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NY Bill Proposes Fat Tax On Games, DVDs, Junk Food 793

Posted by timothy
from the this-government-is-delicious-really-delicious dept.
eldavojohn writes "GamePolitics is writing about a proposal to tax things that make your kids fat. The logic from its author: 'Almost all experts agree that the primary reasons [for the obesity epidemic] are increased consumption of larger quantities of high calorie foods, snacks and sugar sweetened beverages... and lack of physical activity as vigorous play is replaced by sedentary activities such as watching more television, movies and videos and playing video games. This bill would raise revenues from modest surcharges on the very food products and sedentary activities that are linked to the lifestyle changes involved in the explosion of childhood obesity in the last 20-30 years.' Not as explicit as Japan's fat tax but we're getting there."
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NY Bill Proposes Fat Tax On Games, DVDs, Junk Food

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  • Money Grab (Score:5, Insightful)

    by FredFredrickson (1177871) * on Thursday May 14, 2009 @01:59PM (#27953563) Homepage Journal
    I applaud the effort- it's a worthy cause..

    But it's not going to make anybody skinny. Just make hordes of cash under a cause that everyone would support. This is a money grab.
    • Re:Money Grab (Score:5, Insightful)

      by diskofish (1037768) on Thursday May 14, 2009 @02:04PM (#27953647)
      It isn't a worthy cause. They are just looking for another way to squeeze even more out of us. NY already has some of the highest taxes in the country. I think by calling it a fat tax they hope to make it seem less egregious. What they need to do is make serious budget cuts. Cut back on the state government. Unfortunately, the special interests groups are going to keep fighting for their piece of the budget when someone wants to cut it.
      • Re:Money Grab (Score:5, Interesting)

        by digitalunity (19107) <digitalunityNO@SPAMyahoo.com> on Thursday May 14, 2009 @02:10PM (#27953751) Homepage

        Minnesotans still pays more per person and I'd bet we get a lot more from our money than you do.

      • Re:Money Grab (Score:4, Insightful)

        by SatanicPuppy (611928) <Satanicpuppy@ g m a i l . c om> on Thursday May 14, 2009 @02:10PM (#27953753) Journal

        Well they can tax the luxury goods, or they can raise the state sales tax, it's really up to you.

        What it comes down to, is they need the money to make their budget. If this is what they choose to tax, it's a lot better than what they could tax.

        Lowering spending is another option, but that's never all that popular in New York, or at least it wasn't when I lived there.

        • Re:Money Grab (Score:4, Interesting)

          by Venik (915777) on Thursday May 14, 2009 @03:02PM (#27954691)
          It is a well-established medical fact that cardiovascular deceases are more common in blacks than in whites. I propose a "black tax" on barbecue grills, chicken wings, and Hennessy cognac. This would make at least as much sense and will be just as constitutional as the proposed "fat tax".
          • Re:Money Grab (Score:5, Interesting)

            by cayenne8 (626475) on Thursday May 14, 2009 @03:20PM (#27955051) Homepage Journal
            Hmm...no one seems to bitch that much when they raise the taxes on smokes and booze. They justifiy the 'sin' taxes, especially on cigarettes...because of the health risks, and hope it is an incentive to quit.

            This tax, especially on foods and drinks that can kill you if not used in extreme moderation (apparently they aren't) is for the same reasons, no?

            So, look, if you're gonna bitch about these (and I'm sure new creative behavior modification taxes in the future), then complain in general about using any tax to try to modify behavior. They should not use the threat of tax to promote good or curb 'bad' behaviors if you are an adult.

            What do you bet that in a future in the US, if you have a national medical system, with computerized national records, that can easily be tied to other systems out there that collect info on you (like with grocery store purchases? Drug stores? Liquor stores?) that you are charged and taxed based on your health risk behaviors? Don't think they'll do it?

            Did you think they'd ever even consider taxing you a 'sin' tax for buying a soda pop??? Me neither...

            • Re:Money Grab (Score:5, Insightful)

              by crmarvin42 (652893) on Thursday May 14, 2009 @03:53PM (#27955637)
              I totally agree with you.

