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Can You Believe It? A "fat" Tax...


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#1 1972vet

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Posted 02 September 2008 - 04:20 PM

I found this amusing. It will be interesting to see how the government can get away with that.

Don't want to turn this into any sort of debate but I have a better idea I think...consider a "user" tax as with tobacco.

They've nearly taxed tobacco companies out of business and used the same principal as their impetus that passed the legislation. Why not deal with the obesity problem in the same way...after all, it would lend credence to the concept used to pass the tobacco tax legislation.

Otherwise, there exists a disparity between the two examples of law. One penalizes the individual and the other penalizes the corporation. If the concept follows the same line of logical thought, then the employees of the State of Alabama should be in the clear but the corporation(s) responsible for their weight problem would have to pay the penalty much the same way as the tobacco corporations pay the penalty for smokers who become hospitalized from tobacco related illnesses.

So...here's my proposal:
Instead of imposing the penalty on the individual which is contrary to the original line of logical thought behind the tobacco tax, require a user tax on all "Big Mac" types of junk food products. With each purchase, require the vendors to collect an additional $2.00 per product.

The added "user" tax can then be collected by the government as the tobacco tax is, and used for the health care needs of us poor people who fell victim to the danger of not having any "fattening" labels on their products. :thumbsup:

What I find wrong with the idea that compensation should be exacted for lost productivity due to death and disease is that death and disease is inevitable for us all...so, using this same warped logic, I'll bet we can expect the government to one day impose a "death" tax.
Well...it could happen! :flowers:

I can't help but wonder how long it takes some genius politician to take this up as a "cause" and include it in an election campaign. I can see it now...an oil tycoon with a southern drawl holding up a cardboard chart showing the large numbers of tax dollars lost from the collective corporate earnings tax while the individual "user" tax has been in effect and shows a rather slim number of dollars by comparison.

...and I'm sure s/he'd say, "If you see a snake, just kill it - don't appoint a committee on snakes."

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#2 Poppy32174

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Posted 03 September 2008 - 03:28 PM

Welcome Home Brother...

I like your idea about a junk food tax, but $2.00 per product is way too much. Maybe a dollar per order for starters is better. Let the people get use to it, then raise it to $2.00 per order.

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#3 MaraM

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Posted 03 September 2008 - 03:59 PM

Ah, you like in a lovely Country! So do I but we have what is equivalent to 'death taxes' already (can't win - grin!) ... and although slightly off-topic, I think Americans actually get to deduct interest on a mortgage on personal tax returns? Yup, must be lovely! :thumbsup:

If a special 'fat' tax was imposed on fast food, would we then need one on soda/pop - as surely it contributes to both being overweight and often diabetes. And if we are going to add special taxes for people being silly with their bodies, surely an enormous tax must be added to anyone who sky-dives, etc etc. Pretty soon our government could end up with special taxes being imposed on darn near everyone - eep.

Often think how very odd that people sue companies (such as McDonalds for serving 'fast food' and tobacco companies, etc) ... no one is forced to eat fatty foods nor smoke nor drink to excess ... maybe we should all forget special taxes and just do as we will, but never forgetting we are truly responsible for our own actions? Gentle smile.
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#4 woodyblade

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Posted 03 September 2008 - 04:04 PM

:thumbsup: :flowers: :trumpet:

Fat Tax are they serious, My BMI is around 23-24 I think (Being Normal Weight For My Height). I was laughing reading that Story.

A very Good Idea, they already Tax People 17.5% on Food here anyway adding another Tax may put them off and lose weight. Although a Death Tax is highly unlikely, there would be Uproar if there was a Death Tax imposed, The thing about it is that they just don't want to spend more Money shows you how tight Businesses are with money.

#5 1972vet

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Posted 03 September 2008 - 04:23 PM

Well, I think the general idea that comes across is, of course, smoking and over eating are bad for your health.

OK, well so is inner city smog but where's the added tax to the oil companies for their contribution to the air pollution? How 'bout the breweries? Ever seen their smoke stack billowing out the toxic fumes during rush hour traffic?...to say nothing about the numbers of people killed by drunk drivers, where is the added tax for people willing to take THAT risk? I know of NOT ONE person ever killed by a smoking driver...or from driving while "Fat" either for that matter, but I digress...

