It's in the Bag

(A brief discussion twixt Baer & Baer's editor, a.k.a. BE)

JB: Get ready for the "battle of the bags."

BE: An older ladies wrestling match?

JB: Oh, nice. E-mail that to NOW. No, insentive, politically incorrect one, I'm talking about plastic bags. Our own state Sen. Daylin Leach, D-Montco, just introduced a bill (SB 590) to put a two-cent tax on plastic bags.

BE: Oh, as a way to raise revenue to attack the state's $4 billion deficit, save unions and prevent Pennsylvania from becoming Wisconsin?

JB: Wrong again, editorina. It's to protect the environment. El Leacho says such bags "last for a thousand years" and pollute the planet, and a tax would discourage their use.

BE: Dog-walkers won't like that.

JB: Which is why he's not seeking to ban the bags. Dog-walkers, he says, can pay the 14-cents a-week it'll take to clean up after Fido and thereby contribute to a cleaner Mother Earth.

BE: Still, sounds a little like Sarah Palin's "nanny state."

JB: Which is what riles the Center for Consumer Freedom. It put out a press release condemning Leach as "misguided," pushing "activist-driven junk science" and offering "knee-jerk, feel-good regulation."

BE: Knee-jerk? Aren't plastic bags banned elsewhere?

JB: Indeed. In many European countries. In many California cities. And, according to mothering.com, a ban is pending in Oregon.

BE: Mothering.com sounds like the nanny state, too.

JB: But Leach asks what's to lose: "I grew up folding the paper bags we brought from the grocery store. And I don't remember a lot of conversation about how unbearable our lives were becoming because of using paper bags."

BE: Plus, paper bags are better because they hold more groceries than the pitiful plastic bags supermarkets give you. But in this anti-tax atmosphere it's hard to envision Capitol rallies featuring chants of "What do we want? A BAG TAX! When do we want it? NOW."

JB: Well, that's just YOUR two cents. Think Cairo. Think Libya. Think Madison. Think Battle of the Bags! GRRR!

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