What’s next…should we throw them in jail?

Drudge links to a story this morning that one Illinois lawmaker is proposing the parents of fat kids lose their state tax deduction.  Stltoday.com reports

“It’s the parents’ responsibility that have obese kids,” said state Sen. Shane Cultra, R-Onarga. “Take the tax deduction away for parents that have obese kids.”  Cultra has not introduced legislation to deny parents the $2,000 standard tax deduction, but he floated the idea Tuesday, when lawmakers took a shot at solving the state’s obesity epidemic. 

So, let’s think about this for a moment.  Just how does this no doubt skinny lawmaker propose we determine which kids are fat?  Should all kids be trotted into the state capitol building to be weighed?  Or how about we put schools in charge of weighing kids and informing the government of each child’s weight.  Should any effort be made to determine the causes of their largeness.  What about kids that are chubby but still very healthy?  What role does genetics and race and sex play in this fat determinations.  And since BMI is widely considered a bad indicator of child health and obesity, what measure should we use?

Oh…so many questions.  I sure wish these state legislators would consider a few of them before proposing their creepy Orwellian nightmares.  

And let’s just take a moment to consider the impact this would have on a child.  Little Johnny cost his mommy and daddy their nice tax break because he’s chubby…yeah, that’s nice. Maybe some child psychologist can offer their thoughts on this.

Of course, targeting parents of fat kids isn’t the only thing being considered.  Sugary drink taxes are also on the table.  

Today, the Senate Public Health Committee considered taxing sugary beverages at a penny-per-ounce, in effect applying the same theory to soda, juices and energy drinks that governs to liquor sales. Health advocates say a sin tax could discourage consumption, but lawmakers are reluctant to target an industry supports the jobs of more than 40,000 Illinoisans.

“It seems like we just, we go after the low-hanging fruit, where its easy to get,” said state Sen. Dave Syverson, R-Rockford. He said the state needs to form a comprehensive plan to address physical fitness and disease prevention, rather than taking aim at sugary drinks….Health advocates said the tax would bring in new revenues — an estimated $600 million annually — to fight childhood obesity, improve nutrition and prevent disease. 

The really funny thing about these revenue raisers, like drink taxes, is that the revenue raised depends on consumption. So essentially, legislators are proposing a tax aimed at reducing consumption while simultaneously hoping to gain revenue through the sale of these items.