Taxes: The very word strikes anger in the hearts of many for one reason or another. Americans have a general idea of where their tax dollars go, and what goods they pay taxes on. In fact, most states have a sales tax, so in essence, every product a person in those states purchase is taxed. Many people have no issue with this, as long as they know their money is going somewhere beneficial and the rate isn’t too high, but few Americans are aware of just how much of their money is funding products and projects that promote an unhealthy way of life.
The argument of farm subsidies is an interesting one. The idea is that Americans will pay taxes to help fund farms, thus lowering the price of the product they are selling. Regardless of how a person may feel about the benefits (or lack thereof) of this process, vegetarians and vegans would not be happy to find out that more than 60 percent of the tax dollars that go toward farm subsidies actually don’t do anything to help fund their primary source of nutrition – fruits and vegetables. No, that number is far smaller: less than 1 percent of the foods that subsidies support are fruits and vegetables. The lion’s share of that subsidy money funds meat and dairy products.
Error. Page cannot be displayed. Please contact your service provider for more details. (24)Neal Barnard, M.D., is part of one of many groups actively trying to get Congress and the rest of America to listen. As the president for Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine, Barnard sent a letter highlighting the incredible discrepancies in dollar amounts and resulting health problems to Congress with the hope that they would listen.
The resulting cost of such an unhealthy diet as a direct result of these subsidies is startling: over 75 percent of all illnesses are diet-related. What Barnard told House and Senate agriculture committees should not have been a surprise; in 2003, the Congressional Budget Office suggested that obesity costs the United States over $117 billion. By 2030, the annual medical cost for cardiovascular disease alone is projected to triple to an unsustainable $818 billion. This will continue to impact healthcare costs far more than it already has.