Remember Maine’s Fat Tax?

Posted: 16/04/2008 in taxation
Tags: , , , , , ,
So he State legislature did the right thing and dropped the ill conceived notion of increasing the tax on cigarettes another fifty cents. Bravo. But the also ill conceived Socialist health care program, Dirigo, (I’ll be glad when it’s Dirigone) still struggles to survive. I see in a couple of today’s papers that the push now is on beverages

This brings to mind the snack tax of a few years ago. Maine’s medical industry was struggling with increasing costs even back in 2000 and before. Same as today. Nothing really ever changes, does it? So the legislature chose to implement a snack tax, based on the consumption of ready to eat out of the package foods like potato chips, pretzels, soda and other types of what can be considered to be garbage foods.

Apparently, the feeling is that eating these foods makes a person unhealthy, and obese, which means you have higher health costs and more health related programs. Just like taxing more on cigarettes was a bad idea, so isn’t taxing snack foods. It tends to discriminate against a narrow segment of the population. What the snack tax effectively said was that if you were a fat man or woman and loved to gorge on food that wasn’t good for you, you were gonna pay extra for it.

Even if the Fat Tax, as some had begun to call it had been around long enough to have become worthwhile, it wouldn’t have been. The relatively small increase over the general sales tax would never have collected enough to even make a dent in the medical care industry.

So now the spend and tax crowd wants to add a tax on top of alcohol and soda. Come on people, smarten up. Dirigo needs to be dismantled and sent to the scrap heap. It doesn’t work! It never will work! Look at t this way; there are currently 14,000 people enrolled in the program, according to state figures. The state also says it has an annual budget of 57 million dollars. Put the two on a scale folks, and see what happens.

If you do the math, which is relatively simple, it is costing the taxpayers of this state over FOUR MILLION DOLLARS PER MEMBER!!!! Are our elected representatives that stupid? Fifty seven million dollars to provide fourteen thousand people with health insurance.

The people of Maine are fed up with being over taxed and over regulated. Yet these thick skulled Socialists just don’t seem to want to get the picture for some reason. Eight years ago the people of Maine rose up and repealed the snack tax. We rose up and spoke out against the newly proposed cigarette tax. And now we’re gonna stand up and fight against the newly proposed drink tax, proposed not only for alcoholic drinks, but soda as well. So, if I get a scotch and soda with lunch some day, do I get double taxed since it has both alcohol and soda?

The way to reduce the high costs of medical care is not through taxation. That does nothing to lower costs. It only raises costs. The way to reduce costs is through market reform. Figure out a way to attract more insurance companies into the state to increase competition, and thereby lower rates. Change the way hospitals do business. If they are nonprofit and getting a huge property tax break, force them to pass that tax break onto the low income community through reduced cost care.

And most of all, force these hospitals to learn to contain their costs. I’ve spent a lot of time dealing with doctors and hospitals over the years, and believe me, they are the king and queen of waste and fraud in this state. Have you ever looked at an itemized bill from a hospital? Somebody needs to start taking a serious look at the health care industry and the wasteful business models they follow.

Higher taxes will not reduce the cost of medical care, and Dirigo will definitely not be a cure for what ails the health industry. Smart business decisions without the safety net of the taxpayers funding is what will cure the ills. You think I’m kidding? Next time you’re near a hospital, wander around the hallways and pay close attention to what’s going on. People who work in the health care industry might be special people, but they aren’t special.

Haggai 2:11-14

11This is what the Lord Almighty says; “Ask the priests what the law says; 12If a person carries consecrated bread in the fold of his garment, and that fold touches some bread or stew, some wine, oil or other food, does it become consecrated?”

The priests answered, “No.”

13Then Haggai said, “If a person defiled by contact with a dead body touches one of these things, does it become defiled?”

“Yes,” the priests replied, “it becomes defiled.”

14Then Haggai said, ” ‘So it is with this people and this nation in my sight,’ declares the Lord. ‘ whatever they do and whatever the offer there is defiled.”


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