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Tag Archives: poor food choices

!Obesity: Taxes In and Taxes Out

Today I am blog swapping with Anne at Unique Gifter. After you read this excellent post, click over to her site to get my take on some unique gifts you might not have considered. If you would like to guest post or blog swap, contact me! Recently, Kim wrote a post about obesity in the US and how it results in very high costs for everyone, due to preventable diseases and unnecessary health care costs.  One of the policy proposals floating around is the idea of taxing more unhealthy things, such as transfats or high fructose corn syrup.  My background is in economics, so I would like to talk a bit more about this idea. Taxes are both a means of raising funds for government and a policy tool.  Taxes are often structured to encourage or discourage behavior.  For example, retirement savings have various tax breaks, while cigarettes are heavily taxed.  The purpose of a soda tax would be to discourage people from consuming things which are not good for them, as well as increase government revenues as a way to offset all the costs due to ill-health.  However, how effective would such a tax really be? A hindrance to tax ...

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