NJ Gov Interested In Fast Food "Sin Tax"

Not being able to afford to eat at restaurants that don’t have a dollar menu may become a sin in NJ, says the Associated Press. Jon Corzine, the governor of a state in which gambling is legal, is considering a suggestion to levy a “sin tax” on fast food in order to help save NJ’s underfunded hospitals.

From the AP:

New Jersey Gov. Jon S. Corzine said Tuesday he’s open to using a “sin tax” to help provide funding for struggling hospitals.

His comments came after Amy Mansue, of Children’s Specialized Hospital, suggested a fast food tax during a meeting between Corzine and hospital leaders on proposed state hospital and health care aid cuts.

Corzine called it “a constructive suggestion.”

“We would be happy to examine that and debate that with the Legislature,” Corzine said.

But Senate President Richard J. Codey said he wouldn’t favor a fast food tax.

“That’s a tax on poorer people and people with kids,” said Codey, D-Essex.

Detroit weighed a 2 percent tax on sales at fast-food establishments in 2005, but the plan didn’t become law.

What do you think? Can cheap, unhealthy food be a “sin” like cigarettes or liquor? And if so, whose sin is it?

A fast food tax to help NJ hospitals? Corzine open to idea [NJ] (Thanks, Andrew!)
(Photo:Morton Fox)

Comments

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  1. Anonymous says:

    I support this if and only if it gets passed with a sister “Stupidity tax”.

  2. ironchef says:

    easier to tax fat people. No sense in punishing the rest of us who exercise and burn off what we eat.

    Sarcasm aside, keep sin taxes on real sins….gambling, drinking, toxic polluters, and illegal drugs.

  3. laserjobs says:

    They should only tax it if you do something unnatural or disturbing with the burger

  4. NightSteel says:

    I say it absolutely can be a sin. This is not a tax on the poor or people with kids, it is a tax on the LAZY. With a little forethought and effort, one can eat way better off of food they buy and prepare themselves than fast food. Anything that encourages people to do so is a good thing.

  5. ElizabethD says:

    I know this is nutritionally incorrect, but those cheeseburgers look AMAZING.

    My lunch: Can of Slim-Fast, a hardboiled egg, and an apple. Yum. 8-P

  6. Parting says:

    The tax should be : running a mile for each burger eaten :O

  7. FreeMarketGravy says:

    The only problem I see with this is that the line drawn on where the sin tax should be imposed can be easily moved were this to come to pass. For instance, if burgers fall under the sin tax, what about frozen ones in the supermarket? And what about raw chopped meat?

    Same thing with fries. Fries are taxable, so then what about oils? And potatoes?

    It’s a bit early to worry about a “slippery slope,” but how does the law define unhealthy foods against neutral foods that simply could be prepared in an unhealthy manner?

  8. greenpepper says:

    Isn’t a single hamburger without sauce healthier than a calorie laden fun burger at Cheesecake Factory?

    It’s misdirected. Sin tax should go to any restaurant food that contains more than xx calories per unit of xx.

  9. Parting says:

    @ElizabethD: Replace Slim Fast by Clif Bar. There the only bar that tastes good.

  10. ironchef says:

    how about putting medical costs on a diet?

  11. Bladefist says:

    Why should government be telling you it’s a sin to eat fast food and then charge you more to do so? The whole principal of the matter is an outrage. Can you see our rights disappearing?

    Need to stand up against this before it becomes the snow ball effect.

    If they need money for hospitals, fine, put it on the ballot, raise sales tax .001% and done. But a sin tax? Wow.

  12. sin tax error.

    And those burgers look soo tasty.

  13. Greasy Thumb Guzik says:

    @Glamdering:
    Stupidity tax #1: Being the governor of N.J. & driving 100MPH without a seatbelt!

  14. dry-roasted-peanuts says:

    Let’s tax electronic devices (TVs, iPods, air conditioners, etc.) and other luxury type goods while were at it. We can call it an “affluence tax”.

  15. ConsumptionJunkie says:

    How about a sin tax on sodas with HFCS? Drinks like Capri Sun would also be included.

  16. Bladefist says:

    Also a sin tax on alcohol is stupid. Studies show drinking in moderation, perhaps 1-2 to drinks daily, is good for a number of things. Not really the point, the government doesn’t have the constitutional right to tell you what is bad for you.