              They justifiy the 'sin' taxes, especially on cigarettes...because of the health risks, and hope it is an incentive to quit.

              Am I the only one that notices that 'sin' taxes designed, ostensibly, as a deterent are counter productive. For example:

              1. Tax Cigaretts to pay for Medicare/Medcaid
              2. People cut back on cigarette purchases
              3. Revinue goes down from 'sin' taxes
              4. Budget shortfalls lead to further increases in 'sin' taxes
              5. Rinse and repeat until consuption rate drops to the point where 'sin' taxes are incapable of generating sufficent revenue to feed the Governments need for more spending.
              6. Find new 'sin' (in this case obesity).
              7. Rinse and repeat all over again.

              The problem with the 'sin' taxes, or the 'fat' tax is that it's used more to generate money and prevent spending cuts, than to actually improve anyones health. If the government does end up decreasing the undesirable consumption (tobacco, alcohol, gasoline, sweets, video games, movies, etc.), they end up running out of money to fund their pet projects. If these kinds of taxes were actually designed to do what they claim, then there would be mechanisms included to decrease funding of the relevant programs as consumption goes down.

              It's all Nanny State BS, wrapped up in the guise of the Public Good. I'm going to become a parent in August, and I'll do what my parents did. Once our children get to the age where this kind of sedentary activity is a concern, I'll kick them outside when it's nice, and not let them back into the house until meal time. I'll keep high calorie foods as a treat of last resort, and limit TV, video games, etc. to an hour or two a night.

              If you feel like you need the government to make sweets and video games more expensive to prevent you from giving them to your kids in excessive ammounts, please do the rest of us a favor. DON'T BREED. If you already have, please drop your kids off at the nearest adoption agency and go get yourself a tubal ligation/vasectomy. YOU are the parent. Act like it. Tell you child "NO", and then stick to your guns. Let them throw temper tantrums, they'll cry themselves out eventually. I know that I always did. If you dont' have the patience, then take them home and whip their ass. That worked just as well in my experience.

              • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

                by Shakrai (717556)

                Act like it. Tell you child "NO", and then stick to your guns

                Unfortunately, the last time I tried to use firearms to obtain compliance from the kids I had to spend a few hours at the police station filling out paperwork ;)

      • Re:Money Grab (Score:5, Insightful)

        by Captain Centropyge (1245886) on Thursday May 14, 2009 @02:36PM (#27954187)
        I agree, this is NOT a worthy cause. Who are they to say who's fat? And if I'm not fat, who are they to say I have to pay because other people are fat, lazy, and unmotivated to help themselves? Some people don't give a shit that they're fat. If it's genetic or something, insurance will cover it. But don't make me pay more taxes. This isn't going to do jack crap to make people thinner. And if they're going to make anyone pay, they should make fat people pay the fat tax, since they are the ones that need the motivation to lose weight.

        Once again, the government thinking they know what's best for us... morons.

        And one more thing... a very important thing. This has NOTHING to do with getting people off their lazy asses and losing weight. It's just another way for the government to tax us. More money for them to piss away on stupid programs that do nothing and political agendas. You want more money..? Cut programs that are failing. There are plenty of them.
        • First they went after alcohol. I didn't notice because it was before my time.

          Then they went after the smokers with taxes. I said "good they shouldn't smoke anyhow."

          Now they are going after fat people. I said "wait a second, I'm not fat..."

      • Re:Money Grab (Score:4, Insightful)

        by QuantumRiff (120817) on Thursday May 14, 2009 @03:31PM (#27955253)

        Why not tax books? Do they not lead to the same health problems as sitting still playing video games?

    • by snl2587 (1177409) on Thursday May 14, 2009 @02:08PM (#27953715)

      And I say, let them eat cake.

    • Re:Money Grab (Score:5, Informative)

      by digitalunity (19107) <digitalunityNO@SPAMyahoo.com> on Thursday May 14, 2009 @02:09PM (#27953723) Homepage

      I don't applaud the effort.

      Let's tax loan officers instead because their industry causes great financial harm to the country.

      Don't agree? Maybe that's because neither of these makes a lot of sense.

