Posted by: Dave | March 31, 2010

Here Comes the Pizza Tax!


Along with so many new overreaching powers of the federal government that come with the new Health Care Reform Act, we will now have a federal sales tax on the usage of indoor tanning beds.  For the first time in our history, the federal government has enacted a sales tax on a retail transaction.  But this is only the beginning. The sales tax and its cousin, the Value Added Tax (VAT), have long been desired by liberals as a way to fund our government’s voracious appetite for money.   

Now that the federal government has a sales tax, the only discussion remaining on the table is what will be taxed and for how much. And now that we are all our brother’s keeper under the new health care plan, any activity deemed as unhealthy by the government can be taxed as a means of protecting us from ourselves, and more importantly, an excuse for raising money. 

We’ve seen this with state sin taxes on cigarettes and alcohol.  States first began taxing cigarettes and then suing tobacco companies because of dangers associated with their product.  The excuse was rising health care costs associated with smoking.  However, the money, ostensibly raised for the purpose of health care, was squandered on other projects, so the states still face a continued requirement for more funds.  Of course, this will be true of the new health care bill and the pittance raised by taxing the use of outdoor tanning beds.  Protecting us from ourselves is one of the reasons the tax was justified.  The congress was originally considering taxing Botox treatments, but apparently the plastic surgery lobby has more say than the tanning bed industry.  Just listen to the rationale of The American Academy of Dermatology, which strongly opposed the Botox, but applauded the inclusion of the tanning tax as a replacement because of the significant health risks associated with indoor tanning. According to the Academy, indoor tanning before the age of 35 is linked to a 75% increase in the risk of melanoma, the deadliest form of skin cancer, which has also become more common in young females. Meanwhile, nearly 30 million Americans hit the tanning beds each year and about 2.3 million of these people are teenagers. An indoor tanning tax will therefore “serve as a signal from the federal government to young people that indoor tanning is dangerous and should be avoided,” said Dr. William James, president of the Academy.

Right, Dr. James, and every kid that buys a pack of cigarettes uses the same rationale.

“In addition, because the United States currently spends about $1.8 billion on treating skin cancers each year and $300 million on melanoma alone, the tax will significantly reduce the future costs of treating skin cancers,” Dr. James said.  (And continue to allow dermatologists to apply Botox without raising their prices.)

Of course, if the beds are so dangerous, there are other ways to address their usage, such as requiring labels on the beds explaining the danger, and banning their use by minors.  The good doctor testified on behalf of these measures on the 25th of March before the Food and Drug Administration.  No steps, however, are apparently as effective as raising taxes.

Of course, the revenue stream will not be adequate to fund the new health care entitlement, so more funds will be required.  Because we will all be our brother’s keeper under the new health care plan, any number of new sales taxes on targeted items can be created in order to save money and protect us from ourselves.   The camel’s nose is under the tent, and soon the entire herd will be having dinner with us. 

Our first lady has chosen childhood obesity as her noble cause during her husband’s presidency.  We all know that too much sugar contributes to obesity.  Adding a 10% federal tax to high sugar content items will be an easy sell to the public: it will reduce consumption of sugar, while raising money for health care.  The money will be “earmarked” for obesity-related health care costs. (And spread the health care burden, since fat people who consume a lot of sugar probably don’t frequent the tanning salons.)

But of course, there still won’t be enough money (there never is) so soon we will be facing taxes on other foods deemed unhealthy by the government, who is the arbiter of all truth and wisdom.  Soon we may have federal sales taxes on beef, bacon, white bread…the opportunities to demonize certain foods as an excuse to raise money are endless.

You better enjoy your pizza now, the price is going up soon.

References used in this article include the Puget Sound Business Journal, Wikipedia, and CNN.com

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Responses

  1. I think the ideal thing to tax would be toilet paper. Everyone uses it (or certainly should) and the Feds should make trillions on that.

  2. Well put Dave. Our Federal government has gotten itself in a vicious circle of saving us from “harming” ourselves, requiring more money to do so, that not being enough, us finding new ways to “harm” ourselves, them finding new ways to “save” us from ourselves, and on, and on, and on….how in the name of God did we ever survive 200+ years without ’em?

  3. WAKE UP AMERICA! We better get serious and open our eyes to what is going on…remember, all it takes for evil to succeed is for good men to do nothing (Edmund Burke). Dave – great writing man! So glad you are doing this…you’ve got a gift bro! Keep it up! God BLess,
    jra

  4. Great article Dave. This health care reform bill (a misnomer since it neither promotes health, nor reforms anything) ushers in the era of full-blown American-style Facsism. Adolph Hitler, Benito Mussolini, and Woodrow Wilson would be proud of the way our current regime rammed this down our throats. Ironically, every effort the federal government has made to protect us from ourselves has miserably failed and done the exact opposite (the road to Hell is paved with good intentions). If this weren’t true, there would be no heart disease, no diabetes, no skin cancer, no obesity, and everyone would live to be 100 years old. Despite big government’s spin, what has improved our quality of life and longevity isn’t government regulation, it’s free enterprise, personal liberty, and innovation, all of which are now severely threatened with the passage of this monstrosity. At least the American people are waking up and seeing past the smoke and mirrors. Let’s hope it’s not too late to stop this madness in November and get back to the principles set forth by the founders, which made this country great.
    Keep up the good fight.
    Scott

  5. Oh Scott, you haven’t changed. You’re still as conservative as you were back at Camelback High School.


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