Thursday, June 19, 2003
by Lenka Reznicek [permalink] 
Of Fat and Plutonium

New York Assemblyman Felix Ortiz' proposed "fat tax" would hike the state sales tax by an additional 1% on items that "contribute to obesity", such as junk food, video games, and television commercials.

Television commercials? Does that include political campaign ads?

If anything, those are a great excuse to stretch your glutes and grab another beer from the fridge. Now, if we're targeting all things that contribute to obesity, logically we could extend this "fat tax" to everything from automobiles and alcoholic beverages to beds, couches, chairs and computers. You could tax virtually any labor-saving device like washing machines, dishwashers, and remote controls. After all, if we'd only get off our tushes, we'd all be a lot thinner, no? If we as a population get fatter, and presumably get sicker and spend more on health care - they profit with increased revenues.

Conversely, the longer you live, the longer you get to pay taxes. You've got to love those creative politicians - it's a can't-lose proposition.

Speaking of shortening your life...on a much more disturbing note, in the far corner of today's news was this little story: two vials of plutonium are missing from the Los Alamos laboratories, and no one seems to know where they went.

Although the vials are small, there seems to be some disagreement as to the nature of the plutonium they contained. Officials at the long-beleaguered nuclear lab contend the vials held only a small amount of dilute plutonium oxide that poses little or no hazard, while the Project on Government Oversight, a Washington, DC based watchdog group, says the material was likely weapons-grade and could threaten public health and safety.