Would you support cigarette like taxes on potato chips?

Discussion in 'Politics, Religion, Social Issues' started by Shivetya, Jul 28, 2009.

  1. Shivetya macrumors 65816

    Jan 16, 2008
    and other related foods?


    One major area where health care costs have exploded is dealing with all the obese people and the resulting health issues that their unhealthy weight incurs.

    One of the suggestions is to tax the "sin foods". My question is, at what level? How do we punish only those who truly abuse it compared to others who do not?

    Throw in Halloween fun, it has been tradition to have lots of junk candy items handed out during this. Yet could a well organized national push turn it into something else?

    I look at nationalized health care as inevitable. The greedy and selfish will win their rights to the money of those who try harder. The one thing that could help some of us stomach it better is make them earn their health care another way.

    Eat healthy, be healthy. Penalize people the same way we penalize them for breaking other laws. A blanket tax on sin foods makes others pay for those who abuse. Now granted the fatties will pay more as they consume more but the problem with "sin foods" is that many items will get caught up in this because of some over zealous government bureaucrat.

    So, the questions are.

    Tax sin foods?

    At what level? Similar to a pack of smokes or beer?

    What do you see as a sin food? What would the easy to identify attribute to classify something as a sin food?
  2. SactoGuy18 macrumors 68030


    Sep 11, 2006
    Sacramento, CA USA
    I'll never pass--the food companies would lobby hard to squash this in no time flat (pun not intended).
  3. CorvusCamenarum macrumors 65816


    Dec 16, 2004
    Birmingham, AL
    It depends on how you define "sin foods". I'm willing to wager that poorer people buy more of these then those better off. Can we use the sin food tax to subsidize costs of healthy food, fresh fruits and vegetables, lean meat, etc? Or is the rationale behind it that it's OK to tax something that in theory impacts a socially acceptable group to pick on - rich people, smokers, fatties etc?

    I'm sure they'll string bean it out for a long time, really eggplant their heels and never lettuce pass it.
  4. iGary Guest


    May 26, 2004
    Randy's House
    There are already snack taxes in many states.
  5. GfPQqmcRKUvP macrumors 68040


    Sep 29, 2005
    I would not recommend this. I eat "sin foods" all the time and am not overweight/unhealthy. I shouldn't be punished for using something in moderation that other people might abuse.
  6. rhsgolfer33 macrumors 6502a

    Jan 6, 2006
    Cigarette and alcohol companies had some pretty strong lobbies yet both are heavily taxed.

    I don't think its a good idea. I think there is a possibility that it will disproportionately affect the poor who can't afford higher quality and better for you food. I don't think it really will solve the problem either. Its certainly not going to stop me from consuming "sin" food.

    Maybe we could have a warning label too: "the surgeon general has determined that consuming this food may lead to obesity." It reminds me so much of the alcohol one: "Consumption of alcoholic beverages impairs your ability to drive." No way! You mean drinking alcohol will lead to me getting drunk! ****, I always wondered why I felt so great and couldn't walk straight after six gin and tonics!

    I could see it happening in California. They've already banned trans fat and starting in 2012 foie gras will be banned as well (because some people think the production method is cruel). They're slowly moving towards telling me what I'm allowed to eat (not that either the trans fat ban, the foie gras ban, or any tax is actually going to stop me from eating the banned or taxed things).
  7. u49aa2 macrumors 6502a


    Nov 3, 2008
    Between Heaven and Hell
    Looking at the new "generational demographic" of obesity, i would say hell yes!
  8. Iscariot macrumors 68030


    Aug 16, 2007
    I'd much rather see a reorganization of government subsidies to reduce the cost of healthy food.
  9. Macky-Mac macrumors 68030


    May 18, 2004
    taxed to pay 100% of the costs they add to healthcare.....why should those who don't eat these products have to subsidize healthcare for those that do?

    buncha socialist potato chip eaters!!! :p
  10. thegoldenmackid macrumors 604


    Dec 29, 2006
    dallas, texas
    No...Why tax potato chips and not french fries? And water bottles causes cancer if they are frozen so they should be taxed as well, as they are a health risk...
  11. leekohler macrumors G5


    Dec 22, 2004
    Chicago, Illinois
    I knew this was coming. Not usually around to say I told you so, but...I told you so. This will happen eventually.
  12. Ugg macrumors 68000


    Apr 7, 2003
    I'd like to see a serious reduction in subsidies to commodities and some of the billions go towards healthy school food. The sugar subsidy alone would buy lots and lots of salads. Unfortunately, just as in the EU, the US farm lobby is enormous and they'll do anything they can to stop reform.
  13. OutThere macrumors 603