Anyway, some "Do Gooder" several years back came up with what s/he thought was a grand idea.

"To Hell with other people's enjoyment, I'm going to set about to make them PAY" for smoking...and so they did. Thus far it has worked. Smokers are still able to buy something to smoke and I believe this still grates on the nerves of those who's original intention wasn't really so much for the benefit of government to collect more tax dollars from them but to crush the tobacco industry out of existence...

That hasn't yet happened so the next plan that I saw come into existence was an effort on the part of local governments to attack the liberties of both local business and individuals with regard to smoking in public. Thus far, this is also working well.

Now comes the Alabama State government with a plan to recoup health care costs from the individual employee based upon their personal health condition. Not just a general overall health profile, this plan of attack is designed to target a specific profile...over-weight employees based upon the premise that being over weight causes an increased cost for health insurance due to the health care that over weight people MAY require because of their condition.

Now...what's wrong with this? After all, people who smoke are well aware of the risk as well as the people who over eat. These risky folks are apparently willing to go the risk and do as they please in pursuit of their right to happiness. Smoking and over eating makes them happy...so be it. BUT!!! These folks are now are under certain restraints placed upon them by the government.

What restraints are these?

They are required to pay a penalty for enjoying those pursuits while citizens who (like good little children) are dutifully pursing other interests in fulfillment of their happiness and going along with the program so-to-speak.

Doesn't anyone else see the problem with this? Does "pursuit of happiness" ring a bell with anyone?

The tobacco tax, while generally speaking was designed to penalize the individual smoker, ultimately penalizes the tobacco companies. Because of this "user" tax, many tobacco companies have already gone out of business because of the reduced numbers of smokers.

This new "Fat" tax isn't going to cause such a stir because the food industry won't feel a pinch. Between the added cost and the hassles to smokers liberties, quite an impressive number of people have stopped smoking. How many "Fat" people are going to stop eating?

There is also something that needs to be said about the next disparity between these two "added tax" laws. While the tobacco tax has generated other liberty infringements upon smokers, the next warped idea is to assume now that local governments seemingly have the green light to enact legislation making it illegal to be fat in public. No smoking in public places...no fat people in public places.

I can see it now...Fat people will have to pay for their vice. Airline industries will have two lists of travel fares...one for fat people and one for "weight proportionate". How is a guy who is 7 feet tall weighing 300 pounds going to get away with paying the normal cost of the fare when a 5 foot tall guy who weighs 200 pounds has to pay double the fare? Doesn't it take more "umph" to launch 300 pounds than it does for 200 pounds? Where's the logic?

Here's another one:
"Table for five please"..."Will this be smoking or non-smoking, fat or proportionate"

Then again, there are other things to consider. Many states now have in force something known as the "Dram Shop" law which creates a liability on the part of a liquor establishment for any bodily injury or property damage caused by one of it's customers to a third party. I can see this same premise being applied to eating establishments.

The "Dram Shop" law requires that the "Bar Tender" be alert to the "intoxicated" customer and must refuse to serve him/her any more alcohol. Basically, it says that it's illegal to serve a drunk a drink. If applied equally, this legal precedent should require an eating establishment to refuse to serve food to an over-eater.

What if the fat guy is diabetic...how is the waiter supposed to know? Maybe the next piece of pie will put him over the limit. He could kill someone driving home with such a high glucose level..."Can I have another piece of pie please"..."uhmm, No! I think you've had enough."

Geeze. I must be the only nut case American here if no one else can see the stupidity of all this.

The battle plan seems to be to attack any unhealthy life style. By doing so, in this case, employers are trying to support the idea that passing the cost of the risk onto the employee.

What's next? Sex? How will the government get into the bedroom to legislate a tax on that?

I have a gut feeling they'll find a way...somehow.

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#6 MaraM

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Posted 03 September 2008 - 08:43 PM

I'm still smiling with delight after reading your words, 1972vet - beautifully said!!

Our "pursuit of happiness" seems to become more restricted each year and sadly the scenario of "No more pie for you!" would surely happen should laws like this go through.

I often wonder if people truly don't see the 'wrongness' of a law that may not affect them but still affects others - a law that truly does take away so many rights that we now take for granted. And how some laws - and society - seem very odd indeed.

