Taxing Fast Food

From CNN Money: Detriot is considering taxing fast food. One would think that since I am a moderate democrat, and that I am also anti-crappy food, that I would be all for this. Admittedly, at first I allowed my bias to kick in and say “Yeah! Tax ‘em! That’ll show them! Make good food you bastards!”

But upon reflection, I’m not so sure this is a good idea at all. First off, the tax is being implemented to shore up a budget defict. If the tax money was going to health services, specifically cardiac care, then I might think differently, but as the article is written, the money will be used for the entire Detroit budget.

Secondly, how would you define fast food? Would it be corporate restaurants or all restaurants that serve meals under a certain price range? Couldn’t the tax hurt the small business restaurants?

Finally, it seems to me that the tax is aimed (intentionally or not) on those who frequent these locations: the young and the lower middle class. Perhaps I’m being a tad classist, but it seems that this is a tax on the lower class.

Food, like it or not, is a necessity. It’s not booze, cigarettes or gambling. Are there poor choices that one can make with food? Absolutely! One only need go to a White Castle to figure that out. But poor food choices are not only made at fast food restaurants. They’re made everyday at markets, sports stadiums and yes, even four star restaurants. If you are going to tax food items, you need to tax them all.


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