RUSH: Okay, here's that fat stuff, the fat tax. I have two stories on this. The first is from the State-Controlled CNNMoney.com. "Taxing the Fat in Your Food," is the headline. The subhead: "New study argues that a tax on fattening foods could help pay for health reform and curb obesity -- and lower health costs." Well, no, it won't happen. We've cut smoking in half, if not more, and the health care costs have not decreased. And by the way, "preventive lifestyles"? None of this has been shown to reduce costs at all. The government is responsible for how much everything costs in this.
(Reading in New Castrati voice) "Health care costs keep growing fatter in part because Americans are, too. More than 25% of the increase in medical costs between 1987 and 2001 is attributable to obesity and obesity-related conditions such as hypertension and diabetes, according to a new report from the non-partisan Urban Institute." I read this about smoking 20 years ago! "Come 2015, it is estimated that 40% of American adults will be obese, which is more than double the rate 40 years ago. And today, close to 20% of children are obese, up from 4% four decades ago. ... Taking their cue from steep taxes on tobacco, which have helped reduce smoking rates, the health policy experts who wrote the report argue that a tax on fattening foods could not only raise a lot of revenue to pay for health reform but could also help curb obesity and thereby slow the growth in health care costs over time."
Taking their cue from taxes on tobacco? Taxes on tobacco may be raising money for health care, but it hasn't lowered costs at all! Is anybody telling you that our health care costs have gone down anywhere, anything, for any time? "Depending on how it's set up, the authors estimate that a 10% federal tax of fattening foods could raise up to $530 billion over 10 years." No matter who buys them! You know what may happen? It may just be a matter of time. As part of the health care plan, in addition to taxing fatty foods which they're already doing in places like New York and couple other places, you go get your fat percentage taken at your Bam-assigned doctor. Whatever percentage body fat you have, you are taxed on that amount, whatever is above what they say it should be.
So if they say your body fat should be no more than 10%, and your body fat's higher, you pay tax on it. The doctor would be required to report the body fat content above the allowed federal limit to the IRS. Then you go back to the doctor, and if you've lost body fat content, then your tax rate would be lowered. Don't put anything past this bunch. Now, this magazine that is published by Massachusetts General Hospital. It's a long piece, I'm not going to even attempt to read the whole thing to you here, but it's called ProtoMag.com, and it comes from Mass General, and the subject of the article is this: "SHOULD OBESE PEOPLE, LIKE SMOKERS, BE: Barred from indulging in public spaces," should they be "taxed on their habit," should they be "targeted by public health campaigns," should they be "shunned socially?"
Banning the ugly! In this case the "ugly" happen to be fat people. "Once considered the quintessence of cool, lighting up has become a social faux pas, discouraged by withering glances and 'thank you for not smoking' signs. Ashtrays, once a fixture ... have all but disappeared. Manufacturers have been subjected to increased, and ever more successful, investigations and lawsuits ... [P]er capita consumption of cigarettes dropped from 4,345 in 1963 to 1,691 in 2006. And the percentage of US adults who smoke has fallen by more than half since 1965, to a level of around 20%." Yet nobody is saving any money. Nobody. It's not saving anybody any money. Well, the people are not smoking don't have to pay the money, but in terms of health care costs it has not helped as we've documented.
So this magazine then asks: "Could a similarly concerted effort by government and health organizations make progress against another kind of epidemic?" Obesity. So this magazine posits the idea that if you look a certain way or weigh a certain weight you're not going to be allowed in a restaurant. There may be signs: Obese Patients Not Allowed Entry." Public parks, public swimming pools: "If you're fat, if you're a slob, you can't come in." Then we'd have the fat police like we have the smoking police. We still have a free society, and people are free to live the lifestyle they want, whatever the impact on themselves -- and "fat" is not illegal. Being obese is not against the law...yet. Exactly right.
RUSH: We've got some interesting sound bites here on this fat stuff. Let's go to CNN last night, Campbell Brown's show. She spoke to the National Action Against Obesity president MeMe Roth about obesity in America. The skinny versus fat battle is heating up here. Liberals fanning out to blame fat people for everything, they're the new villain -- I told you this. Here's Campbell Brown to MeMe Roth: "Get to the heart of the problem in terms of what you think we ought to do."
