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UPDATE: Smoothie bar adds $1 for liberals

Owner says the surcharge is intended to start a conversation about the nation’s fiscal crisis.

UPDATE 5:42p.m.

The I Love Drilling Smoothie & Juice Bar in Vernal, Utah is known for wearing its conservative environmental stance on its sleeve.

But now, the AP reports, the business has taken their conservatism one step further.

The smoothie bar, which boasts T-shirts and hats with its namesake slogan for sale, has implemented a new $1 tax on purchases made by liberal customers. According to reports, the surcharge proceeds are donated to conservative organizations such as the Heritage Foundation, and owner George Burnett, a lifelong conservative, has had three liberals contribute to the fund so far.

Burnett has said the surcharge is intended to start a conversation about the nation’s fiscal crisis.

“Really what I’m focused on is the fiscal differences between big government/small government and liberal ways, as far as entitlements and spending,” Burnett told NBC affilate KSL-TV. “We have a fiscal problem in this country. We’ve got to deal with it or we don’t have a country, so to kind of help make that point, just a little bit, I charge (liberals) just a little bit more.”

Reviews on Burnett’s new business model have been mixed on the smoothie bar’s Facebook page, but one conservative source in Utah told us he’s tickled.

“Why I love living here: reason # 2,375,” the source said.

Update: 

Burnett, the owner of the I Love Drilling Juice and Smoothie Bar, told Human Events business has been booming ever since the story about his $1 surcharge for liberals went viral.

“It’s been backed up and kind of standing room only all day today,” he said.

Burnett clarified that he doesn’t dislike liberals and enjoys serving them in his shop, but wanted to make a point with his gesture and start a larger conversation.

“My message is that those that believe in big government and more entitlements and more reckless spending, they’re costing us a lot of money and a lot of jobs and raising taxes,” he said. “I think it’s only fair to charge them a little bit more.”

This week, though, conservatives and liberals alike are getting free smoothies as the shop kicks off a health living initiative. Burnett is encouraging his customers to share fitness goals on the store’s Facebook page.

“We had a liberal, she came in our shop today, and I made her (a smoothie) for free,” Burnett said.

“She left a tip.”

Written By

Hope Hodge first covered military issues for the Daily News of Jacksonville, N.C., where her beat included the sprawling Marine Corps base, Camp Lejeune. During her two years at the paper, she received investigative reporting awards for exposing a former Marine who was using faked military awards to embezzle disability pay from the government and for breaking news about the popularity of the designer drug Spice in the ranks. Her work has also appeared in The American Spectator, New York Sun, WORLD Magazine, and The Washington Post. Hodge was born near Boston, Mass., where she grew up as a lover of Revolutionary War history and fall foliage. She also discovered a love of politics and policy as a grassroots volunteer and activist on Beacon Hill. She graduated in 2009 with a degree in Politics, Philosophy, and Economics from The King's College in New York City, where she served as editor-in-chief of her school newspaper and worked as a teaching assistant when not freelancing or using student discounts to see Broadway shows. Hope‚??s email is HHodge@eaglepub.com

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