the matter — and begin to “tax people by the pound.”