Friday, October 9, 2009

A Better "Fat Tax"

"I love to smoke... I love to smoke... I LOVE to fucking smoke! I smoke seven THOUSAND packs a day, and I am never going to quit!" -- Denis Leary

As you can probably guess, I smoke. And the above statement sums up my feelings pretty succinctly.

OK, that's not true. I twice made an effort to quit. The first time, I was asked nicely to please have a cigarette. I'm guessing I was pretty unbearable. The second time is a blog entry all by itself. But aside from those two blips, I have been smoking for a long, long time. It's my only vice. Or rather, it's the only vice I intend to discuss here. Heh. And the deepest, truest reason I carry on with a decades-old habit is simple. I love to smoke!

And you know what? I resent like hell that everytime our government has a new pet project or an old bill they can't pay, somehow I get to cover the tab! What's that about? I'm reasonably healthy, I'm not on government insurance, and I don't plan to sue anyone when my lungs turn black and shrivel. I'm tired of hearing how I am responsible for raising America's health care bills! The latest plan being bandied about actually proposes to charge me more than others for health care. And the TAXES! Good grief, I single-handedly funded NASA last year with my habit.

NOW they want to start taxing junk food. I don't each much junk food, to be honest. It's not a health-nut thing (obviously... see previous paragraphs), it's just not to my taste. But it strikes me as pretty unbalanced to tax certain foods and not others. Even though I don't agree with the cigarette taxes, at least those taxes are put directly on the people who have the health risk of smoking. We're going to tax these other things because SOME of the people who eat them are obese. How is that fair? Not everyone who eats a Twinkie is fat.

So... (fair warning - NOTHING that follows is politically correct)... Here's my proposal.

I want to see a BMI tax!

That's right. A fatass tax. And I do not mean a tax on soda, or Twinkies, or Whoppers, or any product out there that is also enjoyed by people who aren't a walking zip code. I'm talking about a tax based directly on how many extra chins you have blobbering down the front of what used to be your neck. I want to see people charged for every last nasty glob of cellulite. I want a love-handle surtax and a fine for dunlap disease. (As in: "Your belly dunlapped over the waistband of your britches.") If taxing cigarettes only punishes smokers, it is not fair to tax anyone who drinks a Coke, whether they happen to be normal sized or ...ahem... BIG.

You know the ones I'm talking about. They're the folks that take all the motorized carts (meant for the handicapped) at the grocery store because they're TOO FAT TO WALK DOWN THE AISLES. Here's a tip for ya: If your ass is too large to walk through the grocery store under your own power, you probably don't need groceries! Or consider that if you got off your ginormous ass and DID go walkabout, you might return to normal size. Being a human land mass isn't a handicap, and you shouldn't be tooling around on a device meant for people who have an actual disability.

And please... I do not want to hear the tired old screed of "gland problem". I'll grant you that some people who struggle with their weight have a medical problem. But for most of them, it's a FORK problem! Don't push past me with your scooter-cart filled with Pepsi and potato chips and then tell me you can't help it. "But, my whole family is big!", some say. Well, look how you people eat! When a four-hundred pound slab of meat is doing the family cooking, don't try to tell me you're living on veggies and tofu. "Deep-fried" and "sugar-coated" are NOT food groups.

Or my other favorite: "It costs more to eat healthy." Please. I buy groceries, OK? It's cheaper to buy a head of lettuce and a bag of carrots than a box of snack cakes and a six-pack of soda. And a gallon of water is the cheapest beverage on the shelves. You can eat junk food if you understand the concept of moderation. Processed foods might be cheaper and less nutritious, but portion control can solve most calorie problems. (Translation: Have a SERVING of fries, not the whole damn bag!)

Frankly, I find it disgusting. And horribly unfair. These people are a heart attack looking for a place to happen, and yet when I light up a smoke in front of some of them I get "Don't you know how BAD that is for you?" Yeah, Jabba... like the extra three people you're dragging around with you in your big & tall pants is a health craze. Pffft.

So keep raising the cigarette taxes. After all, part of the rationale is that it'll eventually get people to quit, right? (Then what will they do? Tax all the smokers until we quit or die, then where will all that money come from? Hey, NASA - there goes your funding!) But if you're going to tax MY bad health traits, I say we spead it around. Bring on the BMI tax! Let's tax the fatties with a sliding scale based on poundage. Then Michael Moore could fund the new health care system all by himself!

No comments: