Fat Tax? Obamacare Advisor Gruber suggests we tax “sin” to modify behavior

February 5, 2015 in Uncategorized

pay up

I just read an article that said a former Obama advisor named Jonathan Gruber suggested we tax fat people according to their body weight.  I always say you should go straight to the source if you really want to know what someone said so here is the paper titled “Taxing Sin to Modify Behavior and Raise Revenue” in which he talks not just about taxing people according to their body weight but also discusses the effectiveness of taxing cigarettes and alcohol.

So in all fairness to the guy—he isn’t just taxing the fat people. He wants to tax all  sinners in general in an effort to help them modify their behavior.  I mean it’s sweet really the concern that he has for us sinners!  AND….his idea will kick up some extra revenue in the meantime.  And I mean why not?! If you can profit from the misery of my sins then have at it!  I mean something should come from this mess, right?

I haven’t quite decided yet why fat people, smokers and lushes are the only three sinners we want to tax though.  I mean think about the goldmine that is available to us if we really explore this idea for all its worth?  We could totally pay off the national debt AND maybe even make college free for our youngsters!  But only if people really start digging into the goldmine that taxing sins could be.  And why stop with the overweight chain smoking winos?  Not when there are just so many other sins to choose from!

Let’s explore.  

The 10 Commandments gives us plenty of sins we could tax.  I’m going to assume that overeating, smoking and excessive drinking all break at least Commandment 1 or 2.  Maybe even both.  But never fear—that still leaves us another 8 commandment-breaking sinners to tax, right?! So why not include those? After all, increasing revenue is a good cause so I’d think we shouldn’t overlook any other opportunities to tax the sinners!  And if you’re going to tax me on my sins then why stop at my weakness with overeating?  Why not tax all my sins?  And why ignore the 7 Deadly Sins? Surely those alone could drum up some serious revenue for the government!


I’ll admit I’ve had a pretty good day so far with my eating.  With my renewed commitment to exercise, this could spell disaster for squeezing pennies out of me at tax time.  Oh don’t get me wrong.  If someone weighs me on tax day I’m going to be paying up because my body weight is still going to be over the limit.  Just ask the extremely snug button on my jeans.  But they probably won’t get enough out of me to fund as much as they’d like so I say why stop there?  Let’s really go for it!  Like today for example let’s hear the cha-ching of what my personal sins could pay off for this country!

#1—The dishes.

Haven’t put them up yet.   And the laundry hasn’t been even taken out of the dryer.  You want to know why? Pure laziness. This lazy, slothful procrastinating sinner has a full dishwasher and full dryer.  Time for me to pay up!

The soul of the sluggard craves and gets nothing….-Proverbs 13:4

#2— Channing Tatum

I was totally trying to watch the news this morning.  THAT IS ALL.  And out of no where they run the trailer for the new Magic Mike XXL movie.  There was Channing Tatum with some kind of power tool and then things started happening.  And then he was shirtless.  And there was gyrating.  And I didn’t change the channel.  The remote was right there.  I could have done it.  I even SHOULD have done it.  But I didn’t.  I watched the entire thing. And then when I did finally reach for the remote I did the only thing this lazy, slothful sinner could do.  I hit REWIND!

That’s the sound of the Gruber Sin Tax charging me big time for LUST.

But wait…didn’t Jesus say in the Bible that if you even LOOK at someone with lust then that means you have committed adultery with them in your heart? Why yes it does–Matthew 5:28.  And that means I am getting double taxed.  Not only did I look at Channing lustfully but I committed adultery with him.  That’s right you heard it here first.  I committed adultery with Channing Tatum.  Me and like 1000 other women so he’s been like super busy. And by the way when I just said that I thought to myself…..wow what if that was true? What if I like for real had an affair with Channing Tatum? (Sorry Jenna—no disrespect intended.)

But then a part of me felt PRIDE.  Pride at the thought of having landed such an enormously hot guy.  Pride at walking around with Channing Tatum on my arm.  And then this whole daydream unrolled of me throwing up a selfie on Facebook with me and Channing….and then my ex-husband finding it and me being like…”WHAT NOW?”

Quadruple tax me.  Lust, adultery, pride and revenge…..I’m going to have to take out a loan to pay taxes this year.

