Like a weed or a virus, health nanny Kelly Brownell’s idea for a “Twinkie tax” on high-calorie and high-fat foods has spread as far as England and New Zealand. Legislatures in New York and California have debated the fat tax, and U.S. News & World Report actually called it one of 16 “smart ideas” to save the world. We’ve been telling you for years how silly fat-taxes are — and we’re not the only ones:

“Taxers will also hurt those who eat ‘junk food’ without becoming obese. How fair is that? … It is not so much the clinician’s belief that people can be socially engineered that is faulty, but the obnoxious assumption that everyone (except the experts, who know better) are helpless victims to be protected from their own appetites and the predation of fast-food pushers.” (Hawkes Bay Today, New Zealand)

“Who’s going to decide what’s a bad food? Is soda bad? If so, is diet soda bad? Is orange juice bad because it has sugar in it? Is guacamole bad because it’s high in fat?” (The News and Observer, Raleigh)

“The phrase ‘toxic food environment,’ or TFE, is an especially brilliant touch. A coinage of Kelly Brownell, director of the Yale Center for Eating and Weight Disorders, it subtly recasts free citizens as helpless victims of an impersonal force.” (Bloomberg News)

“The fattest speaker at a recent conference on obesity was the anti-fat campaigner Kelly Brownell, who never tires of comparing Ronald McDonald to Joe Camel. If pointing to Brownell’s gut or his extra chin seems mean, consider how you would feel about a chain-smoking anti-tobacco activist or a slots-playing anti-gambling crusader. Brownell is not the only portly leader of the fight against obesity. John Banzhaf, the George Washington University law professor who is a conspicuous advocate of suing fast food companies, also could stand to lose more than a few pounds.” (Reason magazine)

“Now we can herald the arrival of another high-salaried group of geniuses (being paid directly from our pockets) with the assignment to make weighty decisions on which foods make us fat. While the government impresses us with refunds and rebates with one hand, (Big Brother is your friend), they hope we will be distracted enough by their pseudo-beneficence to ignore the other hand stealthily picking our pockets. As for what makes us fat, those decisions alone could take a huge committee of Fat Police more than a lifetime. Perhaps that’s the idea — to give someone a lifetime salary for very little work.” (Marco Island Sun Times, Florida)

“But having met with little success as mere advocates, these new, private policemen such as CSPI now wish to impose their regimen on everybody else…they enjoy running other people’s lives, and they are willing to pass laws to gain that influence … The leaders of CSPI have decided that on this issue, citizens must be forced to do what someone else says is good for them.” (Jewish World Review)