Nanny State

Taxing Brown Rice Cakes and Math Blasters to Slim Down NY Fat Kids

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Remember Felix Ortiz? He was the New York legislator who introduced a bill banning the use of salt in restaurant kitchens last year. The salt ban didn't go anywhere, but he's back at it with a new bill that's a bit more politically savvy (read: still a terrible idea but not actually completely insane): A tax on snack food and video entertainment.

taxable

Ortiz has noticed that kids are getting kind of fat, so he's slapping a wee little tax—one quarter of one percent—on sales of all the foods listed as sweets or snacks in the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Nutrient Database for Standard Reference, plus a tax on sale and rentals of video games and movies and game controllers. (A faint silver lining: Reading this bill taught me what DVD stands for. Digital Versatile Disk, apparently. Who knew?) That money goes to an "Childhood Obesity Prevention Program Fund." But the tax fails to distinguish between good and bad snack, and good and bad video games. So in the name of obesity prevention, education games will get hit, as will these USDA-listed snacks:

taxable

Snacks, rice cakes, brown rice, plain

Snacks, granola bar, fruit-filled, nonfat

Snacks, popcorn, air-popped

Snacks, trail mix, regular, unsalted

Ortiz was Reason.tv's Nanny of the Month in March. He's clearly gunning for another round.

Via CCF.

NEXT: Cal Budget: Even With Steep Cuts, Your Kids Will Still Meditate In School

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  1. Reading this bill taught me what DVD stands for. Digital Versatile Disk, apparently. Who knew?

    Not quite. To quote the authority on the subject:

    And the official answer is… “nothing.” The original initialism came from “digital video disc.” Some members of the DVD Forum (see 6.1) tried to express how DVD goes far beyond video by retrofitting the painfully contorted phrase “digital versatile disc,” but this has never been officially accepted by the DVD Forum as a whole. A report from DVD Forum Steering Committee in 1999 decreed that DVD, as an international standard, is simply three letters. Nevertheless, Toshiba ?the maintainer of the DVD Forum Web site? still confusingly prefers “digital video disc.”

    1. Funny, I always thought it stood for Darth Vader’s Doughnut.

    2. Somehow, I knew that something very close to this would be the first reply. This is due not to my perspicacity, but to overfamiliarity with Hit & Run.

      1. Umm — first comment. Tulpa I did not expect.

  2. Ugh. As someone who loves to cook, people like this piss me off so much.

    Salt is one of the most basic ingredients in your pantry, and while I am no chemist, it does some amazing things to food in chemical reactions (I’m always impressed by salt baking, which makes fish moist, awesome, and not at all salty, although oil poaching is tastier).

    Sugar also has unique properties that can’t be replicated(see carmalization).

    Goddamn nannies.

    1. Be that as it may, I’m pretty sure Jared Loughner used salt in his food.

      1. Oh, sorry, I forgot. By using salt on his food, which is bad for you, a climate was created where other bad things for him, like getting arrested for being a murdering scumbag, were acceptable.

        1. Salt turns people into right-wing murderers?

          Shit.

          1. Dude, like you didn’t know.

          2. Jack the Ripper used salt.

  3. “Taxing Brown Rice Cakes and Math Blasters to Raise Revenue”
    Why not be honest?

    1. Revenue? That’s just a fringe benefit. Rice cakes and Math Blaster are fun. That’s reason enough.

      1. Beer + Math Blaster might = fun.

        Beer + rice cakes… doubtful.

    2. “””Taxing Brown Rice Cakes and Math Blasters to Raise Revenue”
      Why not be honest?””

      If they were going to be honest they would say we’ve taxed the hell out of everything else. We need to be creative to get more of your money.

  4. Of course, taking in too many calories is what makes you fat, not “snacks” (which can be defined to include virtually anything). Mr. Ortiz is lucky he chose a career that plays to his strengths (demagoguery) and weaknesses (reason, critical thinking).

  5. Mr. Ortiz looks like he could stand to lose more than a few pounds himself. I say he gets no salary until his BMI is “normal”.

    1. Weightist!

  6. “He’s clearly gunning for another round.”

    You vitriolic monster! Why don’t you just put the crosshairs on him?

  7. “Taxing brown rice cakes”

    Fuck you, Whitey!

    1. Dammit, where are those bullhorn batteries?

  8. This is hate speech! How dare you call us tax-and-spenders!

  9. I was able to get off all the medications I was taking and my self-confidence went through the roof. I love “Hypersonic Weight Loss”!

  10. He was the New York legislator who introduced a bill banning the use of salt in restaurant kitchens last year. The salt ban didn’t go anywhere

    We freaked out anyway.

  11. The salt ban didn’t go anywhere

    Actually, it crawled back up into my rectum.

  12. rightwing chickenhawks need a large potential draftee pool for cannon fodder & the military says ~1/4 of teens are too fat to serve >ur either w us or ur the enemy!

  13. I think salt needs to be classified as pollutant just like CO2. I think should have to have a permit to handle it.

  14. And the official answer is… “nothing.” The original initialism came from “digital video disc.” Some members of the DVD Forum (see 6.1) tried to express how DVD goes far beyond video by retrofitting the painfully contorted phrase ???? ????? ????? ??????? ???? ???? ????? ??????? “digital versatile disc,” but this has never been officially accepted by the DVD Forum as a whole. A report from DVD Forum Steering Committee in 1999 decreed that DVD, as an international standard, is simply three letters. Nevertheless, Toshiba ?the maintainer of the DVD Forum Web site? still confusingly prefers “digital video disc.”

  15. Versatile Disk, apparently. Who knew?) That money goes to an “Childhood Obesity Prevention

  16. Digital Versatile Disk, apparently. Who knew?) That money goes to an “Childhood Obesity

  17. Versatile Disk, apparently. Who knew?) That money goes to an “Childhood Obesity Prevention

  18. ersatile Disk, apparently. Who knew?) That money goes to an “Childhood Obesity Prevention

  19. government; 4.5 percent to legislative, judicial and executive; 4.1 to natural resources

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