    I need to take a breather, this has me out of control.

  17. BuddyGuyMontag says:

    Corzine is the worst governor ever. At least McGreevey got the DMVs to work right. Corzine’s proudest achievement is eliminating the death penalty. By doing that, guess whose life he saved? Jessie Timmendequas. Who’s that, you ask? He’s the guy who killed Megan “‘s Law” Kanka.
    Good job, Corzine. Jerk.

  18. Xay says:

    Fine, then tax all restaurants that serve anything other than salads. Fast food isn’t the only unhealthy food out there, it’s just the only unhealthy food that everyone can afford.

  19. Bladefist says:

    Well that Senate President is smart for opposing this. His reasoning that only the poor and people with kids eat fast food is pretty retarded. I work at a small company and we have some people here who are probably in the top 1% who come in with Sonic all the time.

  20. ElizabethD says:

    @workingonyourinvoice: “Sin tax error” — love it!

    And to Victo: I can’t stand ANY of those so-called protein bars. Bleah. At least the canned shakes are palatable and fill me up.

  21. Angryrider says:

    What the heck? I support more taxation, only if it means something huge will done with the money.
    Time and time again, the NJ Government considers adding more and more taxes in order to save its behind. Just WHAT are they doing with the taxpayers money?

  22. joemono says:

    Why don’t they tax “too much television,” since that can be potentially harmful to you, and therefore a “sin.”

    Eating fast food is not a sin.

    St. Peter: “Nope, sorry, it was that double whopper last week that did you in.” [pulls lever]

  23. Verdigris says:

    @Bladefist: I would have to agree with that. Where I work pretty much everyone just goes off to eat fast food on their breaks. Making a generalizing statement like that just makes him come off as an elitest.

  24. unravel says:

    I’m torn here. As a smoker, I’ve noticed many people get awful freaking giddy when tax on cigarettes goes up, and talk about how wonderful it is. I’m all for sharing the tax magic, and can’t wait to see how this plays out and folks react. It won’t be half as cool until 50+% of the fast food purchase price is tax though. (Damn you, NY state).

    As a parent, I dig this. I see so many other parents shoveling fast food and prepackaged crap in their kids like it’s going out of style. I’m not talking about ‘treats’ or ‘moderation’, and hell, I’m not even talking about those I’d define as ‘poor’. If you’re going to put your child on the path to obesity and health problems, you should be held accountable. Maybe this will make some people think and change their habits.
    Not that everybody who eats fast food needs to change their habits.

    On the other hand, I think taxes like this are really stupid, you can’t rely on the income there, and where do you draw the line? It’s high time governments learned financial responsibility & constraint, and stopped having to up taxes on everything, or create new taxes later on.

    Poorer people can get food stamps if they need them — and the $$ spent of food stamps is a mere drop in the bucket compared to the $$ spent on health care as obesity, diabetes and the like continue to rise. :T

  25. sisedi says:

    Because nothing says good government like new taxes and more spending, whoppee!

    @Angryrider: You support new taxes? How about we stop using the existing ones to fund total garbage. More taxation, the single worst thing to support if you’re a citizen, can I have some seeds from your money tree?

  26. Starfury says:

    Here in California we’re already paying almost 9% in sales taxes; any more will probably have a revolt from the people.

    And we already pay sales tax on prepared food here.

  27. Skiffer says:

    Sin taxes never work – they are only a tax on a minority masked by a facade of morality. And those who support them are usually so ignorant that they don’t even realize their own facism.

    Intelligent fiscal policy would dictate raising funds elsewhere through a more universal and democratically applied tax, but unfortunately political fiscal policy dictates raising funds through lop-sided sin taxes that will upset the least amount of voters…

    @ironchef: btw, sin taxes on illegal drugs…mind explaining exactly how that works?

  28. atypicalxian says:

    NJ is becoming more and more uninhabitable, especially with the current government. For years, we heard nothing but “all is rosy” until Corzine got into office and then we hear we’re on the brink of financial disaster and the only solution is to jack up our already unreal taxes. The first thing he did was to jack up our sales tax. Now he wants to levy a special tax on pizza and burgers?