ROTH: If you wanted to make a nation fat, we have set our culture up to do exactly that. It's like we're living in a brothel and no one's allowed to have sex. Everywhere you go, there's one temptation after another. I'm surprised there's anyone left in this country who isn't overweight. We need to make good food, real food, produce available, cheap, accessible to everyone. The economics of it are shifting. Big Pharma has made a bundle on obesity. The weight loss industry has made a bundle. Beverage and food have made a bundle. Now we're seeing it. We're picking up the tab, and we're pushing back.
RUSH: These people, they never change. It's none of your damn business, MeMe Roth. It's not costing you anything. She wants cheap, affordable fruits and produce, like cheap affordable health care. You want cheap, accessible to everyone. (interruption) I know, but apparently these fat people are being denied healthy foods. The whole thing's bull, Snerdley. This is who these people are. Now, there was another person on this show, Plus magazine, this is large woman, editor-at-large Mia Amber Davis. Brown says, "So Mia, is there to you a sense of blame the victim of scapegoating people who are overweight when you see a study like this?"
DAVIS: Sizism is the last acceptable prejudice. If you see someone who's overweight, automatically they're the reason for America's problems in the health care industry? That's absolutely not true. I know plenty of people who are normal size, who are straight sizes as opposed to plus size who have health issues. I don't know anyone in my circle of friends, in my family, in the millions of women that I reach out to being a plus size advocate that have health issues related to being overweight.
RUSH: Well, this didn't sit well with MeMe.
ROTH: If you're obese, you are unhealthy. Reuters recently reported that only 8% of us don't smoke, drink moderately, eat the fruits and vegetables we're supposed to eat, and exercise regularly. So really, fat or thin, only 8% of us are even trying in this country.
DAVIS: But overweight does not mean unhealthy. I've been off the charts since I was 12 years old, and I'm perfectly healthy.
ROTH: There's a higher incidence of infertility, pregnancy complications --
DAVIS: I don't have those issues.
ROTH: -- low sperm count, and even a higher incidence of birth defects when it comes to obesity. So don't argue with me. Argue with Darwin.
RUSH: Well, you can say arrogant or whatever, but this is who these people are. Her statistics are wrong. Only 8% of us don't smoke? Eighty percent of us don't smoke. Drink moderately, eat the fruits and vegetables we're supposed to eat? Get that? We're supposed to eat? So Mia Amber Davis, she starts getting back at her a little here.
DAVIS: I think that that's insulting, actually. I work out four times a week.
ROTH: Which you're supposed to be working out every day.
DAVIS: I'm not here to argue with you. I'm here to say that stop blaming overweight people or obese people for America's problems. It's not our fault. If you are gay, you can play straight. If you are a certain religion, you can play another religion. You can't hide the fact that you're overweight, and nor do we want to. I'm proud of the way I look. I'm proud of my body. I'm proud of all my friends and the hard work that we do to maintain our curves. So stop blaming us for America's health care issues, because I am not a part of that plan.
ROTH: The -- the studies don't back you up, and nine-times-out-of-ten obesity is the result of lifestyle choices.
RUSH: Did you catch what this Roth b-i-itch said at the beginning of the bite? You're supposed to be working out every day? You're supposed to be working out. You're supposed to eat fruits and vegetables, you're supposed to be. And MeMe Roth, who nobody has ever heard of, is now the sole authority on what you ought to be doing. I tried to warn people. This is the SUV all over again. It's just who these people are.
RUSH: Richland, Washington, Corey great to have you, EIB Network, hello.
CALLER: Hey, Rush, I just want to make a quick comment on the smoking and the obesity thing.
CALLER: It's kind of funny they put the taxes on the cigarettes and all that and drive people away from smoking, well, what happens when most people quit smoking? They start packing on the pounds so I kind of figured that that's one of the leading causes to this gaining of weight over the last several years.
RUSH: You know there may be some legitimacy to this. It is a fact that people who stop smoking still need the oral stimulation, activity and so forth using their hands, using their mouths. And so they do tend to eat more.
CALLER: Yeah, so I was kind of thinking that it just shifts from one cost to the smoking to now they're saying it's the obesity.
RUSH: Right and it's none of their damn business! The one thing they're wrong about is all the so-called costs that we're going to save to reduce this activity these busybody little nannies don't like. I detest these people. I detest them. They are standing in the way of our country's rebound and economic growth. They are parasites.
RUSH: And, no, ladies and gentlemen, I'm not defending obesity. I'm defending freedom and liberty. Freedom and liberty, cornerstones of the United States. It's not your business to tell people you don't know how to live. They're not your responsibility.