Tuesday, December 23, 2008

The Cost of Being Fat

David Paterson is the governor of New York. He’s also become the brunt of numerous jokes on Saturday Night Live.

In Governor Paterson’s first state budget he has proposed a 2009–2010 budget that would increase spending by 1.1%, or $1.3 billion, to create a $121.1 billion spending plan.

Much of the growth is revenue from 88 new or higher fees and will hit New Yorkers in many areas, from downloading music to sipping drinks to fishing. One of the proposed hikes is a so-called “iPod tax,” which would tax the sale of downloaded music and other “digitally delivered entertainment services” by 4 percent. There also would be higher taxes on gas, taxi rides, cable and satellite TV service, cigars, beer, movie and sports tickets, and health spa visits, to name a few items.

Paterson seems to be fighting both obesity and budget deficits with a proposal for an 18% tax on soda and other sugary drinks containing less than 70% real fruit juice.

“People don’t really realize the amount of calories they’re ingesting through liquids,” said Joe Baker acting deputy secretary for Health and Human Services to the governor. “They say, ‘Oh, it’s just a drink.’”

According to state officials, almost one in four New Yorkers under age 18 are obese, and at higher risk for dangerous, expensive illnesses like diabetes and heart disease.

So, am I off my rocker here? Or, is this really none of government’s business? Should they being trying to tax people into doing what’s good for them? Or, is this just another way for government to tax people without most people even paying attention to it?


  1. The government meddling in something they shouldn't be? Surely you jest?

    This is silly. Even scarier is that if they do this, what will be next? Toll booths to walk on the sidewalk?

  2. Michael, no kidding!!

    (And steve, I don't know if it is me or what, but I couldn't leave comments on the past two entries.)

  3. Michael put it well Steve. What's next? "Oh, you breathe? Gotta tax that. "

  4. Just tax the bejimminy out of cigarettes and booze. Oh well. I doubt anyone will really notice. Life goes on.

    Hey, comments are back on!! I came by the past couple days, but couldn't tell ya. Is your blog being invaded by nuisances? I understand entirely, if so.


  5. Michael...I think you said it well...meddling...I might even go so far as saying "invading"...they are certainly doing that more and more...

    But, we've been warned...we are in for "changes" over the next four years...

  6. "Meddling" was the first thought that came to mind. I heard about this the other night on Letterman, I think. (It was too late to pay attention)

    I agree with Heidi. Booze and tobacco! Tax it all!... Just stay away from MY vices... you know, donuts, hamburgers, pizza....

  7. And don't forget gasoline - there's a reason why the price we pay includes tax - they don't want you to know how much per gallon is actually tax.

  8. This country got along just fine before the 13th Amendment in 1911 provided for the income tax. It makes you wonder how we survived those nearly 140 years beforehand.


Thank you for sharing your thoughts! I can't wait to read what you have written.