    People are fleeing the state (I call Charlotte, NC “New New Jersey” as I know so many people moving either there or Atlanta). The cost of living here is unbelievable, and what do you get for it? Being able to take a bus/train to Manhattan? Trips on the crowded Garden State Parkway to the NJ shore? BIG DEAL. Businesses, I’m sure, will be soon to follow, and then where will all the money come from?

    Way to go, Corzine/NJ voters. Decades of corruption have finally caught up with us.

  29. Xay has the right of it.

    Honestly …. expand that to cover all restaurants, and I’d be on board.

    I see no reason to only burden those people who abuse their bodies through the cheapest means with this tax.

    If they want to target unhealthy food as a “sin” then they better widen their sights. Was it Chillies that had the cheese covered French fries APPETIZER that were like 6 THOUSAND calories? Yeah get them too!

    (I cannot remember the actual count but it was in the thousands of calories, and made my jaw DROP)

  30. Jabberkaty says:

    Er. Isn’t taxing sins merging church and state? Does that mean if you’re paying the tax you’re paying for an um… indulgence?

    Where’s my tax break for eating healthy? Extra refunds for people who can do 40 sit-ups? The whole thing is invasive and lame.

  31. That-Dude says:

    @ElizabethD: AMEN

  32. dtmoore says:

    I have a problem with any ‘sin’ tax including this. When did it become the governments responsibility to regulate what they think is best for us.

    I’ll do what I damn well please thank you very much.

  33. That-Dude says:

    @Victo: only if those miles are at Bannister 3:45 clip. You’ll need a lot more to burn that crap off.

    but they look so tasty.

  34. Veeber says:

    @unravel:
    It also doesn’t help that most of the food stamps only get you some of the worst food for you, making the diabetes worse.

  35. ekthesy says:

    Here in New Jersey, perhaps we should tax SUVs. They make up at least 40% of vehicles around here, and perhaps even higher in the more affluent areas.

    Corzine’s answer to everything is More Money From People (his favorite is higher tolls)…but he conveniently never comes to the conclusion “More Money from Rich People” which New Jersey has in spades. Corzine included.

    A tax on luxury autos, ginormous houses, and luxury goods over a certain dollar amount would take a big bite out of the NJ budget crisis.

    And yeah, those burgers look obscenely tasty.

  36. jtheletter says:

    The concept of a sin tax is rather flawed, usually it is levied on something “bad” for you with the idea being the increased cost will reduce your use of the item being taxed. But wait, if that worked then less would be sold so the taxes collected would go down and we’d have to find something else to tax… Rinse. Repeat. In reality people just eat the cost and the marginal decrease in demand is minimal. So as a behavior tool its terrible, and as a tax instrument it punishes people for behavior the government has no business interfering with.
    This won’t change people’s fast food buying habits, not unless the tax becomes a huge portion of the cost, in which case you’re back to the self defeating scenario.
    How many hospital board members are paid on the order of millions a year? It could be none, maybe they all hold positions philanthropically. If so, great! But if there are people earning millions then halve those salaries and there’s a huge cost saving right there. Could those board members honestly argue their need to buy *another* house trumps the lives of the children they’re supposed to be saving? Again, I have no idea what they earn, but any inflated executive salaries would be in my first round of cuts.

  37. I can just see it, Big Mac,$80.00 a Big Mac Carton.

  38. howie_in_az says:

    @ironchef:

    Sarcasm aside, keep sin taxes on real sins….gambling, drinking, toxic polluters, and illegal drugs.

    I’m sorry that your deity won’t let you gamble or drink but that’s hardly a reason to ruin it for others. Besides, there’s a whole boatload of money to be made from legalizing marijuana and taxing it just like the gubment does tobacco.

  39. Techguy1138 says:

    @Bladefist:

    1794 called they want their crazy political arguments back.

    [en.wikipedia.org]

  40. Kat@Work says:

    How about a sin tax on condoms? Or hotel rooms by the hour?

    Or how about TAXING THE CHURCH? They forgive sins and collect tithe, so why shouldn’t they pay that money forward to organizations that can use it – like hospitals and schools??

  41. WingZero987 says:

    @NightSteel: You’re a jerk. People can choose to eat whatever they want. It isn’t for you to determine how they should spend their time or how to construct a diet.

