The Instigator
MirrorIrorriM
Con (against)
Losing
2 Points
The Contender
Spawktalk
Pro (for)
Winning
5 Points

The Fat Tax

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 1 vote the winner is...
Spawktalk
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 2/9/2012 Category: Politics
Updated: 2 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 4,060 times Debate No: 20992
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (6)
Votes (1)

 

MirrorIrorriM

Con

This is my first debate, so I apologize if I don't put up a very good fight.

Let us get down to it. The fat tax has been proposed to make fatty foods more expensive to discourage obesity. I think this is a very bad idea because the primary buyer of fatty foods are the less fortunate, with the more well endowed often being able to afford more healthy solutions. The healthier food is normally more expensive because of marketing and what not, and implementing a fat tax would only make it harder to eat and not really encourage healthy eating habits.
Spawktalk

Pro

There are two reasons to support a Fat Tax. The first is that it discourages the consumption of unhealthy foods. The second is that it provides a source of revenue for the government.

My opponent has argued that this tax will disproportionately affect the poor. He claims that the poor eat more fattening food because it is cheaper. This claim is un sourced at this time, but I will accept it as true for this round. In response to this I will first point out that that the average American only spends 6% of their income on food [1]. Secondly I will point out that most "poor" Americans are able to afford cable TV, air conditioning, and other non-necessities [2]. Clearly, food is not a large burden on such a person. Would it really be so horrible if Americans paid, say, 8% of their income on food, as people in the UK do [3]? One should also note that eating better can actually better ones long term financial situation. The total yearly economic cost of American obesity has been estimated at $270 billion dollars [4]. If obesity is afflicting the poor the most then do not the poor stand to gain the most, both health wise and monetarily, if obesity is fought? Finally, it should be noted that we have welfare programs to support the poorest Americans and that the benefits the poor receive from these programs should rise with the cost of living. Given this, a small rise in the cost of living in an area that takes up a single digit percentage of disposable income would not hurt the poor. But even if it did impose a small cost would it not be worth the years of life that would be saved be decreasing obesity? It seems that it would.

My second line of argument concerns revenue. This tax will affect some poor people but it will also affect many middle class and rich people. This tax discourages a negative behavior and so is an ideal form of taxation. Contrasted will taxes that discourage investment, home ownership, or wage earning, it has clear advantages. The added revenue from this tax, however small, could be used to help payoff the deficit or lower other taxes. Both will encourage positive economic activity. Thus there is an indirect benefit from the positive economic activity that this tax will generate.

To summarize: the fat tax will not substantially hurt the poor, it will benefit them financially and health wise, and the tax will generate unforeseen economic benefits from the increase in government revenue.

1. http://familyfarmalliance.clubwizard.com...
2. http://www.heritage.org...
3. http://familyfarmalliance.clubwizard.com...
4. http://www.usatoday.com...
Debate Round No. 1
MirrorIrorriM

Con

MirrorIrorriM forfeited this round.
Spawktalk

Pro

Is that all?
Debate Round No. 2
MirrorIrorriM

Con

MirrorIrorriM forfeited this round.
Spawktalk

Pro

Thank you for this amazing debate. It made my dreams come true.
Debate Round No. 3
6 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 6 records.
Posted by MirrorIrorriM 2 years ago
MirrorIrorriM
Wikipedia sums up what the tax is about pretty well.

http://en.wikipedia.org...
Posted by Spawktalk 2 years ago
Spawktalk
I have agreed to debate this. However, before I do so I need to clarify what the debate is about. Is this a debate about a particular tax or just a theoretical debate about a tax on fat? If the former, could you provide a link to something on the particular tax we are debating? Thanks.
Posted by 16kadams 2 years ago
16kadams
You can edit that in there saying you argue for a 10% flat tax I am opposed.
Posted by Dave_82 2 years ago
Dave_82
I didn't know about the fat tax, and would have loved to debate the issue, the problem is I agree with you, but for a different reason. I think heavy taxes on things like cigarettes, alchohol, and fatty foods violate a persons civil rights to make their own decisions. If the government just taxes the things they don't want us to buy, then how are we a free country?
Posted by MirrorIrorriM 2 years ago
MirrorIrorriM
Thanks for the suggestion. I'll keep it in mind when citing stuff later.
Posted by 16kadams 2 years ago
16kadams
Be specific, 9%, 20%, or even 100% flat tax. Without specification you could always say the tax is 100%
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by Reasoning 2 years ago
Reasoning
MirrorIrorriMSpawktalkTied
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Total points awarded:25 
Reasons for voting decision: Spawktalk is the only person who presented any arguments, so he wins by default.