Posted by: As I See It by Arnie | July 12, 2007

Fat tax?

There are days when a blogger like myself just has a difficult time choosing from all the current happenings in the world to rant and raise some awareness about for the few visitors that might end up over here. A presidential campaign always has interesting tidbits. The war against Islamic fascism always has stories not being told by the liberal press. The culture war has an endless array of misguided experts working to misguide the traditional moralist. And politics in general is a never ending supply of material to blog about.

But just now, I was lead to a story out of London. The idea of imposing a special tax on fatty foods, you know those items we call soul foods, or comfort foods. You are feeling down in the dumps today, go ahead grab some comfort food, some chocolate, a piece of cake, a ding dong, a second helping of whatever, or a twinkie. We rationalize it away, and most of us are able to control it, somewhat at least as the doctor says we are only 10 or 20 pounds over the ideal model. On a side item. I’ve always wondered who it was that determined what the ideal looked like. Hollywood is the simple answer.

Back to London. “Researchers at Oxford University say that charging Value Added Tax (VAT) at 17.5 percent on foods deemed to be unhealthy would cut consumer demand and reduce the number of heart attacks and strokes.” They even go so far as to state that the additional expense would save 3200 lives each year. Then they argue that the added tax burden would hurt the poor the most. Is that because the poor buy more of the fatty foods than others and would have the most difficult of times kicking the fatty habit for comfort foods? The report seems to assume that peoples food preferences would not change with regard to the poor, but the added tax would change the buying habits of others. But then it also assumed that people may just buy the fatty stuff anyway. I assumed these assumptions were assumed by the researchers.

The study also compared a fatty food tax to the tax hike on cigarettes. “The team from Oxford’s Department of Public Health said higher taxes have already been imposed on cigarettes and alcohol to encourage healthy living.” But they did not mention that along with the tax on tobacco products came a mandatory exhaustive ban on where the people could light up in public, because of the well planned attack on second hand smoke fears. The combination of the two, or three was the success story of reducing the number of people taking up the habit of smoking . Price, convenience and fear.

Will the fat people watchers be able to put together a three punch program?

Place an additional tax on the products that produce fat.   But, how do they tax the second or third helping?   Would there then be a limited supply of fat products that one could purchase in a certain time frame?   Well, they know, we know, we all know that the additional tax is like the warning label, then but not paid any attention to.  But the fat people watchers feel that something must be done, it just must be, you’ve got to start somewhere, right?

Or, in order not to punish the non fatty people, just send a tax bill to the fatty people.  they could hire a bunch of federal agents to stand in front of the grocery stores, the convenience stores and immediately tax the fatty ones, letting the non fatty ones go by.

Stupid where you read it on paper, but these are the thoughts of the fat police right now.


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