Here’s a letter to the Los Angeles Times:
You advocate a “fat tax” on grounds that it’ll discourage people from acting in ways that make them unhealthy (“Should there be a ‘fat tax’?” April 11).
Overlook here such a tax’s merits or demerits. It’s curious that you accept without question the proposition that raising taxes on ‘unhealthy-lifestyle’ activities will significantly turn people away from unhealthy-lifestyle activities, while (judging from your editorials over the years) you reject without question the proposition that raising taxes on income-earning activities will significantly turn people away from income-earning activities.
Donald J. Boudreaux
In the mid-1990s I was informed by a professor of philosophy – tenured at a major university – that anyone who believes that even a marginal income-tax rate as high as 94 percent has a significant negative effect on people’s willingness to work to earn taxable income is “brainwashed.”