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Old 08-09-2007, 04:57 PM   #106
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Re: smokers tax

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Originally Posted by jsarno View Post
Good points.
It's called grasping for straws for the sake of an argument.
I think I understand where the point of view comes from because I firnly believe in limited government but I also believe in nuance. This is a very limited but nuanced view I hold. I think nuance is the biggest thing missing in politics today.
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Old 08-09-2007, 05:08 PM   #107
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Re: smokers tax

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You don't see the difference?
OK, stop eating right now. Do not eat anything ever again, see what happens to you. How long do you think you'll live? 7 days? 30 days?
We were not discussing food in general, we were discussing fast food. So, you're above quote is perplexing. You should have asked, "OK, stop eating fast food right now. Do not eat any fast food ever again, see what happens to you." I would suppose if you stopped eating fast food altogether, you'd probably be a more healthy individual and, for some, you'd probably be a hell of a lot thinner.

Also, I said cigarettes and fast food are analogous, not identical. Both have an adverse effect on the general health of the population, regardless of whatever few redeeming qualities each has. If the reason for taxing cigarettes is that they have an adverse effect on the population, I see no reason why one should simultaneously oppose taxing fast food.

Finally, it appears that a fast food tax may be on the horizon in some cities.
http://money.cnn.com/2005/05/09/news.../fastfood_tax/
http://www.cbc.ca/health/story/2002/...tes021004.html
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Old 08-09-2007, 08:17 PM   #108
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Re: smokers tax

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Also, I said cigarettes and fast food are analogous, not identical. Both have an adverse effect on the general health of the population, regardless of whatever few redeeming qualities each has. If the reason for taxing cigarettes is that they have an adverse effect on the population, I see no reason why one should simultaneously oppose taxing fast food.
Exactly, they are not identical so why would taxing cigarettes mean you should tax fast food? They should not be treated identically since they are not identical in nature. That's my whole point. I am advocating taxing the stuff that IS bad for you and not the stuff that MAY be bad for you. One is complete social control where the line between black and white is completely gray and therefore impossible to get right when deciding how to fairly tax it. The other is clearly black and white and would be very easy.
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Old 08-09-2007, 08:23 PM   #109
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Re: smokers tax

SGG...do you support the legalization of all drugs?
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Old 08-09-2007, 09:14 PM   #110
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Re: smokers tax

I believe the context of the discussion is taxing fatty/fast food, not food in general...and by the logic being used here one can argue that you don't NEED fatty food to sustain you. You could do with fruits and veggies and live a healthy and happy life. In any case, according to NIH approximately 440,000 people die from smoking and about 280,000 die from obesity related illness (the latest stats I could find).
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Old 08-09-2007, 09:50 PM   #111
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Re: smokers tax

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SGG...do you support the legalization of all drugs?
No, but IMHO, the difference between cigarettes and crack is just a tad more significant than the difference between cigarettes and fast food. Moreover, I do support the legalization of some drugs, just not the ones that will make you a raging lunatic (e.g., PCP) or hallucinate and possibly harm others (e.g., LSD).
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Old 08-09-2007, 10:01 PM   #112
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Re: smokers tax

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Schneed, check this study out. We went over this argument a few pages ago, but basically, some believe that cigarettes actually save the government money because smokers often die before they get their social security checks, before they use a lot of medicare payments, etc. While cancer treatments aren't cheap, nursing home care is ridiculously expensive.
OK I read through it, this study is pretty flimsy. First it offers no data, it's just a text. Any good study shows the results of statistical tests. But even getting past that, it does not account for the following:

- People who die at 60 of smoking-related problems obviously do not work past age 60. A percentage of those who live past 60 continue to work, contributing tax dollars and to the nation's GDP. The cost side is not the only concern here.

- The cost associated with healthcare to those who don't smoke, but are affected by second-hand smoke. The study only analyzed the health affects on smokers - second hand smoke is responsible for the development of asthma in young children that they often don't shake. Asthma medications are some of the most expensive medications on the market.

- The study was done in 1998. In the last 9 years, costs of healthcare have dramatically increased, especially for pulmonary functions. Lung volume reduction surgery is now a generally accepted methodology for treating emphysema - this surgery came to bear in the last 3 years. It is incredibly expensive and requires very long rehab stays in hospital rehab units. In addition, cardiac catheterizations, cardiac stents, and the usage of ventricular assist devices has become much more prevalent since 1998. These surgeries are also extremely expensive. The costs of nursing home care have not dramatically increased since 1998 - the standard of care in nursing homes has not changed. It is not a section of the healthcare system that sees great growth in expense - all you're paying for is nursing hours, and as any nurse can tell you, they haven't seen many pay increases over the years. I don't have any links, I'm just exposed to this stuff through working in the finance department at a network of hospitals.
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Old 08-09-2007, 10:04 PM   #113
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Re: smokers tax

Schneed,

You raise all fair points. I don't pretend to know all of the answers and I never said the study's conclusion was 100% accurate (though it might be). I just think that before people start making arguments as to why smoking should be heavily taxed on economic/tax grounds, we should know that it causes a net increase in government spending.
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Old 08-09-2007, 10:12 PM   #114
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Re: smokers tax

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Originally Posted by Sheriff Gonna Getcha View Post
We were not discussing food in general, we were discussing fast food. So, you're above quote is perplexing. You should have asked, "OK, stop eating fast food right now. Do not eat any fast food ever again, see what happens to you." I would suppose if you stopped eating fast food altogether, you'd probably be a more healthy individual and, for some, you'd probably be a hell of a lot thinner.

