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Should there be a "fat tax"?

Discussion in 'The OT' started by Chris Blount, May 18, 2012.

Should there be a "fat tax"?

  1. Yes

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  2. No

    22 vote(s)
    19.1%
  3. Not Sure

    93 vote(s)
    80.9%
  1. May 18, 2012 #1 of 203
    Chris Blount

    Chris Blount Creator of DBSTalk Staff Member Administrator DBSTalk Gold Club

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    OK, here we go folks. Sooner or later I knew this would happen. It started with smoking and now possibly what we eat.

    "Researchers said a fat tax could drop obesity rates by 3.5 percent and prevent 2,700 heart-related deaths a year. The study also urged subsidies for healthier foods and veggies to make them more affordable.

    Dr. Eric Wright heads the Department of Public Health at the Indiana University School of Medicine and said the fat tax falls right in line with other consumer products."

    http://www.theindychannel.com/health/31079697/detail.html

    So, should there be a tax on "fatty" or "unhealthy" foods?

    Time to stir the pot again. :)
     
  2. May 18, 2012 #2 of 203
    Ira Lacher

    Ira Lacher Icon

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    Long ago I learned that you can't legislate common sense.
     
  3. May 18, 2012 #3 of 203
    pfp

    pfp Whatever

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    I have had no issues with additional taxes on alcohol or tobacco products so it seem a bit hypocritical for me to object to this just because I live on this stuff.

    I'm just curious how it could be implemented. Cigarettes are clearly defined and relatively easy apply and enforce a tax on. How does one define an unhealthy food and enforce a tax on it?
     
  4. May 18, 2012 #4 of 203
    Steve

    Steve Well-Known Member

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    As long as there are affordable alternatives to unhealthy fast foods available, I think it's a good idea. Especially for kids, who should acquire tastes early in life for healthier foods. Just my .02.
     
  5. May 18, 2012 #5 of 203
    Earl Bonovich

    Earl Bonovich Lifetime Achiever

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    Isn't there already?

    It would be interesting to see how they define what is taxed, and at what rate.
    And then the thousands of exceptions, and combinations....

    If I ad cheese to my salad, does that now get taxed?

    As for the battle of obesity... this isn't going to help, all it is going to do is line the pocket of the government. Someone that is already paying $5 for a Double Cheesburger, isn't going to stop if it is $6

    You want to fight obesity?
    Find a way for Americans to be able to work a true 8 hour day (aka from the time we leave home to the time we get home). So that we can get out in our day and at least take a walk.

    But when most people are working 10-12 hours, if you include commute time... and the vast majority of us are working jobs that we are not moving around (At desks)...

    I have to give up a lot of family time, to make sure that I get to the Martial Art studio, and I am finding myself a lot more often not going, just so I can spend a little more time with my family.

    Food is only part of the issue, the lack of physical activity (not just specifical exercise) has a lot more to do with it... and with the work day getting longer, thus the weekend getting fuller...

    And then with less time, more take-out food, eating out, eating not-so-good for you options... vs home cooked, balanced, healthier options..
     
  6. May 18, 2012 #6 of 203
    Earl Bonovich

    Earl Bonovich Lifetime Achiever

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    And that is the problem.

    I know when I worked downtown Chicago...
    A custom made SALAD, was more expensive than a burger, fries, and drink.

    $9-$10 for a SALAD.
     
  7. May 18, 2012 #7 of 203
    Steve

    Steve Well-Known Member

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    Exactly the problem. We've got to somehow move the McDonald's, BK's, Wendy's, etc. to 100% healthy menus. I'll bet one of the issues is none of them want to take the lead in this, for fear of losing business to the others. It does seem to me like a golden opportunity for government to step in, in a good way.
     
  8. May 18, 2012 #8 of 203
    SayWhat?

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    That would just be more time to sit in front of the tube inhaling pork rinds.
     
  9. May 18, 2012 #9 of 203
    dpeters11

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    And at some restaurants, the salads can be worse than some entrees. Whether it's the dressing, or how meat that is put on it is prepared, some of them are worse than a Whopper.

    Then to top it off on the exercise front, for the increase in childhood obesity, more schools are being built where students can't walk or bike to school, and there has been a movement in Congress to eliminate Safe Routes to School funding.
     
  10. May 18, 2012 #10 of 203
    webby_s

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    Personally you lost me at Tax.... so no I don't want any more taxes for anything. It's bad enough only 49% of American's pay their taxes while the other 51% reap the "rewards" sitting on their butt doing nothing.
     
  11. May 18, 2012 #11 of 203
    yosoyellobo

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    I was ready to vote yes on a flat tax, then I realize it was fat tax. I believe the future will take care of the obesity problem with raising food price which I expect.
     
  12. May 18, 2012 #12 of 203
    Go Beavs

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    Whatever happened to personal responsibility? Now we need to affect people's eating habbits because someone else "knows better"?