One wee case ... smoking is as heavily frowned upon here as well. Laws going through that prevents anyone from smoking in, for instance, the middle of a young multi-acre open park ... yet those same children playing at the other end of the park are playing right beside a highway with exhaust billowing from cars going by. Hmmm. And we mustn't forget the people who live in a condo - laws being passed preventing anyone from smoking within their own suite (as well as on their balcony, etc) - reason given, smoke "goes through walls" and affects neighbours.

Some senior students did a small experiment ... one group lit up cigarettes in a park, no where near children, and on a beautiful sunny day with a breeze blowing. Another group of them went to the same park and opened beers (also illegal to do here) and pretended to get drunk. Interesting results. Police received several phone calls about those "bad smokers" and nary a one about those "bad drinkers". Mind-boggling. At least to me.

This "fat tax" is surely a loss of rights - if you're a "nut case" for seeing it that way, please add me to your padded cell - gentle smile!
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#7 Queen-Evie

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Posted 04 September 2008 - 12:02 AM

The local paper reported this on August 21st. My first thought, only in Alabama. so yes I can believe it.
My next thought came when I was reading the article and saw this:

"There are folks walking around with diabetes and hypertension that don't even know it, and it's just a matter of time before something catastrophic happens to them," Ashmore said. "If we can get people to manage their health, we'll have healthier employees and less healthcare costs.

My thoughts: big deal. There are a lot of people walking around with those things and don't know it, but not all of them are overweight. Skinny folks have the same problems and don't know it. Of course you don't know it until tests indicate a problem.

#8 mz30

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Posted 05 September 2008 - 12:29 PM

What will they think of next ???????????? :thumbsup:
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#9 MaraM

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Posted 08 September 2008 - 09:41 PM

A tax on those who's vision is lousy - as a penalty for not eating their carrots perhaps? :thumbsup:
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#10 Queen-Evie

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Posted 08 September 2008 - 10:05 PM

Mara, I hope the fools on Goat Hill don't see that. Because it sounds like something they would do.

#11 MaraM

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Posted 09 September 2008 - 12:04 AM

:thumbsup:
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#12 cowsgonemadd3

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Posted 26 September 2008 - 09:55 AM

Here is the problem. These people eat till they are fat and unhealthy. They have problems with joints and other health problems.

Then us the tax payers have to pay for their housing and there kids as they cant work because they are fat.

If you have healthcare then thats a part of why its so expensive. People who are unhealthy are in the bunch too and you as a health care payer pay for their problems.

A fat tax would be fine in healthcare but taxing fatty foods is not the answer. Just eat out less.... All I want to do is pay more for a burger on the go....

Nobody needs no warning on a burger or any other fatty food to tell its not good for them. When they start to not be able to fit in their pants then they will get the idea.

#13 MaraM

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Posted 08 October 2008 - 10:57 AM

Hmmm. Re: "Here is the problem. These people eat till they are fat and unhealthy".

This is true. Of some people. But not all people. And to lump all overweight people together under the idea that they are all gluttons is not just inaccurate, it's cruel.

As someone once said, 'fat' people are the only group of people left where it's socially fine to ridicule.

Imagine the humiliation of a gentleman mentioned as an example earlier ... he weighs less than the huge 6'5" hulk seated beside him on a place - yet he pays more to fly ... and gets to endure the humiliation of some person behind the airline's ticket counter deciding if he's 'fat' or not and being told he must pay for two airline seats.
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#14 cowsgonemadd3

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Posted 08 October 2008 - 12:08 PM

I said eat not gluttony or eating to much. Not all eat to much.

They eat too many of the wrong kinds of foods,they go out to eat to much, and they drink more sugary liquids than they do water. Thats mostly how people get overweight. In some peoples cases it has a LOT more to do with the sugary drinks that they drink that makes them fat and not the food.

#15 DSTM

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Posted 08 October 2008 - 12:22 PM

What a silly idea. Many people have medical conditions,CGM3,and has nothing to do with diet.
A big proportion of Obesity,can be blamed on lifestyle.Granted, but not all.
What's next,we all stand on a Scale,at the Airport and all Public Transport, and pay by the LBS weight,like normal Cargo.
What I would like to see, is these Fast Food outlets, made to sell healthy foods,or tax them out of business. :thumbsup:


















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