The Corner

Fat Taxes

This argument for them raises an interesting question: Is there a distinction in principle between “sin taxes” on cigarettes and alcohol, which most people support, and taxes on fat consumption? In all of these cases there are negative-externalities and public-health arguments in favor of taxation. Otoh, there could be distinctions based on the addictiveness of the product and the harm of the first unit of consumption. There could also, of course, be distinctions in the magnitude of the public-health and other consequences. I suspect that there isn’t a fully satisfying distinction. But then, I’m not a fan of sin taxes to begin with.

Ramesh Ponnuru — Ramesh Ponnuru is a senior editor for National Review, a columnist for Bloomberg View, a visiting fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, and a senior fellow at the National Review Institute.

Most Popular


Trump and the North Korean Tipping Point

The world has been stunned by North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un’s announcement last week that he was suspending his country’s nuclear tests in preparation for the impending meeting with President Trump. Even critics have had to concede that Trump’s bellicose rhetoric since last summer regarding the North ... Read More
Politics & Policy

E Pluribus . . . Gridlock

A mantra we hear everywhere these days is that diversity is a good thing. And no doubt, it is. Diversity facilitates an exchange of ideas and opinions, and it promotes economic growth. Moreover, the alternative to diversity is to suppress the views and opinions of some subset of citizens, which is completely ... Read More
Economy & Business

Trade Misunderstandings

I was distracted by other policy topics last week but not enough not to notice Peter Navarro’s article in the Wall Street Journal, headlined “China’s Faux Comparative Advantage.” Considering Navarro’s position in the White House, it is unfortunate that it demonstrates some serious misunderstandings ... Read More