    • by Shivetya (243324) on Thursday May 14, 2009 @02:11PM (#27953761) Homepage Journal

      People want free health care, people want free this, that, and the other thing.

      and they will find enough people who will feel it is OK to tax X because said people don't like X. The problem is that group will get whacked by people who don't like Y.

      A VAT by any other name.

      The stuff has to be paid for. The fastest way to keep people dependent on the government and keep people poor is to make it easy to be dependent and poor.

      I know people who would cheer those gamers being taxed, I have vegan friends who would have a parade for fatties to pay more tax...

      it never ends... too many people take enjoyment by having others punished. Most get bent when it occurs because of "religious" reasons but honestly does it matter when it comes down to it?

      Democracies always have problems when people finally figure out they can vote themselves other peoples money, its worse when elected officials realize it works to keep them in office. Its even worse when a sitting President uses the bully pulpit to stomp on contract law and intimidate lawful holders of guaranteed debt to give it up.

    • Re:Money Grab (Score:5, Insightful)

      by someone1234 (830754) on Thursday May 14, 2009 @02:13PM (#27953807)

      I play instead of eating so i'm skinny.
      So why would they tax me.
      They should tax only fat people, damnit.

    • Re:Money Grab (Score:4, Insightful)

      by Woldry (928749) on Thursday May 14, 2009 @02:27PM (#27954025) Journal
      Not to mention the fact that when "Almost all experts agree" on a wide range of things, they are almost certainly going to be wrong about at least a few of them. The notions of experts about what sorts of foods make people fat have changed drastically in my several decades of adulthood. They're bound to change again. Will the taxes go away on foods that the latest scientific version of the truth decides are no longer fattening? Of course not. They'll stay, and also be added to the new alleged culprits, as more and more foods fall under the tax.

      And then, aside from the food question, there's the question of whether it's in the best interest of government to discourage mental activity and learning (in the form of games) on the dubious assumption that the alternative that people will choose will be healthier.
  • ass-backwards (Score:3, Insightful)

    by poetmatt (793785) on Thursday May 14, 2009 @02:01PM (#27953593) Journal

    as much as yes, these things can make people fat, how are they trying to put video games into this? People actually SWEAT from video games. This is like saying a racecar driver gets fat because he's sitting the whole time, which many know is not true at all.

    Got to love the idea too, pay extra even if you are, say, someone in shape who merely wants to cheat on their diet once in a blue moon, now should be taxed extra too. Sheesh.

    So yeah, nothing but moneygrab.

    • Re:ass-backwards (Score:5, Insightful)

      by KiltedKnight (171132) * on Thursday May 14, 2009 @02:04PM (#27953651) Homepage Journal
      That, and what about games designed around doing a lot of work, motion, etc, such as Wii Fit and Dance Dance Revolution (DDR)? People have been able to use these games as a way to make working out fun. Does that mean you'll get a tax rebate on these games and the controllers necessary for them?
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        We're talking about New York here. This isn't a sin tax - this is a thinly-veiled money grab. In short, no, there will be no rebate.
      • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

        by supernova_hq (1014429)
        Don't forget exercise DVD's that people buy for the same reason. If this tax goes through, those will be taxed as well.
  • Totally bogus... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday May 14, 2009 @02:03PM (#27953623)

    People with office jobs should have to pay this tax. They sit on their ass all day. Why should a construction worker, a whorehouse picker, or any other manual labour have to support office workers' sedentary lifestyle?

  • by stine2469 (1349335) on Thursday May 14, 2009 @02:03PM (#27953627)
    Do i get a tax break for buying celery? 
  • What's next, Wii subsidies?

  • How about (Score:5, Insightful)

    by MikeRT (947531) on Thursday May 14, 2009 @02:03PM (#27953631) Homepage
    Anyone who is morbidly obese and doesn't have a diagnosed thyroid problem gets no Medicare or Medicaid? How right wing of me! I should be kind and compassionate by paying taxes to support the health care of people who know their habits are destroying them.
    • Re:How about (Score:5, Interesting)

      by Manchot (847225) on Thursday May 14, 2009 @02:12PM (#27953777)
      Believe it or not, the British NHS recently did an analysis and determined that smokers and the obese cost the system less money than healthy people. The reason being that these people tended to die early, before the complications and cost associated with old age set in.
      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by jhfry (829244)

        so in that vein, I say, lets remove end of live coverage from medicare or medicaid.

