Fat tax

Fat tax
: British bureaucrats propose a fat tax, an extra levy on foods that are bad for you to try to deal with Britain’s obesity problem.


So when Atkins comes into favor, they start taxing carbs; when we find out he died obese, we they stop taxing them. They’ll tax butter and the French — and dairy farmers — will protest. Oh, yeah, this will be easy to administer.

But it does open up new potential to legislate behavior and cure deficits: Got a problem with gay marriage? Just charge them more for the license! Don’t want kids to watch too much TV? Tax ’em! Personally, I’d like to levy fines for bad grammar and open-mouthed gum chewing and passing on the right and spitting on the street. And while we’re at it, let’s tax the hell out of bigots and sexists. Yeah, they’re really onto something….

  • Jeremy

    And taxes on bloggers who forget to close their bold tags…

  • I’d tax anyone for saying “If You’re so smart how come your not rich”

  • Would that ordinary people could find a way to tax all the politicians for every time one of them says “we should tax…..” .

  • John Thacker

    The story about Dr. Atkins being obese at the time of death is apparently an urban legend, albeit one with an ounce of truth. (And one being spread by the PETA-allied Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine.) He was 195 pounds (and 6 foot tall) at the time of his admission to the hospital. He did gain 60 pounds while in a coma, but this kind of fluid retention is pretty common in such cases.
    Lots of people enjoy slandering the dead, and it’s the kind of ironic story that ensures that it will live on as an urban legend, regardless of truth.

  • angell

    Well, you may have a point. The government taxes smokers as health risks, so are gays not at greater risk of contracting AIDS? And it is an astronomical cost to the health system.

  • Reid

    “If you drive a car, I’ll tax the street
    If you try to sit, I’ll tax your seat
    If you get too cold, I’ll tax the heat
    If you take a walk, I’ll tax your feet”
    And, if you eat too much, I’ll tax your treats.

  • The Brits already have a tax on TV. They had when I lived there in the 1980’s.

  • Spitting seems to be a quality-of-life crime in NYC, though basically never enforced.

  • Joe Peden

    We should tax fat people, but since everyone is fat under some criterion, this would not be too popular. Even Liberals might object, especially those with “fat” mouths [Bob, take notice].
    Or we could tax everyone who contributes to Global Warming. This includes everyone alive, since they insist upon producing CO2, and body heat well above “normal”, whatever that is decided to be by “scientists”, with their “scientific hats” [the U.N.].
    A tax credit could be given for not breathing, or eliminating other carbon units, as all carbon is bad carbon: it might burn.
    Nirvana will be at hand once we establish ourselves as ant colonies, which have achieved a perfect balance of nature, although many insects are not happy with this situation, including Clark Gable. But, then, at least we would then be Communists, which makes everything morally equivalent, and we would be very happy, if ants.

  • foo

    Actually, SF County/City clerk didn’t charge the gay couples that standard officiant fee that they charge heterosexual couples. $62 is what they charged up until a few days ago, but they waived that fee for gay couples.

  • sholls

    Everything’s bad for you in turns. There will always be some crackpots coming with ideas like this. When they’ve worked out the huge cost of administering such a tax we’ll have silence for a bit, and then another potty proposal. It’s entertainment really.

  • Dude, I thought you’d be all over that “Atkins Died Fat” fraud …. but I guess PETA got what it wanted!
    To recap: WSJ stupidly & foolishly ran a story about this, based on some PETA nutbag stealing Atkins’ hospital records. (Yes, he got all swollen from organ failure, while he was in a coma. A sad & normal thing.) Next day, USA Today had an Above The Fold story saying Atkins wasn’t obese after all, and that these PETA nuts fooled the WSJ into running a Don’t-Eat-Meat story, cuz Meat Is Murder, right?
    Kerry Screwed Some Young Gal, Atkins Was Obese, Howard Dean Is The Nominee … these blogs sure are doing a good job, eh?
    Repeating week-old disinformation used to be the job of the newspapers. Sure, they’re still at it, but it’s good to see the bloggers are bravely accepting this role in the Digital Era. High Five!

  • Ken: I should have had the [scarcams] tag on. What I was trying to point out was the futile absurdity of this as popular fads shift: fat is bad for you, it’s good for you, it’s bad or you, it’s good for you… the tax goes on, off, on, off based on rumor an innuendo against food…

  • jay

    Why not tax fatty food?
    They’ve already taxed smokes through the roof and no one said boo about that. (Except for the smokers but who cares about them? Smokers are so selfish and stupid, that they dont’ even care about what’s good for them and the country. Just ask Hillary.)
    And if that doesn’t work, we can drag all the fast food joints into court and sue their ass till they bleed, the way we did with the tobacco firms, because after all the companies who make the cigarettes are the real villans, not dumb the smokers.
    This is gonna take some politicians with some real vision and some very brave trial lawyers.
    …Calling John Edwards.

  • Pele

    It seems to me you are sensationalizing one of many possible proposals a British Government strategy unit are considering in order to have a little pop at them.

  • Angus Jung


  • Pele

    Oh, just wouldn’t like to see Mr Jarvis becoming xenophobic.
    Here’s something interesting I saw…
    A study in the journal Obesity Research, evaluating state-by-state expenditures related to weight problems in the US, says taxpayers foot the doctor’s bill for more than half of obesity-related medical costs, which reached a total of $75 billion in 2003.
    The public pays about $39 billion a year

  • eric

    We should tax all foreigners living abroad!

  • tja

    Nothing new under the sun, Jeff – using taxation to control social behaviour. Especially in Britain: gas, alcohol, tobacco.
    A sign of things to come? “Fat” will be the new “smoke”, for the psychotic mentality of the rabid anti-smoking nanny-fascists could never be content with merely abolishing tobacco.