#3  The Rock

My son is totally obsessed with WWE.  That’s World Wrestling Entertainment.  He is always harassing me to watch Monday Night Raw and Thursday Night Smackdown.  He has like 100 wrestling action figures….(NOT DOLLS…trust me I made the mistake of calling them that once and his manhood was assaulted).  My son also started wrestling this season.  He’s only in the 4th grade so it’s more like a wrestling club and it’s not WWE style obviously but the kind they actually do in school sports.  My point is that my son talks about wrestling constantly.  ALL THE TIME.  So it seeps into my brain and sometimes into my dreams.  So Monday night I had this dream about The Rock.  He was at my house hanging out with my son so they could discuss wrestling.  I mean that’s totally normal, right?  And then somehow he invited me to go to Disneyworld with him.  And he wanted us to go ALONE. So of course I was like “SURE!”  Part of my dream wasn’t that great because as we were walking around the theme park, The Rock decided he wanted to pick me up and put me on his shoulders.  Except that he could only get me about halfway up over his head before he gave up.  Apparently I was too heavy.

I mean let’s get this straight.  He’s THE ROCK.  And he probably can pick up and body slam a 350 pound man in a wrestling match.  But in MY dream, I am too heavy even after having lost like 200 pounds.  Clearly even in my dreams my insecurities creep in!  But never fear.  The Rock was totally sweet about it so we still had an awesome time. That evening we were heading back to our hotel and I don’t know what was going to happen but then the alarm went off and I was SO ANGRY.  I pressed snooze super fast and tried really hard to go back into my dream.  Ever done that? But it didn’t work.  It was gone.  And so was The Rock.  I don’t know what would have happened but let’s just say I wasn’t exactly avoiding temptation in the dream.  So double tax me for having been especially lustful this week (first Channing and now The Rock? What’s up with me this week? I blame the cold medicine) You’ll then have to add another tax for ANGER (deadly sin!) because I was extremely irate over my dream being prematurely swept away.

#4  My Neighbor Who Looks Perfect All The Time

Ok so I have this really cute neighbor.  I don’t even know how old she is but she seriously looks about 23 or 24.  Only she has two children and at least one in school.  She’s working on her Masters degree and I know she’s probably older than 23.  But she doesn’t look it.  And her body doesn’t look like it gave birth AT ALL.  Her hair is perfect and her clothes are always super fashionable.  Even when she is in that “just got done working out” mode.  Once we met at the mailbox and I was like “Oh my gosh please excuse what I look like” because I actually DID look horrifying.  Mismatched pajama bottoms with pajama top/sweatshirt.  Unwashed and unbrushed hair.  No make up.  And…you get the point.  And she replied something like “Oh please look at ME” because she’s actually really nice and totally not judgmental at all.  And she probably thought she looked bad that day too. But I’m not kidding.  I think she looked magazine worthy even if she’d just rolled out of bed. And I was totally jealous of that!

So write me up Officer for the cardinal sin of ENVY!

#5 Wrath

My son cleaned up most of his legos but evidently he left one.  And I stepped on it. Ever stepped on a lego?  Because if you have….’nuff said.



Oh you can also add a tagalong sin to that one—CUSSING.

“Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen”—Ephesians 4:29

Things were said.  It’s in the past.  We’re all trying to move on.  But you can’t unring the bell.  So let me go get my wallet because if there is a tax for that sin I’m definitely going to be paying the piper!

I could go on but really this is just getting embarrassing.  At this rate, I am going to be single handedly paying off the national debt with my sins.


So this guy Gruber who thought of the ‘fat tax’  has also been called the “Architect” of Obamacare which sounds pretty important so I guess that means his opinion holds “weight”.  Sorry for the pun…had to.

When they say he’s like the Architect….is that like the Architect in The Matrix?  Because when I heard that I immediately pulled up this scene from my memory bank.

**Advance warning for some brief inappriate language in this video and one flashing of the middle finger.  I just wanted to warn you first so I don’t get taxed for that :))

The Architect is really smart.  Like REALLY smart.  WAY smarter than us.  And he’s especially smarter than fat people who we all know are stupid, uneducated and lacking in intelligence, RIGHT?

Because for real—calories in calories out ok? It’s simple science.  If you’re fat you clearly can’t add because you’re eating too many calories.  Either that or you don’t know how to read labels on the side of your Krispy Kreme Donut Box which makes you stupid.   So if you don’t ‘get‘ how a fat tax can heal our country of the obesity crisis and be the cure for what ails you–then that’s ok.  The Architect knows.  And his mind can grasp things our fat brains never could.