        Essentially, lets refuse to cover the cost of treatment to individuals who have ZERO realistic expectation of recovery (beyond pain management and keeping them clean and comfortable). I realize that there are limitations already in place, but it is still very common for the tax payers to fund a very expensive procedure that merely keeps someone alive for a week or two longer.

        I don't know about you, but if I am dieing I would

  • by eht (8912) on Thursday May 14, 2009 @02:03PM (#27953637)

    Got a letter from my company's health insurance yesterday.

    "Health care premiums will increase as a direct result of the State Legislature approving the Governor's proposed increases in taxes, fees and assessments on your health benefits on February 4, as part of his Deficit Reduction Plan."

    So they're taxing both ends.

    • by Red Flayer (890720) on Thursday May 14, 2009 @02:44PM (#27954333) Journal
      Yes, but the increase in health care premiums is an indirect result of the insurance companies protecting their margins at all costs. They pass on their increased tax expense, and you pay higher premiums, so that their profits are not damaged -- only yours are. And you know what? You (or your employer) are willing to pay the extra cost.

      The answer is to jump ship for another insurer with lower premiums. Oh, they're all raising rates? That's the joy of oligopoly.

      Note: at a previous employer, I was able to negotiate a higher salary in exchange for not receiving medical benefits. I self-insured, and made out pretty well (my total cost was around 60% of the company's premium, but they paid me 75% of their premiums over base pay -- so we both saved money, even after employment taxes on the salary difference). My current employer offers nothing of the sort, so they're stuck paying high rates.
  • by kheti (1469383) on Thursday May 14, 2009 @02:05PM (#27953653)
    Let's tax magazines and books.
  • by Minwee (522556) <dcr@neverwhen.org> on Thursday May 14, 2009 @02:05PM (#27953657) Homepage

    The problem isn't that there aren't enough taxes on junk food, the problem is that there's too much crap [mayoclinic.com] in it.

    While it would be nice to think that putting taxes on garbage disguised as food would promote the availability of real food, I'm inclined to doubt that things work that way.

    • Don't know (Score:3, Insightful)

      I travel by public transport and pass by Utrecht Central Station. It has various eateries, from healthy to McD/Burger King. Price for a McD basic hamburger, 1euro. Price of a natural bagle with cream chease. 2,95. Both satisfy my hunger, but what about my thirst? 1 euro for a soft drink, 3 euro for a fruit shake. If I am buy a meal it is 2 bagles and 1 fruit juice , nearly 10 euro's or 2 hamburder and a soda for 3 euro.

      I am making a decent salary but also got expenses.

      Now imagine a tax which made the hamb

  • How short sighted (Score:5, Insightful)

    by east coast (590680) on Thursday May 14, 2009 @02:06PM (#27953665)
    I ride my stationary bike while I watch DVDs. Should I get a tax credit because I bought exercise equipment to offset a tax that assumes too much?
  • Nonsense! (Score:3, Funny)

    by Colonel Korn (1258968) on Thursday May 14, 2009 @02:06PM (#27953671)

    "Almost all experts agree that the primary reasons [for the obesity epidemic] are increased consumption of larger quantities of high calorie foods, snacks and sugar sweetened beverages... and lack of physical activity"

    So wait...you're trying to tell me that the first law of thermodynamics is true? Lies!

    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by Anonymous Coward

      "Almost all experts agree that the primary reasons [for the obesity epidemic] are increased consumption of larger quantities of high calorie foods, snacks and sugar sweetened beverages... and lack of physical activity"

      So wait...you're trying to tell me that the first law of thermodynamics is true? Lies!

      This is why Congress really needs to repeal the Laws of Thermodynamics. Sadly, it seems that most members of both parties are in the pocket of Big Thermo.

  • backwards (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Merls the Sneaky (1031058) on Thursday May 14, 2009 @02:06PM (#27953675)

    How about lowing (or even removing) taxesd on things that are likely to help keep you fit. Sporting equip, health foods, etc.

