Time was, the idea that government was messing with citizens' cheese consumption was comical enough to inspire indignant ideological songwriting.
These days, there is a quasi-governmental entity with a fat budget focused exclusively on encouraging cheese and milk consumption. Brilliant government-funded minds were behind the "Got Milk?" campaign and the promotion of the idea that cheese helps you lose weight. The greasy details were chronicled in this weekend's New York Times:
Dairy Management, whose annual budget approaches $140 million, is largely financed by a government-mandated fee on the dairy industry. But it also receives several million dollars a year from the Agriculture Department, which appoints some of its board members, approves its marketing campaigns and major contracts and periodically reports to Congress on its work….
Dairy Management's longtime chief executive, Thomas P. Gallagher, received $633,475 in compensation in 2008, with first-class travel privileges, according to federal tax filings. Annual compensation for two other officials top $300,000 each.
The same government agency also spends a decent amount of your hard earned money telling people not to eat cheese, and to avoid the very milkfat that Dairy Management is constantly trying to thing of creative ways to dispose of.
The [Agriculture] department's Center for Nutrition Policy and Promotion, which promotes healthy diets, has a total budget of $6.5 million.
Dairy Management has been especially active in promoting Domino's new, cheesier line of pizzas, spending $12 million of federally-supplied or extorted money to sell Domino's disgusting/delicious pizza.
This isn't some wacky one time accident where the left hand momentarily lost track of what the right hand was stuffing into the mouth. Just to take one recently-blogged example, remember that whole story about how the government was warning people not to eat fatty meat while shipping fatty meat directly to the gullets of the poor? And there's the always popular subsidize-corn-syrup/tax-soda-for-creating-obesity-related-health-costs duo. These stories are easy to come by, and while the Times has done an admirable job tracking down all the details on the cheesedoggle (coming soon from Kraft!), there's enough of this stuff out there to provide an A1 story like this every day of the week.