  42. Techguy1138 says:

    This isn’t really a ‘sin’ tax per se, it has nothing to do with religion.

    This is a tax on unhealthy foods. It should be a prepared foods tax if they want to go that route.

    I like the idea but oppose where the funding is to go.

    The purpose of a tax like this is to increase the funding for hospitals and decrease the eating of unhealthy foods.

    Thus if people stop eating fast foods hospitals go unfunded. Considering the majority of health issues are not directly related to fast food this is a bad tax.

  43. britne says:

    @Bladefist:
    i hate this nanny state in which we live…

  44. davebg5 says:

    BRAV-O!!! Last year Corzine not only increased the sales tax, but also applied the sales tax to things that had not been taxed before. One such thing was gym memberships.

    Here I am, trying to stay healthy and I’m being taxed for it…to help pay for the poor health of some crapper busting fatty who mainlines McD’s shakes. It only seems fair that one of the root causes of obesity and health problems (which result in greater strain on my state budget) help defray the costs for the problems that they help create.

  45. Techguy1138 says:

    @Kat@Work: Just so you can get off your crazy horse, the word ‘sin’ has been appropriated for secular use for quite a long time.

    This issue has absolutly nothing to do with religion.

    As a side note many churches and charities are run or supported by churches of various faiths and denominations. If you’ve ever gone to a salvation army or a church of any kind of ‘our lady’ you are witnessing religion addressing social concerns.

  46. ironchef says:

    @Kat@Work:

    Don’t get me started on churches.
    They skip out on taxes almost entirely. They pay ZERO property tax and yet they still tap into the city for services like the fire dept and police just like everyone.

    Time for some tax fairness. No free rides for religions.

  47. Techguy1138 says:

    @Techguy1138: Whoops I meant to say hospital, not church. Well, I hope the point got out.

  48. puddleglum411 says:

    Once we have 100% government-funded health care, we will be longing for the good old days of Burger Taxes. Because by then we will have the Excessive Caloric Intake Tax, the Bad Fats Tax, the Neglect of Exercise Tax, the Minium Sleep Guidelines Compliance Tax, the Egg Tax That Comes and Goes Every Six Months Depending on the Latest Study, and of course the widely acclaimed Intake of Nutrients at Sub-Optimal Ratios Tax, brought to you by the latest in Scientific Research.

  49. davebg5 says:

    @WingZero987: What about when I end up getting taxed even more due to the unhealthy habits of others? Shouldn’t I have a say then?

    Some land monster doens’t want to be taxed for his Big Mac? Fine…just don’t come running for public dollars when you have hit the limit on your health insurance and need more medical care because “I’m not the boss of you and can’t tell you how to eat!”

  50. Kat@Work says:

    @Techguy1138:
    I’m crazy why? Get off your high horse.
    I was using the word ‘sin’ as a way to connect this issue to the fact that churches do not pay taxes. See the connection? No really, its clever. I don’t care if they do charity work – they don’t pay taxes, and if there really was a separation of church and state they would.

    My point is that we are taxed instead of them, and that’s wrong.

    @ironchef:
    Thank you – I agree 100%

  51. azntg says:

    It’s Corzine’s plan to get the Jersey folks eventually spending more in New York, Pennsylvania and Delaware.

    G’wan! Keep taxing them! You know New York loves more business! (I love playing Devil’s Advocate)

  52. csdiego says:

    Sin taxes are bogus. More regulation on restaurants and other food providers? Sure, if it keeps them from doing quite as much damage to public health. But if Corzine wants revenue, he should get it the old-fashioned way, from income and sales taxes.

  53. Obviously, sin taxes are difficult to define and implement, but the principle makes sense… collect additional tax revenue from activities that have societal externalities. Smoking and alcohol, for example, cause health and other problems for the user and for others. Why let the user impose a societal burden greater than he pays?

    Unhealthy food is similar in its societal burdens, but it’s a huge gray area.

  54. taka2k7 says:

    I’ve got mixed feelings on this one.

