A Fat Tax?

Recently I read an article about a proposed and hypothetical fat tax.

In improving America’s health, are we missing a key plotline? Wouldn’t the best way to control escalating health costs be to become healthier to begin with? Are rising costs driven not only by corporate greed, but also by self-destructive behavioral patterns?If the government is serious about tackling our nation’s health problems, then it should address food’s role in the looming crisis.

To Congress’ credit, proposed reforms emphasize increased prevention. But if socioeconomic incentives to consume harmful food persist, unhealthy patient behavior will prevail at monstrous cost to all of us. source

I wondered to myself, should we “punish” people for wanting to make bad choices?

As a pretty conservative girl in my heyday, my brain immediately screamed NO!  Let the fattys eat what they want, when they want in whatever quantity they want.  You and your government go on following rules and making them {respectively} and mind your own business.  Raised taxes for the “public good” solves nothing.  Just makes me angry on that rare occasion I crave Doritos.

But the commentator in the above article makes a decent point.  If it weren’t for the morbidly obese and Americans suffering from other over-food indulged afflictions, we, as a country would not be faced with bearing hte cost of their bad decisions with regard to health care, which is so desperately in need of reform.  Would it not cost so much if we Americans weren’t such piggys?

Furthermore, don’t we already impose a sin tax?  Cigarettes are bad for us, and they boost the economy so they aren’t going anywhere, but the taxes are through the roof.  In some states, the state completely controls the distribution of alcohol to its citizens, for which we pay dearly.  And isn’t gambling and heck even pornography pretty heavily regulated and taxed? 

I really thought about it.  I decided that I would be willing to pay a sin tax on sinfully delicious foods {birthday cake remix in a waffle bowl comes to mind} if our legislators removed their political affiliation to the ties of big money and put it back in the heart of the people who need them.  Yes, corn is cheap and important, but aren’t fruits and veggies {as the commentator points out?}.  And education about lean beef options, tofu, and balanced diets more important than placating the dairy and beef big money peeps?  In the meantime, I’ll keep trying to make good choices {damn you candy corn pumpkins!} and hope that my children are faced with a more caring, and skinnier America.

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One thought on “A Fat Tax?

  1. i think you hit the nail on the head here. i don’t care about people’s personal decisions until they start affecting me. this is why i am also supportive of mandating that everyone has health insurance (much like everyone is mandated to have car insurance). did you know that each american family pays a “hidden tax” of about $1,000 a year in their premiums to cover health care for our uninsured?

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