360° Coverage : Taxing Coca-Cola While Exempting Broccoli Is Bad Policy

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Taxing Coca-Cola While Exempting Broccoli Is Bad Policy

Mar 7 2014, 8:48am CST | by

The Navajo Nation is trying to use its tax code (I didn’t know the Navajos had a tax code) to promote healthier living. The Navajos recently voted to impose higher taxes on “junk food” and reduce...

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20 weeks ago

Taxing Coca-Cola While Exempting Broccoli Is Bad Policy

Mar 7 2014, 8:48am CST | by

The Navajo Nation is trying to use its tax code (I didn’t know the Navajos had a tax code) to promote healthier living. The Navajos recently voted to impose higher taxes on “junk food” and reduce taxes on healthier alternatives. I abhor government attempts to get people to do things for their own benefit. It isn’t the government’s job to make sure I will live to 100 or that I’ll go to heaven. Of course, the Navajo Nation has one of the highest unemployment rates in the country, hovering near 50 percent. Nothing says we care about you like imposing excise taxes on poor people. I know that raising taxes on poor people to get them to follow orders plays well in Knob Hill, and Brookline, and the Upper East Side. But I’m not sure how well it plays in rural Arizona or New Mexico.

Basically, under the proposal soda and fatty snacks would be taxed at 7 percent (up from the current 5 percent), But “fresh” fruits, vegetables, and nuts wouldn’t be taxed at all. I would remind proponents that most people won’t eat Brussels sprouts no matter what the tax rate is. I don’t know how the Navajos will define fatty snacks. Some are obvious — deep-fried Snickers bars would probably qualify. How about snacks that have no fat, like my personal favorite, cherry Twizzlers? Would they be taxed at 7 percent? I hope not. Would a Big Mac be a taxable snack? What happens if someone eats Twinkies for dinner? Would they still be taxed as a snack? The one upside is that this law may give Rick Pomp a lot of fun anecdotes for the next edition of his casebook.

Apparently, the tribe’s leaders are trying to combat an obesity problem. And the reservations in the Southwest have a problem. I’ve seen reports saying that up to 50 percent of the population is obese. Maybe little Navajo kids are spending too much time in front of the PlayStation instead of running around outside. Maybe Navajos have a fondness for bread and pasta, neither of which will be subject to the higher tax. Yet bread and pasta (as all low-carb dieters know) will mysteriously make you fat.

But whether I’m obese or not, why do you get to decide whether I should be punished for drinking a Coke? What gives you that right? Democracy? In any event, several newspapers reported that a sponsor of the proposal was himself obese before deciding to change his life and losing 100 pounds. And he did it without any tax increases or help from the government.

Source: Forbes Business

 
Update
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7 weeks ago

RM47mil KWSG contributions still unclaimed

Jun 9 2014 7:54am CDT | Source: Business Times Malaysia

KUALA LUMPUR: About RM47 million of contributions in the Teachers Provident Fund (KWSG) still remain unclaimed, the Dewan Rakyat was told to ...
Source: Business Times Malaysia   Full article at: Business Times Malaysia
 

 
Update
9

7 weeks ago

Gold shop lost almost RM1mil

Jun 9 2014 3:50am CDT | Source: Business Times Malaysia

KANGAR: A gold shop owner lost almost RM1 million after after the safe on in his shop was broken into by rob ...
Source: Business Times Malaysia   Full article at: Business Times Malaysia
 

 
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8

7 weeks ago

Motion to debate MAS losses in Dewan Rakyat rejected

Jun 9 2014 3:39am CDT | Source: Business Times Malaysia

KUALA LUMPUR: AN emergency motion to debate the losses incurred by Malaysia Airlines last year, amounting to RM1.2 billion was rejected ...
Source: Business Times Malaysia   Full article at: Business Times Malaysia
 

 
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7

7 weeks ago

MH370 Tragedy: Hisham: RM27.6 mil spent on 1st phase of SAR

Jun 9 2014 2:11am CDT | Source: Business Times Malaysia

KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia spent some RM27.6 million in its first phase of the search operations for missing Malaysia Airline flight MH370, said Acting Transport Minister, Datuk S ...
Source: Business Times Malaysia   Full article at: Business Times Malaysia
 

 
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6

7 weeks ago

9.1m litres of diesel seized in a month

Jun 8 2014 1:11am CDT | Source: Business Times Malaysia

PUTRAJAYA: The Domestic Trade, Cooperatives, and Consumerism ministry has seized some 9.1 million litres of diesel and property worth RM58 million since mounting ‘Operasi Diesel Selatan’ in the s ...
Source: Business Times Malaysia   Full article at: Business Times Malaysia
 

 
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5

7 weeks ago

Girl, 9, awarded RM2.78m compensation for medical negligence

Jun 6 2014 4:56am CDT | Source: Business Times Malaysia

KUALA LUMPUR: A nine-year-old girl who suffered brain damage during her birth at a government hospital was awarded over R ...
Source: Business Times Malaysia   Full article at: Business Times Malaysia
 

 
Update
4

8 weeks ago

Malaysia's total trade in April up 12pc

Jun 5 2014 11:52pm CDT | Source: Business Times Malaysia

KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia's total trade in April 2014 rose by 12 per cent from a year ago to RM123.86 billion due to growing trading activities, International Trade and Industry Minister Datuk Seri Mustap ...
Source: Business Times Malaysia   Full article at: Business Times Malaysia
 

 
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3

8 weeks ago

Works Ministry to spend RM20m for upgrading works at 50 accident black spots

Jun 4 2014 11:35pm CDT | Source: Business Times Malaysia

JOHOR BARU: The Works Ministry will implement upgrading works at 50 accident prone locations in the country that have been identified this year involving an allo ...
Source: Business Times Malaysia   Full article at: Business Times Malaysia
 

 
Update
2

8 weeks ago

Najib launches loan scheme for Ramadan traders

Jun 4 2014 10:24pm CDT | Source: Business Times Malaysia

PUTRAJAYA: Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak today launches RM45 million Ramadan Baz ...
Source: Business Times Malaysia   Full article at: Business Times Malaysia
 

 
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1

8 weeks ago

Residents bring up objection against Kidex to Suhakam

Jun 4 2014 4:49am CDT | Source: Business Times Malaysia

PETALING JAYA: A group of 20 Petaling Jaya residents held a meeting with the Human Rights Commission of Malaysia (Suhakam) over their objection against the proposed RM2.2 billion Ki ...
Source: Business Times Malaysia   Full article at: Business Times Malaysia
 

 

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