    Dec 19, 2002
    Agreed. Perhaps cut some subsidies that make getting terrible food inexpensive and subsidize fresh produce?
  14. rhsgolfer33 macrumors 6502a

    Jan 6, 2006
    You mean the healthy school food that kids don't eat? I was in junior high school and high school when changes started taking place to school food in California schools. We just stopped eating the food the school sold and bought elsewhere after school or before school or brought the junk from home. Kids are going to make poor choices when it comes to food, eliminating those choices on campus doesn't mean they're not going to get access to that poor food, it just means the school probably won't sell as many lunches and the school won't be able to get extra funding via contracts with companies like Coca-Cola. Most of the kids at my school wouldn't have purchased a salad for lunch if it were the only thing the school sold.

    Its the parent's job to ensure their kids eat properly, not the school's. You want your kid to eat well? Pack his or her lunch and don't give him or her money to purchase food; its not hard to pack a lunch. When faced with a decision to choose between a salad and pizza, most kids are going to go for the pizza every time, that decision is easily eliminated by making him or her take what you pack for lunch. Will they get around it sometimes? Sure. But its a lot harder to do if they don't have much money and you're not providing the cash to purchase a lunch.
  15. KingYaba macrumors 68040


    Aug 7, 2005
    Up the irons
    I'm down with makin' produce a tax-free food. In fact, I'd make all food tax-free.
  16. Desertrat macrumors newbie

    Jul 4, 2003
    Terlingua, Texas
    I'm fed up with all sin taxes. I believe in separation of church and state. I don't like the idea of punishing people via their billfolds, just because they're having fun by doing something of which others disapprove.

    There's no subliminal message emanating from a potato chip bag saying, "Buy me! Eat me!"

    Knives don't jump up from tables and cut. Cars don't decide to suddenly veer into bridge abbutments. Potato chips don't fly from the bags and attack lips and mouths.

    I'm six feet tall and weigh 170. Why should I pay for the foolishness of others?
  17. yg17 macrumors G5


    Aug 1, 2004
    St. Louis, MO

    So your wife collects social security. One could argue that her need for social security is a result of her foolishness and not saving or planning for the future. In fact, that's pretty much the entire right wing argument for privatizing social security. So, tell me, why should I pay for her foolishness?
  18. kavika411 macrumors 6502a


    Jan 8, 2006
    Assuming she collects social security benefits for an alleged, fraudulent injury or the like, your sentiment is spot on. Assuming she collects social security benefits in the form of retirement benefits for work she did throughout her life, your sentiment is asinine.
  19. iShater macrumors 604


    Aug 13, 2002

    I have heard many times that poorer areas do not get the same level of access to fresh foods and grocery stores. A big part of the diet is what a convenience store sells, which would include chips and other "unhealthy food".

    I doubt the ripple of effect of such things has been thought out.
  20. FF_productions macrumors 68030


    Apr 16, 2005
    Mt. Prospect, Illinois
    I'd only be able to handle such a tax if brought down the prices of organic/healthy food. (Common type of scenario, fatty peanut butter for $2, or $6-7 for a healthier option).
  21. opinioncircle macrumors 6502a


    May 17, 2009
    Yeah, I don't think it'll be happening. I don't think the tax is the smartest choice, but if it's the only way to make some people realize that fruits and vegetables are important and good, well...
  22. Unspoken Demise macrumors 68040

    Unspoken Demise

    Apr 16, 2009
  23. eawmp1 macrumors 601


    Feb 19, 2008
    Cigarettes have no redeeming social value to offset the harm that can do.
    While not exactly healthy, there is some nutritional valut to snack foods.
    Where do you draw the line on unhealthy>healthy food?
    Any yes, this would disproportionately affect the poor.

    Set the example in school by eliminating significantly unhealthy foods. Spend a boatload of money on educating kids abouth healthy choices. Return PE to the school systel through 12th grade. Hard to change behaviors of adults. You have 1/2 a chance with kids. If the 40's-60's could attempt social engineering via schools, why can't we promote health in the schools?
  24. designgeek macrumors 65816


    Jan 30, 2009
    Goodness no, I spend too much on potato chips as it is. There shouldn't be a tax on cigs either. Leave the smokers alone. Why not just make a stupid tax, that's really all this crap is. Just make people that aren't smart enough to put down the plate or people that too dumb to not get cancer pay a little extra in tax every year.

    "Every vice in a punishment in and of itself" - Doug Stanhope

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