    Oh thats right the greedy fucks don't get any money from that.

  • I mean, there HAVE been studies that show the obesity levels began rising at the same time that High Fructose Corn Syrup started to infiltrate all of our foods.

    I mean do they REALLY need to add HFCS to Tomato Sauces, Soups, etc. ?

    The best thing lately has been the return to sugar as a sweetener. Pepsi Throwback is one great example (its much less sweet than regular pepsi - and I'm a Coke drinker primarily).

    • by rcuhljr (1132713) on Thursday May 14, 2009 @02:08PM (#27953703)
      Why is there no '-1 Correlation is not Causation'?
      • by Zordak (123132) on Thursday May 14, 2009 @02:21PM (#27953941) Homepage Journal
        That's like saying "the crumbs on the floor are not ants." It's a factually true statement, but it's hardly a useful one. It would be more useful to say that correlation does not necessarily imply causation. But correlation very often does mean something. The fact that correlation does not necessarily imply causation does not mean that correlation somehow implies non-causation. At the very least, correlation implies "maybe there's something here we should look into a little more closely."
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by pnewhook (788591)

      You got that right. Corn production in the US is massively subsidized, so much so that Mexico can no longer afford to produce its own corn.

      This glut of corn has resulted in a number of rather poor changes to the US diet. HFCS as a substitute for sugar is one. Massive amounts of corn for feeding beef cattle is another - corn is not a natural diet for cows and is so bad many farmers are on record stating the cows would have died in 6 months anyway from organ failure if they were not slaughtered first. Is th

      • You are out of your gourd if you think corn has no nutritional value. It was the staple grain in the diet of many Native American tribes for centuries. That doesn't mean we should turn it in to a sugar substitute and put it in everything, but trying to pretend that it isn't an important grain is silly.

  • Better Idea (Score:5, Interesting)

    by lobiusmoop (305328) on Thursday May 14, 2009 @02:08PM (#27953711) Homepage

    Tax your gasoline to a similar degree as in Europe. That would encourage less car journeys, more walking/cycling and act as a buffer for when the oil prices start increasing again so your gas prices won't double practically overnight again.

  • by JumperCable (673155) on Thursday May 14, 2009 @02:09PM (#27953727)

    The government has gone so far out to control our lives with taxes on things people disapprove of it isn't funny.

    It will only get better once the government has gone so far out of whack that it micromanages every aspect of our lives. Only then will there be enough pushback

  • by yogibaer (757010) on Thursday May 14, 2009 @02:10PM (#27953733)
    when you will have to go underground to get a decent rat-burger (with fries) and a cold beer...
  • by kyz (225372) on Thursday May 14, 2009 @02:12PM (#27953787) Homepage

    The problem that's unique to the US is that government corn subsidies makes corn cheaper than anything else. So manufacturers use high fructose corn syrup instead of sugar as sweetener.

    HFCS is not only a sugar substitute, it also gets put into things that wouldn't otherwise be sweetened if you had to pay the full cost of sugar to sweeten it.

    How about the US government stop subsidising corn?

  • Total BS (Score:3, Insightful)

    by molex333 (1230136) on Thursday May 14, 2009 @02:14PM (#27953825) Homepage
    None of these things make people fat! Parents let their kids get fat. When I was young, I had a Nintendo and Gameboy and plenty of videos and TV to watch, but my Mother wouldn't let me sit on my ass and watch them all day. She made all of her children go outside. If we were bored, she gave us yard work and/or other chores to do! The children today aren't going to get less fat if they tax this stuff because people will keep buying it (look at cigarettes, we know that they will give you cancer and they tax the hell out of it, almost $8.00 a pack in NY, but millions of people buy them every day). If you want to stop kids from being fat do something to get the parents involved. Start making your kids play outside!!!!
  • by smooth wombat (796938) on Thursday May 14, 2009 @02:14PM (#27953833) Homepage Journal
    when I just read this article [scientificamerican.com] linked from the main page.