    1. It does target the poor disproportionately.
    2. What’s next?

    On the other hand:
    1. Fast food joints are often far closer to poorer areas of town than are decent grocery stores. What’s easier (not lazier), walking down the block to Taco Bell or taking 1 or 2 buses to get to a grocery store?
    2. Fast food joints need to have a healthier variety. Try eating vegetarian at Wendys. It’s not much better at McD’s or BK. At least Taco Bell has their ‘fresco’ menu now (aka remove the cheese)

    Realistically, cities should zone fast food joints to limit their impact on the populace. If there are no grocery stores (even a small one at reasonable prices) within walking distance (~ 1 mile? … old folks eat too), then no fast food unless you have a decent, healthy menu.

    Or perhaps have the city pay for delivery of groceries to poorer areas. People still pay for the food, but the city picks up most of the tab for the delivery.

    Just a thought!

  55. taka2k7 says:

    Here’s another idea. Put all fast food restaurants on at least the fifth floor or so. Make anyone who wants to eat there take the stairs. No elevator unless you’re disabled (for other than being fat).

  56. taka2k7 says:

    As for everyone who’s opposed to a sin tax on principle, how should we pay for the increased burden on hospitals? Tax fat people? Not everyone is overweight due to overeating.

    Only solution (and not a good one) I can think of is to charge people with unhealthy habits more for health insurance. How to enforce this? If you do this through doctors visits, then you may be discouraging people in need ffrom going to the doctor. House calls might solve this.

    I’m curious if any countries with universal health coverage (or mandatory health insurance) have dealt with this. I read somewhere recently that Japan was mandating a maximum waist size. Not sure how they will enforce this (let alone how to deal with sumo wrestlers).
    But I digress…

  57. Rectilinear Propagation says:

    Why let the user impose a societal burden greater than he pays?

    @Logical Extremes: Not everyone who drinks alcohol drives drunk and not everyone who smokes does it around non-smokers.

    Personally, I have a problem with the government telling us that something is a sin and then profiting off of it. “We’re going to raise money for this hospital by taxing Y. We’re taxing Y because Y is bad. Please continue to purchase Y, even though it is bad for you, so we can build the hospital.”

  58. SuffolkHouse says:

    I never eat this stuff, but that burger looks very yummy.

  59. ottawa_guy says:

    Well California’s sales tax is the highest in the US at 8.75% but Canadian tax, especially in Ontario is worse.

    the provincial (like state) tax is 8% and then add on the federal cut at 5% = 13%

    Sin taxes here in Ontario means you will pay anywhere from the low $6.00 to $9.00 for a normal size 25s of cigarettes.

    For alcohol….a 18 pack of Bud Light or Bud will set you back $22.00 , want a 24 of brand name, you will pay close to $35.00 a case.

    40 oz of spirits (cheap stuff) will cost you at least $30+.

    You got it made with your 10.99 18 pk of bud’s and 4.00 a pack cigs.

  60. Gorky says:

    The hospitals wouldnt be on the brink of bankrupcy if they would check for CITIZENSHIP before treating someone and DENY service to illegal aliens. Somewhere around 50% of people who go to the hospitals and cant afford to pay for service are ILLEGAL aliens.

  61. trujunglist says:

    @greenpepper:

    This isn’t about health, that’s a red herring. The government here wants to specifically tax fast food because A LOT of people go to fast food places and they can turn around a crapload of money in a really short amount of time. I doubt that Applebee’s handles the same volume as fast food does, so there wouldn’t be a sin tax there, even though you can probably eat a lot more crap at Applebee’s than say, Chic-Fil-A.

  62. Rob C says:

    @Victo:

    They’re, There and Their…

    Learn the difference.

  63. snoop-blog says:

    ok this would never go through, in fact it’s barely an idea at this point. who in the hell is electing idiots like this anyway? if we can make stupid taxes like this, they should tax everybody that does not vote, and therefore allows idiots like this in office.

  64. deb35802 says:

    I’d like to tax each and every politican amounting to 10 times their salaries.

  65. ,I wonder how much of the money from these sin taxes actually go into healthcare. I betting its like social security where thie government raids the funds whenever it wants.,

  66. @Gorky: Or the government could actually have border security. Problem with proving citizenship not everyone has a passport and documents can be faked. Take the money and troops in Iraq and use them at the border to prevent illegal crossings

  67. Hoss says:

    Seems from the article that this jackass governer is saying his state will reduce the number of hospital patients served unless he gets subsidies from cheeseburger sales. So in the case that he doesnt get cheeseburger subsidies (or revenues from high end french dining), does he say tough luck, you die?