    These types of tax proposals make my blood pressure go up. Maybe we should tax them as well. ;)
     
  13. May 18, 2012 #13 of 203
    PCampbell

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    Just a way for the goverment to get more of our money. And at 155lbs no I am not fat. Whats next a tax on not working out or not having a Gym membership. How about a tax credit on a Gym membership?
     
  14. May 18, 2012 #14 of 203
    Alebob911

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    Personal RESPONSIBILITY!! Don't make me pay more for the occasional hamburger and fries. Why should I have to pay for someones lack of responsibilty when they get obesed 2 times? Yes 2 times, I already pay income tax and sales tax which helps support the state aid medical that these people get and use because they get so big that they no longer work and then get on a state funded medical program as well as food stamps, etc,etc. So NO is my answer to this.
     
  15. May 18, 2012 #15 of 203
    lparsons21

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    I have no tolerance any of these 'sin' taxes. They have nothing to do with anything other than lining the gov't pocket with more of our dollars, that they then dole out to the corporates and welfare folks as they see fit.

    Taxing fat would be nearly impossible unless you wanted to first weigh the person buying whatever each and every time they do it. 'cause skinny folks eat fatty foods too you know! :)
     
  16. May 18, 2012 #16 of 203
    Stewart Vernon

    Stewart Vernon Roving Reporter Staff Member Super Moderator DBSTalk Club

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    There are so many angles here I don't know where to go. I'll start with this.

    I actually would like to see income tax repealed altogether and then have a federal sales tax along with state/local sales tax as the only means of taxation. That way you only get taxed on what you spend, not what you earn.

    Then, to help things out a bit... I would want "staples" to be taxed at a much lower rate than luxuries. So things like bread, water, milk, fresh fruits + vegetables, etc. would have a very low tax compared to "junk" foods and other products that we don't "need" to live and thus you can choose to buy and pay tax if you can afford it OR choose not if you cannot afford or don't want those things.

    So... that gives you background on where I'm coming from to answer this question.

    Am I for a "fat tax"? No. Given our current state of taxation, I do NOT like taxing things to discourage behavior. I find it hypocritical to have anti-smoking campaigns and then depend on taxes collected from smokers, for example. Either it is legal to smoke or it isn't... and since it is legal, I am against taxing something like smoking at a higher rate than a similar "luxury" activity.

    Another thing... while we do have a problem in some cases with obesity... we absolutely have a problem with the things caused by smoking and excessive drinking too! Alcohol arguably has some health benefits if not abused, whereas I'm not aware of any benefits of smoking that outweigh the inherent dangers of smoking.

    Food, outside of outright poison, is more of a case of "if you eat too much of anything, even good things" it is bad for you. People die from drinking too much water in too short of a time, for example! Do people eat too much and the wrong things? Sure... but there is a LONG list of the things people do to themselves that they could choose more wisely. I don't want to start down that road.

    So.. given the current tax code, I'm against the "fat taxes" mostly proposed and don't ever want the government telling me what I can and can't eat or how much of it.

    BUT...

    if we abolish income tax and start only having tax on sales... then I would be ok with a sliding scale of taxes that taxes luxury items more than staples... so in that scenario I would expect McDonald's and Cheetohs to be taxed more than an apple.. BUT I would expect ALL luxury items to be taxed similarly... so don't tax me more for some non-essential food than for other... just have one rate for staples and another for all other foods.
     
  17. May 18, 2012 #17 of 203
    Chris Blount

    Chris Blount Creator of DBSTalk Staff Member Administrator DBSTalk Gold Club

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    I was thinking the same thing. I am 6' and 180 pounds and far from being "fat". I love pizza and burgers just like everyone else. I do cardio every day so I occasionally can eat fatty foods. It's not my fault someone else can't keep from stuffing their face with crap and then sit on the couch for hours watching TV.

    This would be basically a tax on everyone to help the stupid.
     
  18. May 18, 2012 #18 of 203
    lparsons21

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    I'm not thin, never have been. But I'm in pretty good health for 68. I walk the golf course (about 4 miles if I'm playing good) a few times a week, and play most every day.

    Most of my friends are the same as me. Good health, reasonable weight and get excercise. But yet we all eat our fair share of junk food too.
     
  19. May 18, 2012 #19 of 203
    phrelin

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    When I saw Should there be a "fat tax"? I thought maybe they were going to institute a variation on a capitation or head tax:
    Perhaps something formulaic like $25 a year times a person's weight in kilograms divided by decimeters.;)
     
  20. May 18, 2012 #20 of 203
    MysteryMan

    MysteryMan Well-Known Member DBSTalk Club

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    I'm in my sixties. My height is 72" and I weigh 200lbs. I meet the Army's weight standard for a person of my years and can pass their PT test. The last thing I need is some liberal bureaucrat telling me what I should and should not eat and taxing me for my choices.
     

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