Belt-Tightening: German Legislator Calls For Taxing the Obese

A conservative German legislator, Marco Wanderwitz, has called for a formal tax on citizens determined to be obese. Wanderwitz insists that obese people are imposing public costs that are unreasonable — akin to polluting industries.


Wanderwitz appears to view most obesity as a deliberative lifestyle choice, stating “I think that it would be sensible if those who deliberately lead unhealthy lives would be held financially accountable for that.” Many would disagree with the assumption, citing studies of genetic predisposition to weight gain and a multi-billion dollar industry supporting difficult and often fruitless weight-loss efforts.

Some school teachers, however, are calling for kids to be weighed every day as part of this crackdown. I can only imagine the emotional toll such weighing would produce for obese children.

Source: AOLNews

36 thoughts on “Belt-Tightening: German Legislator Calls For Taxing the Obese”

  1. Wow that was strange. I just wrote an incredibly long comment but after I clicked submit my comment didn’t show up.
    Grrrr… well I’m not writing all that over again. Regardless, just wanted to say excellent blog!

  2. So, I was at a gas station one day, and this guy started shooting at me as I was standing next to a can.

    I should avoid cans.

    That’s what those of you who say “This is because Germany has universal health care” are doing.

    Unless you want to back that up with data that says that a statistically significant amount countries with universal health care are going down (or have gone down) this road.

  3. Andy b You might want have German healthcare. You can go to a spa to lose weight and it is paid for.

  4. George:

    Doesnt Germany have a national health care system? Preview of America’s future?

  5. @Byron: Yes, unfortunately universal health care leads to insane proposals from conservative politicians to undermine the pillar of universal health care: solidarity. But that isn’t so much an argument against universal health care or solidarity as against loony conservatives…

    Re: “kids to be weighed every day”: this unsourced and unattributed (which “Teachers’ Association”?) story seems to be unknown in the German speaking internet.

    But nice to see that there is one area in which national stereotyping isn’t considered political incorrect. Not.

  6. chyro:

    Who rewards? Where is such a power invested in the general (Federal) government?

    It is none of their business except to set an example. Which they already do. Nothing more need be done. If you want to reward people for doing a great job, please step up to the plate.

    No pun intended.

  7. That’s a tricky topic isn’t it. I must say I’m confused as to how an entire population would simultaneously evolve in that direction if it was just a gene thing. I think part of the problem is from industries having interests in people over-consuming, including food.
    Rewarding a moderate lifestyle might have positive effects both on public health and pollution…

  8. Such an interesting link to the German village story. I was struck by this sentence:

    “The schoolteacher’s growing suspicions lead to a confrontation in the rectory, where he suggests to the pastor that his children have severely bullied the weaker in the village.”

    Ah, the bullies. It’s always the bullies.

  9. Byron: Correct. When the tax payer funds health care, there is no privacy of choices. Not even in eating.

    This is why Obamacare is totalitarianism.

    The left’s vaunted right to privacy was a lie. They just wanted to kill.

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