    Judging by a large portion of the people I work with, and the cruft found between their keyboards when they whine their keys aren't working correctly, I'd say the study is spot on.
  • by Trepidity (597) <delirium-slashdot@@@hackish...org> on Thursday May 14, 2009 @02:17PM (#27953877)

    If you're against sedentary activities in general, the list is surely much longer than videogames and DVDs. How about, say, books? Or televisions? Or board games?

  • by aePrime (469226) on Thursday May 14, 2009 @02:17PM (#27953879)

    I'm a marathoner who spends quite a bit of time playing video games.

    Do I get a tax deduction for the hours I spend running?

  • by blcamp (211756) on Thursday May 14, 2009 @02:28PM (#27954043) Homepage

    I'm not a nutritionist, nor play one on TV, but I can make the argument that one can of Coke every day does *not* make a person overweight, while eating too much broccoli *will*.

    The point: this is not about nutrition or health, but rather, about the government finding *any excuse it can* to extract more and more money from the pockets of it's citizenry... while at the same time imposing more and more of it's will on them.

    A day will come... sooner than the busybody pointy-head academics, power hungry Congressional thugs, and greedy special-interest lobbyists think... when those of us peasants who continuously get ravaged by out of control lawmakers, have finally had enough... and we begin reaching for our pitchforks.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by geekoid (135745)

      "I'm not a nutritionist, nor play one on TV, but I can make the argument that one can of Coke every day does *not* make a person overweight, while eating too much broccoli *will*."

      and yet you don't.
      Go on, make your case, I can't wait to see it.

  • No need for tax (Score:3, Insightful)

    by aaandre (526056) on Thursday May 14, 2009 @02:30PM (#27954091)

    Just stop subsidizing corn and corn syrup, and establish something like the FDA, but functioning.

  • by KefabiMe (730997) <garth.jhonor@com> on Thursday May 14, 2009 @02:30PM (#27954093) Journal

    Growing up, and trying to deal with my diet, I realized at some point that all these drive-throughs kill people. You can't live off of McDonalds. If you ate Burger King for every meal you would die. Yet this food is marketed more, cheaper than, and more convenient than going to the grocery store. Going to the grocery store to pick up some fruit takes longer and costs more than stopping by Del Taco. Something is wrong here.

    (To you people who can't live without your fast food, I just say this as someone who struggled with obesity, you diet is a huge part of your health. It's not easy. Going to drive throughs too often KILLS YOU.)

    I've thought about this and similar subjects a lot (such as smoking cigarettes) and I think society has the following options.

    1. Let fat people (or smokers or whatever) just have a worse quality of life than everyone else. Bad habits will most likely be passed on down to their children. Here we blame the fat kid with fat parents for being fat. Hopefully the fat kid learns some will power when he grows up, because he sure won't learn it from his parents.
    2. Ban cigarettes and food not passing "nutritional requirements" completely. This is the fascist option. This removes the requirement for thought from the population.
    3. We take steps to encourage citizens to be healthier. I prefer ongoing education over generations in the hope that eating fatty fast food becomes a rarity in culture. If options 1 and 2 are the extreme responses to an unhealthy population, this option is the middle ground. We already sin tax cigarettes. Heart Disease is America's top killer right now, and it is natural for the government to try to think of ways to combat that.

    Re: Fat Tax. It doesn't sit well with me. However, I admit that this tax will affect some people who might get something from the grocery store instead of ordering Pizza. It will make fat food cost more than healthy food. (I almost like this tax for this reason alone.)

    After thinking about it, I realized I wasn't so against a fat tax as I thought I was. But damn, if you're gonna make a fat tax then lower some other goddamn taxes! Make my fucking carrots and apples and oranges tax free! (Oh god... who gets to decide what food is "healthy" and what food is "unhealthy"?)

  • Have you noticed? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Capt.DrumkenBum (1173011) on Thursday May 14, 2009 @02:34PM (#27954149)
    Kids don't play outside anymore. When I was a kid, my friends and I would go ride our bikes, go build a tree fort, play hide and seek, or play a million and one other games we made up on the spot. Sometimes we fell down, sometimes we got hurt, and once in a while we even learned something.

    These days everyone is so worried. "Won't somebody think of the children!"
    The Children are growing up with out learning that when you fall sometimes you get hurt.
    Here is a connection these so called experts never seem to figure out. Kids that go out side to play, get exercise, and (Imagine this.) they don't get fat.