If you watched that clip, you may have heard the Architect say the following:

You are the eventuality of an anomaly, which despite my sincerest efforts I have been unable to eliminate from what is otherwise a harmony of mathematical precision. 

My mind somehow envisions the Architect, Gruber,  sitting before some committee in Washington, D.C.  saying the exact same thing about the obese.  That we are an anomaly.  Something which deviates from the norm.  Something abnormal and peculiar.  Something that does NOT fit in.  And that in spite of society’s sincerest efforts to eliminate us from their line of sight we continue to disrupt the harmony of their otherwise perfect existence.

And if the fat people of this world won’t just get it together then tax them I say! 

It’s hard for someone like me to see it from that perspective but again—I am not the Architect.  So therefore it is not for me to understand.

And still, I can’t quite keep myself from wondering what this all would really look like.  I mean on Tax Day!

A world in which we tax people by their body weight.  And charge them accordingly.

weigh in money

Do you think I’ll have to stand on a scale at H&R Block before they’ll help me with my taxes?  And if so, what kind of shoes should I wear?  I say some light weight flip flops that weigh as little as humanly possible, don’t you?  I mean they aren’t going to round us all up naked are they?


Weigh Ins can already be so stressful, ya know?  I mean you’ve been there right?  You show up to your Weight Watchers meeting waiting in that check-in line. Perusing the cover of the recent Weight Watchers magazine wondering if that will ever be you?  The line creeps forward as you nervously anticipate your chance to step onto that scale and await the verdict.  Perhaps you know you really rocked it out this week.  Perfect meals.  Never missed a workout.  So you can’t wait.  You know it’s going to be a loss.  So bring it on!!

But maybe you got a coupon in the mail for Papa John’s and it led to some unrecorded “snacks” that didn’t quite make it to your food diary.  You know you won’t be losing this week.  Maybe you even gained.  In fact you KNOW you gained.  LIKE BIG! So what do you do?

Well you do what ANY rational person would do in that situation!  You dress in the lightest weight clothes you can find with the thinnest fabric available. One layer MAX even if it means losing your underwear.   Even if it’s -30 with record low freezing temperatures and sleeting rain.  You will find a kleenex to wear if you have to!! And you WILL be removing your shoes.  Maybe you even cut off a few inches of hair and remove all your jewelry in hopes that might shave off a pound.


It’s a weigh in!  Desperate times desperate measures!

Or maybe Fat Tax Day will be like your annual check up where the doctor gives you that LOOK.  You know the look.  The one you’ve already received from your mother.  The grocery clerk.  That person you parked next to whose car is a tight squeeze because your hips just don’t agree with the width of that parking space.  We wait for the doctor to review our charts and remind us that we really need to start working on weight loss because this just isn’t healthy.  So maybe you should consider trying to lose a few?

Because THAT didn’t occur to you before now, right?

Or maybe Fat Tax Day will be like that awkward family Christmas dinner where Grandma offers you another piece of pumpkin pie while the “well meaning” but ever so mouthy Aunt/mother/brother/father/cousin or fill-in-the-blank relative chimes in ,”Are you sure you want to do that? Are you sure you should eat that??!  I mean I’m just thinking of YOU! I’m just trying to HELP!  I’m just so concerned about you!

Maybe Fat Tax Day won’t be anything like that at all.  After all, it will probably be done by a stranger.  You know someone who applied for a government job because they give good benefits and now they have the job title of “Weight Processor I”  or “Weight Processing Manager II”

Having your fat sins assessed by a stranger can be kind of tough but you can get through it.  I mean, once I was approached in a public place by a random woman who suggested some various ways I might pursue losing weight.  She just wanted to share that information because she said looking at me from across that room without saying something was not an option.   She meant well.  I know she did.  Something had to be said, right?  And maybe if Gruber’s Fat Tax had been in place she wouldn’t have felt the need to do it.  She would have known someone else out there was going to make it their job to scold me for my condition.  And then it wouldn’t have fallen on her shoulders to have to do the job.

I think that is one of the benefits we could find with the Gruber Fat Tax.  Just think about all the people out there who could finally get some relief at having to shoulder the responsibility of letting people know they are too overweight?  It has to be stressful to have that burden bearing down on you.  Like that poor guy who screamed at me out of his truck window to get back into the house because I was too fat to be outside.  I mean sure I was outside exercising in an effort to lose weight.  But I was an obese person walking on a public sidewalk and for that alone I should probably have been taxed.  The stress on the poor strangers who had to tolerate watching me walk down the street at that weight must have been difficult. And so I was told to get my revolting behind back in the house so he didn’t have to look at me anymore.  Now if the tax had been in place he wouldn’t have had to be the one to tell me. I’d have had some other stranger to weigh me in and assess my fat sins instead!