  68. forgottenpassword says:

    I hate this crap! My local government has a drive-thru tax (usually comes out to about 20-40 cents per order).

    Bastards!

    btw that pic nearly gave me a hardon it looks so delicious!

  69. tweemo says:

    Here’s an idea
    Give less subsidies to beef farms! Dear god.
    Put some of it into vegetable subsidies and give the rest to hospitals.
    If people can afford food that’s good for them they won’t need to go to hospitals as much anyway.

  70. unravel says:

    @Chris Vee: Really? I admit that I have no personal experience with the program, but I do know that in NY state, food stamps can be used for any food/food product *with the exception of ready-to-serve, hot items sold in stores.*

    You can also use the benefits to purchase seeds for plants that will grow things that you can consume, or for fresh produce.

    When I was a young’un in VA my best friend’s mom got food stamps, and they ALWAYS had fairly healthy food. I’ve seen people in the program load up on crap but, in the places that I’ve lived, it’s never been because they HAD to. It’s laziness, an inability to cook, or a lack of understanding about shopping/budgets AND nutrition.

  71. unravel says:

    @hypochondriac: Not much, I bet. When they raised cig taxes here, it was supposed to go towards the cost of health care. I remember reading an article in, I think it was the Times Union, about how a large amount had been funneled off into things like education, and repairing roads, and very little seemed to be going towards smoking cessation/prevention or healthcare. Not that I have a problem with education or infrastructure, but if you say you’re raising taxes on something for the purpose of a specific something, that’s where the money needs to go. Can’t wait to see what they’re doing with the additional $1.65 in taxes on them when it kicks in, bringing the cig tax to $3, woo woo. Maybe I’ll start smoking cheeseburgers before they start taxing them here.

  72. FreeMarketGravy says:

    @csdiego: Don’t think he isn’t trying. NJ’s finances are so far down the toilet, he’s trying to squeeze blood from the stone any way he can and since the public shot down his toll hike plan, he’s gotten very pissy and petty about it.

  73. Charred says:

    Stupid, stupid, stupid.

  74. joebloe says:

    Deport all the illegals and they just solve their hospital financial problem.

  75. synergy says:

    I’d say levy a tax IF there are no grocery stores in the neighborhood. If they have a choice to choose and cook real, healthy food and choose not to, that’s one thing. Going to the McD’s because it’s more convenient that crossing town to that grocery store where people stare that you’re in the store is something else.

  76. ARP says:

    As others have mentioned, this is simply a way to squeeze more money out of people. The sin taxes are more specific and don’t suffer from the same problems of definition/consistency. I do take some issue with the alcohol tax since moderate drinking improves health.

    In my mind, there are other easy sources of funding:

    Legalize marijuana and tax the crap out of it.
    Tax churches (except for those specific activities that are community based- soup kitchens).
    Tax ultra-luxury items (SUV’s, homes over X,000 square feet, boats over X feet, etc.

    The problem is that the taxes must be put in certain trusts/funds for specific purposes in order to prevent wasting by either party.

    @Bladefist: Despite being ingrained with the concepts of capitalism and free markets, there’s very little in the Constitution regarding what we can and can’t tax, what tax rates we pay, the rights for corporations to exist, rights to contract, etc. The interstate commerce clause, Articles related to Congress imposing taxes, and the income tax are about it. So most of the Constitution is “pro-tax” because it assumes representation.

  77. BrianU says:

    Why not a sin tax, or just the employer and employee raxes that they are already “required” to pay but don’t on hiring the illigal alians that are getting free health care? $20,000 childbirth tabs being picked up by citizen taxpayers adds up

  78. unravel says:

    @ARP: For many people outside of Soccermomtopia, SUVs aren’t a luxury item, let alone an ultra-luxury, but vital to their jobs, or their way of life. Homes over X,000 square feet may not be a luxury if that household contains n members.