    I weep for the future!
    • by srussia (884021) on Thursday May 14, 2009 @02:44PM (#27954351)

      Kids don't play outside anymore. When I was a kid, my friends and I would go ride our bikes, go build a tree fort, play hide and seek, or play a million and one other games we made up on the spot. Sometimes we fell down, sometimes we got hurt, and once in a while we even learned something.

      When I was a kid, me and my friends would work on the family farm or in a coal mine. Sometimes we fell down, sometimes we got hurt, and once in a while we even learned something.

      Now get off my lawn!

  • by Xelios (822510) on Thursday May 14, 2009 @02:35PM (#27954179)
    1) Legalize marijuana
    2) Regulate and tax it
    3) PROFIT!!!

    There's not even a ??? step to worry about with this one.
  • What happened... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by BlowHole666 (1152399) on Thursday May 14, 2009 @02:37PM (#27954211)
    What happened to free will and free choice? If sitting on your ass watching TV, drinking cokes makes you fat who cares. Why should the government have the right to tell someone they need to not do/consume certain things via a tax.

    Someone could argue that fat people cost more in medical expenses and because of this they cause the cost of medical procedures to rise. This may be true. However, if someone is over weight they have a higher chance of death via heart attack, or diabetes. Healthy people end up living longer, and costing more money. [blogher.com] So what is the problem with someone being fat? In the long run they cost less.

    On the other hand could fit people also cause medical expenses to rise? Running is bad for your knees you could twist a knee or ankle in basketball or baseball. You could get a concussion in football or loose tooth in hockey.

    So being both health or fat increase the cost of insurance and medical expenses on a whole, so why just target fat people? Is this just a political/social vendetta against over weight people?
  • Sedentary Jobs? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by jbezorg (1263978) on Thursday May 14, 2009 @02:40PM (#27954247)

    What about other sedentary activities like lawmakers who sit around thinking up this crap?

    On a more serious note, what about sedentary jobs? What about stress? If you apply the same logic to all activities then people would have to pay to be air traffic controllers.

  • by Piata (927858) on Thursday May 14, 2009 @03:02PM (#27954671)

    I ran a half marathon last year and I hope to run a full marathon this year. There is almost no fat on my body. I go to the gym and then come home and relax by playing video gams.

    If I lived in NY, I'd be pissed. Playing video games and exercise are not mutually exclusive. Maybe if these kids had parents that didn't sit around watching TV every night while eating their take out dinner there wouldn't be a problem?

  • by Jackie_Chan_Fan (730745) on Friday May 15, 2009 @12:00AM (#27961471)

    Lets just be honest... New York needs money. This is the 5th or 6th ridiculous new New York Tax featured on slashdot in the past year and a half. None of this has to do with anything they claim it does.

    This is about poor management within NY state. Our government is out of f'n control here. We're litterally leading the state BLIND... and fucking hookers with state paychecks.

    Tax soda, junk food, plastic bags, AMAZON.com.... etc... These are the brilliant ideas of our elected morons.

    Lots of people pass through those toll booths every day. Supposedly they rake in 18+million a week on them... Where does all of that go? Oh wait... to BUILD 2 COMPLETELY NEW BASEBALL STADIUMS for 2 of the richest teams in baseball!

    What the fuck are we doing? The Yankees should have paid for their stadium on their on. The Mets should pay for their own stadium. Let me ask you this.... Since all of our tax dollars went to building these 2 USELESS stadiums to replace 2 functioning (and 1 of which historic) stadiums... I can now assume that i can go to the games any time i want for free right? Nope. Not only did they take our tax dollars to build these redundant stadiums, they have the nerve to charge us ridiculous fees to get in. Talk about a fucking con job.

    THAT is our political system at its "best"

    So pay for your soda tax.... pay your GTA4 tax... :) Lets really talk about WHERE THE FUCKING MONEY GOES.... and who sells us out on a daily fucking basis. ... and I'm for National Health care folks :)

Faith may be defined briefly as an illogical belief in the occurence of the improbable. - H. L. Mencken

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