And that’s another great thing about the Gruber Fat Tax.  Job creation! I mean it would definitely be an undertaking having to weigh in and monitor the body fat of every American citizen.  I’m sure there will be a lot of staffing to do for that project! They’ll probably have to create an entirely new governmental agency for that.  The Department of Body Fat Monitoring.

I am curious though if after taxing you for being overweight will you then get a refund if you lose the weight? Now that would be nice!! A big refund for weight loss! But what if you regained some of the weight you lost? Would you then have to pay back your refund?  I can’t even imagine the mountain of paperwork that would be involved there.  Processing all the refunds for weight loss and policing the people who owe you money for regain.   Yep—this will definitely create a lot of jobs.  I can see them now.  People won’t just fear the repo man and the tax collector anymore.  Now we’ll have to peer out our window for the Body Fat Police who come knocking.  But no solution is perfect.  And after all, this issue needs to be addressed.

“Ultimately, what may be needed to address the obesity problem are direct taxes on body weight,” wrote Gruber–-source link

So where do you think we’ll all meet up for the weigh in?  At the county tax assessor’s office perhaps?  Or maybe it will be like the voting booth where you step into that tiny space and close the curtain?  Will it be like Catholic Church where you step into a confessional booth and it’s kind of anonymous? Oh that would be nice. I do hope it’s private.  And that they take into account that large people need bigger spaces.  Voting booths and confessionals are really not very wide.  Maybe when the Architect designs it they will bring in some obese people as test subjects.  Just to ensure that they get the dimensions for the weighing booth/confessional right.  That is if it’s going to be private.

Maybe it won’t be.  After all if we’re going to try and “modify behavior” by taxing sin then we should probably consider doing it publicly.  Nothing like public shaming to melt the fat away!

At the end of the day, I’m glad everyone is pitching in with their ideas on the obesity crisis.  Gruber’s ideas may not appeal to all of us but at least he’s doing his best to ‘address’ the issue, right?  And just think about the wealth of opportunities this will provide the Diet Industry!  I can already see the crash diets that will be popping up before Fat Tax Day in an effort to help you slash the weight as fast as possible before you get charged for it.  It will give New Year Resolutions a whole new impending doom sort of urgency!

Cabbage soup anyone?!

So in conclusion,  I just want to say this to Dr. Gruber, the highly educated Architect who suggested we tax fat people:


source for pic


****This post has been brought to you by my snarky, sarcastic side who has been detoxing (again) off of sugar this week while simultaneously entertaining a nasty cold.  Sugar detox may result in many side effects such as headaches, nausea, relentless sweating and profound irritation at certain people who shall remain nameless.  Also I’m on cold meds which may or may not be affecting my sanity.  Though I promise I’m not mixing any prescription drugs with the meds bc if I was—TAXED!***

 And P.S.  I’m really glad Jesus doesn’t use this system for making me pay for my sins.  Like REALLY GLAD.  While His system still requires payment and certainly doesn’t excuse me from being accountable–it leaves room for mercy and grace for those of us who cannot attain the high standard of perfection.   Of which I sorely have missed the mark once again.

“Having canceled the charge of our legal indebtedness, which stood against us and condemned us; he has taken it away, nailing it to the cross.”

Colossians 2:14

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{ 12 comments… read them below or add one }

16blessingsmom February 6, 2015 at 1:06 am

I am offended. Not at you, Holly, you are hilarious. But to have someone state so blatantly that being fat is a sin, ouch!!! How many babies has he given birth to? Has he had to run a household by himself? Who does he think he is? Why should someone’s body weight possibly be any of anyone else’s business? He is judging, and that IS a sin. Mr. High and Mighty…oh never mind. I think I am now judging HIM. BTW, Channing Tatum…have you watched, 21 and 22 Jump Street? He is something else. Anyway, I think fat people are like the last frontier of those whom it is okay to discriminate against. But it is NOT okay. Is it a sin to wish that he would wake up tomorrow morning and somehow weigh like a thousand pounds?


P.S. Snarky Holly is too funny.