    Honestly, I can’t see penalizing somebody who may have actually worked hard, sacrificed and saved for something that they felt worthwhile … and not extending that ‘punishement’ towards everyone who had those opportunities but opted to blow their earnings snorting high priced Tide, and banging prostitutes who make Dick Cheney in a teddy look appealing. I’m all for them adding a “You Suck At Life & Your Mom Dresses You Funny ” tax to some of the corporate fatcats who are doing nothing and taking home eleventy billion dollars for it, though. Because THAT’s bullshit.

    Government (be it local, state, or federal)should refrain from raising taxes until they seem ta grasp/appreciate WHERE this money comes from, and at least try to look like they can spend it wisely.

  79. u1itn0w2day says:

    This from a grey haired old guy that doesn’t even wear a seat belt.From a cut a tax here then shift it there.This is pc garbage.That’s right blame YOUR fitness on that evil fast food industry.

    Ok,now you won’t die from a heart attack from high cholestoral you’ll die from starvation because now you can’t afford to feed yourself.AND/or you still will cost the tax payers money for now you will have to go on food stamps to be able to afford that so called healthy food.

    Taxes aside,you need calories,you even need fat for fuel,for the brain or for the joints.Just like anything else food can be abused.

    I have survived on fast sinners food many a time in my adult life and I am NOT over weight,I do NOT have high blood pressure or diabetes.There is nutrition in fast food.It’s a lack of EXERCISE that is one of biggest factors in fat/related problems.Your body was designed to store fat for fuel,If you don’t use it YOU won’t loose it.

  80. coold8 says:

    I HATE YOU GOVERNOR CORZINE! LEAVE MY STATE AND NEVER COME BACK (at the current pace of what he’s doing, there maybe a crazy mob driving him out of office with pitchforks by years end.

  81. FreeMarketGravy says:

    @coold8: New Jersey needs to be burnt to the ground and start over. The finances are so bad there’s nearly no viable way to fix it, the cost of living is so high other states are PROFITING OFF PEOPLE MOVING THERE FROM NEW JERSEY and Corzine’s idea of relieving the debt is to borrow $(x) from Party B to pay off Party A.

  82. SonicMan says:

    @unravel: Problem is that smoking harms others. Not just you. If eating a Big Mac cause the person next to you to get obease, then I would be all for it.

  83. civicmon says:

    A sin tax on food while the casinos pay 11% of their income in taxes.

    Nevada is in the 30% range, Pennsylvania is at 55%.

    Insane. What an idiot. This guy once ran Goldman Sachs? Unreal.

  84. Morac says:

    Considering NJ is bankrupt, mainly do to political corruption, this doesn’t surprise me. Hell, it wouldn’t have surprised me if they announced they wanted to start taxing air.

  85. thrillwill says:

    Tax benefits on legal dope are a red herring. How can you legalize the consumption of something and prevent the PRODUCTION of it.

    If dope were legal most homes would have a few nice plants added to the garden and there would be no tax revenue.

    Trust me the government makes far more money from boat, car and home seizures than any sales tax would provide

  86. BFIrrera says:

    I live in NJ and would totally support this. YES, it is a tax on the poor/uneducated/people with children. BUT, maybe it would force some of them to re-evaluate what they put in their mouths and in their children’s mouths.

    I have a (former) friend who worked as a preschool teacher. She had a student who weighed almost as much as she did (the little girl was three years old), whose parents brought Chicken McNuggets for her snack everyday (while other parents provided granola bars, fruit or other healthier choices for their kids), who got winded while sitting playing with blocks and who, when playing with Matchbox cars, always seemed to have her cars going to the Drive-Thru (which is where her dinners were nightly provided).

    This child is probably going to be dead before she graduates high school. However, maybe this increase in prices may force her parents to instead by veggies at the supermarket.

  87. unravel says:

    @SonicMan: I’m not trying to be a dick, but really, who defines harm? I can smoke in my home (the area well ventilated), and I can smoke outside it. I can’t smoke in restaurants, I can’t smoke in bars, and because I am considerate, I won’t smoke around people who aren’t smoking. I’m not going to your home, closing your windows and tying you to a chair while I puff away. Should a health issue arise. WHO am I harming, pray tell?

