To the editor:
With congressional Republicans rushing to place a new tax bill on President Trump’s desk before Christmas, here comes the respected British publication The Guardian suggesting a new source of tax revenue: meat. Yes, a tax on meat to beat the health and climate crises.
The concept is hardly radical. We already pay taxes on tobacco, alcohol, sodas, plastic bags and other consumables that afflict the public health and cause other social costs.
The revenue would reimburse Medicare, Medicaid and other government health care programs for treating victims of chronic diseases that have been linked conclusively to consumption of animal products. It would contribute to the costs of restoring air and water quality and wildlife habitats that have been devastated by production of these items.
Benjamin Franklin noted that nothing is certain except death and taxes. However, death can be deferred substantially by taxing the very products that make us sick.