Tuesday, December 30, 2008

The Fat Tax

It seems that New York Governor David Paterson has caught wave of a new idea whose time just may be ripe. "The Obesity Tax," as it was dubbed by the NYT Editorial Board posted in today's Op Ed section, is worthy of notice.

"New York Governor David Paterson is trying to reduce the size of the state budget by reducing the size of the average citizen. With obesity rates soaring, he has proposed an 18 percent tax on non-diet sodas or sugary juice drinks. That’s a good idea for two reasons. It will raise money for health care. And it might lead consumers to drink healthier beverages." - - NYT Editorial Board.

Now there's an idea . . . a true fat tax. His suggestion and savvy use of YouTube as a means of explanation to the masses has flushed out a bevy of responses, including suggestions to tax skinny people for being obnoxious to tax those who wear ugly shirts in public.

Obesity and its associated health issues remains this country's biggest health concern. (Pun intended.) Some buy tobacco and I ask, "Why?" Others buy fattening foods and ask, "Why not?" The tax effect on tobacco and alcohol certainly ouches the wallet and gives one pause.

Why not ouch the fat pocket until it's a lean pocket?

Some may justifiably wonder, when or where does taxing end? If it's a taxable item and an evidence-based health threat, then taxing just might be a two-pronged solution - - positively impacting the overall health status of constituents and give back needed funds for health care.

I say tax the fat, 'till we care. But please, leave the Sonic Onion Rings out of the equation.

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