Your Opinion: Tax meat and dairy products
Tuesday, April 12, 2011
With the annual tax filing date just around the corner, pundits are searching for ways to make our tax code fairer and more reflective of our social incentives and burdens.
In this regard, there is a growing interest in a tax on meat, eggs, and dairy products designed to curb the selfdestructive health impacts of their consumption and to effectively compensate society for the associated devastating environmental impacts.
The concept is hardly radical. We already pay similar taxes on tobacco and alcohol products.
A number of states have or are considering imposing taxes on soft drinks and other junk foods.
The revenue would reimburse the Medicare and Medicaid programs for treating victims of heart disease, stroke, cancer, diabetes, and other chronic killer diseases that have been linked conclusively with consumption of animal products.
It would pay for restoration of waterways and wildlife habitats that have been devastated by production of these items.
Mark Twain said that nothing is certain except death and taxes. Yet, the first can be deferred and the other reduced selectively by a tax on meat and dairy products that reflects the associated social costs.
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