On the Fat Tax

I'm sorry to hear that the discussion of a Fat Tax has taken such a tangential course.1 I have gone so far as to suggest a combined tax on fat and sugar, plus an increase in the taxes on tobacco and alcohol.But my purpose is not to change behavior. Nobody in their right mind would try to regulate behavior legislatively through taxation, although a high enough tax may dampen the enthusiasm for those with limited "discretionary income." Instead, the "sin taxes" are best levied for paying for the c

Lewis Kelly
Sep 12, 2004

I'm sorry to hear that the discussion of a Fat Tax has taken such a tangential course.1 I have gone so far as to suggest a combined tax on fat and sugar, plus an increase in the taxes on tobacco and alcohol.

But my purpose is not to change behavior. Nobody in their right mind would try to regulate behavior legislatively through taxation, although a high enough tax may dampen the enthusiasm for those with limited "discretionary income." Instead, the "sin taxes" are best levied for paying for the consequences and doing good, not for stopping bad behavior.

In Kentucky, the Medicare and Medicaid systems are burdened to exhaustion, paying for a population that can't or won't care for itself. If we taxed all of the things we do that are not "good for us" but are simply "amenities" or "indulgences," we could prepay our inevitable health care costs,...