The NYS Obesity Tax


When my mother told me about the NYS Obesity Tax proposed by Gov. Paterson, I actually didn’t believe it; but as it turns out, it’s true. This is a horrible, horrible idea for several reasons.

First of all, I like how NY is becoming a nanny state. “We know what’s best for you, and we will impose laws to follow that mantra.” Earlier this year restaurants in NYC were banned from using trans-fats in foods. Now, higher taxes for supposedly less healthy beverages. Last time I checked, people we more or less free to do what they want. That means if they aren’t hurting anyone, they can make themselves as fat as they damn well please. Of course other groups are happy because this may reduce child obesity, but that should be for the parents to decide. Oh, and it’s not going to reduce child obesity. You know what will? Exercise.

Second, it seems reasonable that at a time where there is less money to go around, people are trying to spend less, and save more, that a tax hike is in order. Why not raise costs for the folks, which will likely hinder business for soda companies. Brilliant!

But this is because the state has a deficit! So what will we do with that new found money? Raise welfare payments 30% and make it easier to get medicaid (source). Perfect. Expand government programs that we know are abused by people. Does the governor really think this tax will get us out of the deficit and help expand these programs? Because the way I see it, this will do nothing but hurt the economy. Maybe Gov. Paterson should stop complaining about SNL and focus on what really matters. If he wants to get us out of a deficit, he should cut spending, and not introduce ridiculous taxes that will hurt New Yorkers and NY based businesses.

Update: So apparently he wants to tax everything AND cut spending for schools. At least with Spitzer, he was only screwing a prostitute.

3 thoughts on “The NYS Obesity Tax”

  1. I do not see a problem with taxing unhealthy foods. Nobody complained when states began taxing tobacco products. Likewise most accepted the need to tax alcohol. People rationalized: nobody needs alcohol or tobacco; considering them luxuries, with the added component of attempting to improve the overall health of the populace. Scientists have linked tobacco products to numerous forms of cancer and cardiovascular diseases; alcohol to vitamin/mineral depletion and the creation of body fat (ie- fatty liver).

    New York has now proposed taxing unhealthy foods, such as fast food and soda. Although some see this as impinging on our rights, since when did taxation become associated with taking away rights? Alcohol and tobacco continue to sell, despite heinous taxes. Further- does anyone have a pressing need to consume unhealthy food? Such things have been linked to diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, cancer, and a host of other ailments. Taxing hardly takes away one’s ability to afford such products, but it might just convince a person to consider eating healthier.

  2. The taxation of anyuthing using a term that can be viewed as prejudicial is not only not politically correct; it archiac. I identify this a prejudicial because obese and fat are synonomous. If the tax is created to identify “unhealthy” products because the desired outcome is to create a “healthier” population then call it the Unhealthy Tax. It is my observation tha a large number of overweight/obese people drink diet soda. I also see many people who are thin, average and appear to be exercising drinking non diet soda. Why is cigarette tax not called cancer tax or alcohol tax not called addicts tax? There are a number of ways to help deplete the monies spent on health care – for instance address the number of people with addictions receiving services in ER’s by creating other opportunities.

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