Scott Hardie | June 17, 2003
There's been some controversy over the proposed 1% tax on junk food in New York. The money would be spent on combating child obesity. While the longterm goal would be to deter people from buying fatty food, I suspect that the main purpose of the bill is to draw attention to how dangerous junk food is to the human body, since we willingly accept taxes on alcohol and tobacco. Gersh Kuntzman wrote a column about it in Newsweek, and while he's hypocritical and he frequently misses the point, his comments are thought-provoking. All he wants is for people to stop hitting the panic button when they hear t-a-x and think about it for a minute; it's a good idea and it certainly has a legal precedent. But if it becomes law, will it actually do any good? I don't think so. What do you think?

Dave Stoppenhagen | June 17, 2003
I first heard this story on CNN during Crossfire, and my first reaction was "Great another tax being proposed" but the more I thought about it and then read this article, yeah it might help with the $117 Billion dollar expenditure a year. But I don't believe that it will stop any one from buying their Twinkies and HoHo's. I quit smoking after 11 years almost 12, and it was one of the hardest things I accomplished, and after 5 months I still fight the cravings, and it cost me about $5 bucks a day, but I don't think I could stop drinking Coke. If they were to impose this tax on Coke or Coffee it wouldn't stop me from buying it because I would be unbearable without it, and would be pretty much worthless at work. If they raise the tax to a ridiculous price then it might stop people from buying it.So no I don't think this tax will stop anyone from buying Junk Food or start reading labels on foods. I started smoking at 13 and when they raised the prices I just paid more, and it was almost painful to quit. These people have been eating junk food since they were little kids, if they were to stop now I can only imagine the withdraw and mood swings that would go with it, because junk food is just as addictive for some as Nicotine is to others.

Jackie Mason | June 19, 2003
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Scott Hardie | June 19, 2003
Dave: I know what you're saying, how you think you'd never be able to give up Coke, because for years I used to think the same thing. But I know people who never drink the stuff (ask Denise), so I figured it was possible. And you know what? After a month of abstinence, I don't miss it at all. I don't miss the gas and indigestion, or the cravings for more as soon as one can is finished, or the halitosis, or the expense. And my teeth feel firm again! I don't want to sound like one of those clueless pricks who likes to brag about going cold turkey on something, but I have no other outlet to express my satisfaction with giving up carbonated drinks. It's worth it. (And I know you pretty much mean it in the context of it being caffeinated, but I can't comment on that aspect of it, having never really cared.)

Jackie: Another contributor is the fact that the price keeps getting paid all the time. I stop for gas about every three days, and you'd think I'd be more likely to notice the prices, but in fact they don't faze me any more.

Dave Stoppenhagen | June 19, 2003
I hear what you are saying, I quit drinking Pepsi about a year ago and didn't have anything caffeinated for about 5 months, I then had a Pepsi and it made me physically ill. I drink mostly coffee now but have a coke or 2 in the afternoon. But I did notice how much different my teeth felt. Found this short article on CNN about this topic, including adding the "Fat Tax" to video games and other products.

Anna Gregoline | June 21, 2003
I was forced to stop drinking "brown" cola in high school because I was found to be allergic to the brown coloring - I ached with withdrawal for awhile, and then got hooked on Sprite - nowadays, I barely can finish a single can of it. Going without cola for awhile is a good thing. It will wean you.
The fat tax won't do any good, really. But there needs to be something to combat obesity in our nation's children, at least.

Scott Hardie | June 17, 2003
We might be having trouble finding Saddam's WMDs at the moment, but at least one long-buried secret has come out in Iraq: A man who lived in a wall in his house for 22 years. He went in to escape Saddam's wrath, and emerged the day after Baghdad fell. Here's the story.

Lori Lancaster | June 17, 2003
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Anna Gregoline | June 18, 2003
Yes, I think we can say there is a difference between voluntary and involuntary solitary confinement.


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