Also, I said cigarettes and fast food are analogous, not identical. Both have an adverse effect on the general health of the population, regardless of whatever few redeeming qualities each has. If the reason for taxing cigarettes is that they have an adverse effect on the population, I see no reason why one should simultaneously oppose taxing fast food.

Finally, it appears that a fast food tax may be on the horizon in some cities.
Detroit mayor proposes tax on fast-food - May. 9, 2005
Nutritionists advocate fast food tax to stem diabetes epidemic
No, I shouldn't have.
Again, food is a REQUIREMENT for survival. Cigarettes are not.
You also ASSUME that all "fast food" is bad for you, and that is flat out not true.
A flame grilled Burger at Burger King is not something that I see as bad for you. Hell, you will grill out at home, does this mean all beef should be taxed?
How about a grilled Chicken sandwich? Should all chicken be taxed now?
Your argument of comparing food to cigarettes is weak at best.
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Old 08-09-2007, 10:14 PM   #115
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Re: smokers tax

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Originally Posted by Sheriff Gonna Getcha View Post
Schneed,

You raise all fair points. I don't pretend to know all of the answers and I never said the study's conclusion was 100% accurate (though it might be). I just think that before people start making arguments as to why smoking should be heavily taxed on economic/tax grounds, we should know that it causes a net increase in government spending.
True, but I'm assuming that we the people derive some sort of benefit from that increase in spending. That money either goes to reduce the deficit or funds government programs. Sure, all government spending is inefficient, but inefficient is not synonymous with worthless.
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Old 08-09-2007, 11:15 PM   #116
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Re: smokers tax

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I believe the context of the discussion is taxing fatty/fast food, not food in general...and by the logic being used here one can argue that you don't NEED fatty food to sustain you. You could do with fruits and veggies and live a healthy and happy life. In any case, according to NIH approximately 440,000 people die from smoking and about 280,000 die from obesity related illness (the latest stats I could find).
Yes but the context here is whether fatty food is inherently bad. It is not. Cigarettes are inherently bad. There's no realistic argument being made or that can be made that they are unharmful and even healthy in one way or another. Fatty food on the other hand can sustain you and can be part of a well balanced diet It is not needed but it is not simply bad unquestionably. Cigarettes are.

SSG. To me cigarettes are more analogous to illegal drugs than to fast food.
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Old 08-09-2007, 11:17 PM   #117
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Re: smokers tax

BTW. I gotta say this is a fantastic discussion. I see a lot of SSG's points and some of them are compelling. I certainly have been swayed at least a little.
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Old 08-10-2007, 12:14 AM   #118
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Re: smokers tax

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Originally Posted by FRPLG View Post
Yes but the context here is whether fatty food is inherently bad. It is not. Cigarettes are inherently bad. There's no realistic argument being made or that can be made that they are unharmful and even healthy in one way or another. Fatty food on the other hand can sustain you and can be part of a well balanced diet It is not needed but it is not simply bad unquestionably. Cigarettes are.

SSG. To me cigarettes are more analogous to illegal drugs than to fast food.
I believe anything that contributes to premature death is inherently bad. I think the movie Super Sized Me showed us how bad fatty food really is. As always moderation is key to life. The more you smoke the sooner you die, the more crap you eat the sooner you die.
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Old 08-10-2007, 02:15 AM   #119
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Re: smokers tax

I surrender jsarno, fried chicken, french fries, whoppers and mcnuggets are essential to life, healthy, have contributed immemsely to this nation's great diet and health, and will make your manhood grow 12 inches. Thank you for showing how I am "grasping for straws" and how my argument was "weak at best."

I have said from the get-go that fast food and cigarettes are not identical. But, to say that one can draw no comparisons whatsoever between the two is, in my mind, more than stubborn and intellectually dishonest. I guess I don't get the "cede no ground to 'the other side'" approach to discussing things.

In any event, has the pre-season started? I can't wait to start talking about football.
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Old 08-10-2007, 02:20 AM   #120
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Re: smokers tax

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I surrender jsarno, fried chicken, french fries, whoppers and mcnuggets are essential to life, healthy, have contributed immemsely to this nation's great diet and health, and will make your manhood grow 12 inches. Thank you for showing how I am "grasping for straws" and how my argument was "weak at best."

If you're gonna give up, then fine, but at least quote me correctly. I referred to a FLAME BROILED burger, and a GRILLED chicken. I said nothing of French Fries and McNuggets.
If you actually understood your argument was weak, then we'd be on the right path, but you can't say all fast food is bad, nor can you refer to something that is essential for life with something that is a detriment to life. It makes no sense.
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