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Papa John's CEO to Raise Price of Pizza "Due to ObamaCare"

by Wes Messamore, published

Well that didn't take long. Looks like someone learned a lesson from Chik fil A's massive politically-driven profits last week and wants in on some of that litmus test lunch day (as Jon Stewart called it) action:

Papa John’s warns it will have to raise the price of its pizzas due to President Obama’s health care law. John Schnatter, CEO and founder of Papa John’s, said pizza will cost up to 14 cents more when the Affordable Care Act goes into effect in 2014. “We’re not supportive of Obamacare, like most businesses in our industry. But our business model and unit economics are about as ideal as you can get for a food company to absorb Obamacare,” Schnatter said in a conference call during last week’s shareholder’s meeting, according to Politico.

I don't think ObamaCare is good policy either, but before this spins out of control, can we please all just agree to stop rewarding fast food CEOs for political pandering? All that's going to do is encourage more of it, as this news item linked by Drudge makes apparent. And maybe I'm being unfair to Papa John's' CEO as this is actually legitimately a business matter that has something to do with his operations (unlike the total non sequitur of eating chicken to support a particular view of marriage). He might be pandering and he might not be. I'd be curious to know if the conference call on which he made these remarks last week happened before or after Chik fil A's big day.

But this blog post isn't primarily about Schnatter. It's about the Drudge nation out there and every other conservative reading this piece of news. If you folks go pull another Chik fil A day at Papa John's to support his opposition to ObamaCare, then it'll really be on. You'll just be inviting CEOs to pander harder to political groups for their business patronage. And if you don't think that sounds awful, dear goodness are you a glutton for punishment. Can't a burger just be a burger? Do we have to politicize fast food with our toxic, bitter fighting too? Will restaurants become balkanized satellites of the partisan political duopoly? Will Republicans and Democrats refuse to even eat at the same restaurants anymore? Don't let this get out of hand. Don't ruin restaurants for everybody. Partisan politics has ruined enough already.

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