    I lose $547 a year in cigarette taxes. and the claim is always that it will be funneled into healthcare. I beg you to tell me that these days, a good deal of people’s health issues aren’t caused by obesity and poor eating habits. Because my husband smokes, we may lose a total of $1094. If we continue to buy cigarettes in NY, we’ll lose up to $2190 in cigarette taxes alone, each year. You’re more than welcome to tell me that a loss of $2,000 a year has no adverse affect on me, but I don’t think that it’s your place to do so. I have no qualms in saying I am harmed by the eating habits/obesity of some.

  88. Jayus says:

    I’ve thought about this before. I wish companies actually cared for the health of their consumers. Ethics beyond keeping a (relatively) good reputation. Healthier food could be offered; tweemo’s idea of subsidizing veggies rather than beef seems to be a good way of encouraging otherwise reluctant fast food restaurants to offer better food.

  89. thebaron says:

    Jayus, then Hardies would be out of business and that would make me really sad. I only go maybe twice a month, since I like my heart and don’t wish to get more fat….

  90. @atypicalxian:
    i couldnt agree more with you…

    but you forgot idiot drivers.. heaven forbid a drop of precipitation should gently grave your windshield because that’ll have to make you go 10 miles UNDER the speed limit in the “fast lane”…

  91. Techguy1138 says:

    @Kat@Work:
    I see what you did now.

    It probably would have been far more relevant to bring in the amount of taxes corporations dodge but, the word ‘sin’ was an easy way to bridge into an unrelated issue.

  92. IMDawnP says:

    “She had a student who weighed almost as much as she did (the little girl was three years old), whose parents brought Chicken McNuggets for her snack everyday (while other parents provided granola bars, fruit or other healthier choices for their kids), who got winded while sitting playing with blocks and who, when playing with Matchbox cars, always seemed to have her cars going to the Drive-Thru (which is where her dinners were nightly provided).”

    But you don’t know these people’s circumstances. Perhaps they can’t afford an apartment and live in a motel where there are no kitchens to cook in. Or are making a slave wage at a crappy job and are just trying to keep their child fed. It’s a sad fact but it’s far cheaper to buy food at McDonald than it is to buy fresh produce. Either way you can’t always assume that people eat this crap because they are lazy. Which is why this isjust another way for NJ politicians to keep lining their pockets on the back of middle class NJ citizens.

  93. AmericaTheBrave says:

    While we are on the subject of ‘sin’, it’s fascinating to know that thousands of years ago when followers of Jehovah were trying to get their people to stop following other gods, one of the other gods was a Persian goddess of the moon named Sin. If someone did something that she commanded, it became known by the Jehovites as a “sin”, or something you shouldn’t do because Jehovah said there is only one god and don’t follow false gods. So the entire concept of sin dates back to one group of religious people telling their own followers to stop obeying another god.

  94. justdan says:

    After reading some comments, I think there ought to be a “Self Righteous” tax for those idiots who support this tax.

  95. tweemo says:

    @BFIrrera: Doubt it. Her parents will probably buy potato chips and frozen chicken fingers at the supermarket.

  96. tweemo says:

    @Jayus: Well, I looked it up and livestock is actually pretty far down the list in terms of the percentage of subsidies, but corn and wheat are numbers 1 and two, soybeans are near the top. Since the majority of those crops is used for livestock feed, livestock is in effect highly subsidized, but technically it’s not at the top.

    We could certainly do with the price of corn going up, though.

  97. yooper1019 says:

    I’m all for a fast food tax, but bringing one in during a reccesion is a bad move.

  98. YanaGadhero says:

    @NightSteel:
    Comment on NJ Gov Interested In Fast Food “Sin Tax” You are one self righteous jackass. What give you or anyone else the right
    to decide what is proper for me and my family? In a state with the highest
    property tax in that nation, you would think NJ residents would say enough.
    Eating fast food is not a “sin” and if you think it is, at what point does
    the meal no longer constitute fast food? If it takes more than XXX minutes,
    then it isn’t fast food. Who decides, you? I think not.

  99. YanaGadhero says:

    @ironchef:
    Comment on NJ Gov Interested In Fast Food “Sin Tax” Amen! Lower the cost of health care, and this problem goes away. Tort
    reform, insurance reform, I could go on.

  100. lawstud says:

    New Jersey taxes their citizens the most out of all the states.