If no fat tax, then what about taxing parents of obese kids?
There’s a reason the fat tax story won’t die.
For every detractor that points out the idea’s a little totalitarian – “Where does it end?” wrote one commenter when MSN floated the idea back in 2009. “Should people who engage in activities such as sky diving or riding motorcycles pay a danger tax? Should people who have sex with more than one partner pay an STD tax?” – there’s someone, anyone, that suggests it’s not as hypocritical as you might think.
“I’m a smoker and have been taxed a lot with the so-called sin tax,” replied another reader. “We are told that it’s because we cost the system more. I don’t see the diference (sic) from taxing a smoker or taxing the fat. What is good for the goose is good for the gander.”
So as we continue to kick around variations of the proposal (a soda tax was another manifestation), it’s becoming clear there’s enough interest from at least one side of the debate to keep things going.
The latest incarnation? A fat tax not against foods or sodas or muffins, but against parents of obese children.
Though he’s since distanced himself from his remarks, Illinois Republican Senator Shane Cultra caused quite a stir this month in suggesting a bill that would take state tax deductions away from parents with fat kids. (In Illinois, parents receive a standard tax deduction of $2,000 annually.)
After Rush Limbaugh, the New York Times and even the U.K.’s Daily Mail caught wind of the story, Cultra backed off his proposal. But you have to admit, if anyone would even think to entertain a fat tax, penalizing parents for raising obese children – or, rather, rewarding them for instilling health lifestyles upon their kids – certainly falls in line with the overarching theory.
What do you think? If a fat tax wouldn’t work, would punishing parents for raising overweight children change things?
By Jason Buckland, MSN Money
*Follow Jason on Twitter here.
Posted by: corrie | May 26, 2021 2:48:49 PM
Obesity may be the last physical condition that is still wide open for ridicule. Most of us would never poke fun at a stroke victim, or an amputee, or a disfigured person, but fat people are fair game for any and all kinds of verbal abuse. Fat people are clowns, buffoons, lazy, disgusting etc. etc. etc. How sad.
Obesity, in my opinion, is simply an addiction, no different from alcoholsim, smoking, drug abuse and many other things people use to deal with misery and unhappiness in their lives; it's an avoidance and self-defense mechanism. It is so common because food is so available, and even poor, cheap foods can create the desired effect, and once a susceptible person discovers that food has the ability to numb their pain, to cushion them from their problems, it becomes almost impossible to "quit".
Quitting is so difficult because in this case the addict must learn to control the drug, while still taking it every day. Would you expect an alcoholic to have at least two drinks every day, but no more? Would you tell a drug addict that he must shoot up a minimum number of times a week, but no more? Yet a food addict is required to do exactly that; he must continue consuming his drug, but in carefully controlled and limited quantities. That's a very tough expectation and most food addicts simply can't do it.
I have found most of the obese people I know to have emotional and personality problems. They are almost all kind and generous to a faultl. They are deeply emotional and easily empathize with others. They are sensitive, and easily made to feel guilty, inadequate and inferior. They tend to have very low self esteem.
So now we are going to make their lives even more miserable by singling them out to be taxed for being victims of an addiction? How self-righteous of us. How typical. How like the bully in the schooyard and the lion on the svannah, seeking out the weakest to take advantage of, the ones least likely to fight back.
Surely, in the same context of "helping them for their own good" we will also be taxing anorexics and the parents of anorexics?
Posted by: Dave | Oct 8, 2021 3:01:32 PM
Surprisingly , there are a lot of possible good ideas listed ,, reward for getting healthy is the point i think one respondant was getting at . healthier body = healthier mind and attitude .
Makes sense , lose weight , become less of a drain on healthcare , gain = financially , gain= self esteem , gain= gain =gain .
So who do we talk to to try get this implemented ? . Tax incentives to those achieving healthier lifestyles . I like it ,, and i dont mind putting my tax dollars into it because so much more will be gained from it .