Natalie February 6, 2015 at 4:29 am

Here’s where I play devil’s advocate. In Australia we have free and/or subsidised healthcare. So if I let my prediabetes progress and end up on heavily subsidised medication with lots of free doctor visits and maybe a free foot amputation or two, then every taxpayer in Australia is affected. I can see that being annoying, just as I get annoyed at smokers and ‘dole bludgers’ who don’t even try to get a job, like my brother his whole life.

I am not saying losing weight is easy, I should know! I haven’t manged to do it yet. But I do believe that on some level it is a choice. Just as giving up smoking is hard, but it’s a choice. No matter how hard something is, how addicted we are, we still have free will to make those choices.

Great snarky post, though.


Natalie February 6, 2015 at 4:42 am

To clarify, I’m not agreeing with a fat tax! Just disagreeing with “Why should someone’s body weight possibly be any of anyone else’s business “


Danna February 7, 2015 at 2:14 am

I get your point…but up until our recent legislation with this ridiculous Obamacare heathcare act, we did not have public subsidized healthcare (except for the elderly and the very poor). Healthcare was private pay, private pay insurance or health insurance through employment. And for most people in the US it still is. I have never in my life gotten healthcare through government subsidy. It’s always been through employment (mine, my parents when I was a child, my husband’s currently). At that point weight really isn’t the government’s business. Could be your employer’s, if they are providing your health insurance. But it isn’t the general tax payer’s business or the government’s. Basically “you get a say, when you start to pay.” Now my husband has dual citizenship US and Canadian. Canada has a fully socialized government provided healthcare system…therefore they get a say in the common person’s health and health related “sins.” Having had some experience through my husband’s Canadian family, with their socialized medical system, I’d just as soon pay for my own, thanks.


Nicola February 6, 2015 at 2:03 am

LOL this is hilarious Holly and I hope you feel much better soon 🙂


LHA February 6, 2015 at 3:01 am

Well said! Unleash that sarcastic side to make yourself laugh at ridiculously ignorant people who have no idea what struggling against obesity is like. Love your sense of humor.


Danna February 7, 2015 at 2:07 am

So If we’re going to be taxing sins….well isn’t lying a sin? Say that on that goes something like, “Thou shall not bear false witness…..” Seems to me we’ve got a lot of politicians breaking that one…..or perhaps that one about adultery…….politicians sure seem to like that one a lot too. Seems like we could generate a fair amount of revenue just taxing politicians on these two alone. Just a thought.


John (Daddy Runs a Lot) February 9, 2015 at 4:02 pm

When I was just out of college, I was VERY active in my retirement holdings (now, I’m too busy to keep up with financial reports & stuff . . . I put in what I can & trust that mutual fund managers are good at their jobs). Consistently, I would gear my investments toward “sin” stocks: Alcohol brands, Pornographic publishing houses, tobacco companies . . . even if I didn’t overly partake of any of the above (well, I drank pretty heavily, but I was raised with the advent of the Internet, so I’ve spent very little money on buying porn, and I’ve never smoked).

These investments, always, beat the Dow, despite two of those three, in the US, being HEAVILY taxed at the purchase side.

Anyway, if people were asking me, there has to be *something* done. But I don’t know if I know what that *something* is. An obese person is, more likely, going to incur more medical expenses during their lifetime than a non-obese person. But an old person is likely to incur more expenses, this year, than a young person.

Honestly, while I’m a capitalist at heart, I think the answer is in (gasp) more regulation of the health care industry. We have rising costs of health care, that’s for certain — but I haven’t seen anything showing that, despite hospitals charging more & more, health insurance companies are suffering. Basically, since they just pass along costs, well, there isn’t ever any push-back, so health care providers charge whatever the heck they want, knowing that their customers *need* their service, and someone else is fitting the bill. It’s not supply/demand at all – it’s…entirely something else.
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vicki February 10, 2015 at 6:31 pm

Hey what do we expect. this is brought to you by the same people who thinki it is ok to put a tax on the poor who can’t afford health insurance.


Beth February 10, 2015 at 7:29 pm

I actually snorted reading about your reaction to Channing Tatum. Rewinding is the only acceptable answer! 🙂
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irene February 12, 2015 at 2:22 pm

Loved your post I really did laught. Reminds me of the old saying “the only thing certain in life is taxes and death” Think its about time we got real the rich are getting richer wonder why… has the goverment not thought up a way of getting tax of them..
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robin February 17, 2015 at 11:38 am

Haha, great post the first thought I had was lets tax all these men in government that look at pornography. Every time they click on, oops you’ve been taxed again!!! LOL


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