@katiecouric: Let them eat less cake.

There are two answers to this. The first answer is “No”…

…and the second answer involves a hearty wish for Ms. Couric to take her proposal; fold it until it is all corners; and then shove it somewhere that will not be covered by standard healthcare plans, once Obamacare is implemented. If you have ever wondered why some people suggest that the country is divided in an Imperial Capital district, and everywhere else; well, here’s Exhibit A. 

And here’s Exhibit B, from the WaPo article that Couric is favorably quoting:

“A calorie tax would get you the biggest bang for the buck; it’s the most direct way of taxing obesity,” [Department of Agriculture {I AM PAYING THIS WOMAN’S SALARY<*>} Abigail] Okrent said.

There are at least a couple of problems with that option, though. Nutritionists would prefer to distinguish between “good” and “bad” calories, and taxing calories might push the price of staples beyond the reach of the destitute.

“It’s probably not politically feasible,” she said.

…No, madam, it is not.

Moe Lane


[*A friend of mine notes in comments that the woman from the Department of Agriculture may have simply been constrained in what options she could discuss from the survey.  …Fine, but it doesn’t let Couric off of the hook.]

11 thoughts on “@katiecouric: Let them eat less cake.”

  1. Moe, it’s like you always say, “Communism is intellectualism is for stupid people” in conjunction with pointing out that communists can’t even figure out the basic societal goal of “DON’T STARVE PEOPLE” and that proper nutrition for a mass populace was acheivable under both monarchism and feudalism.

    1. Hey!
      Per Chung and Halliday’s Mao: The Unknown Story, Mao Zedong at best knew and plain didn’t care, at worst knew and thought it was a good thing. I think it was the latter, but I cannot keep an compilation of relevant citations available and close at hand /and/ function in day to day life at the same time. That book mentions an incident about food traded to the soviets for other things, where the freaking /Soviet/ officials voiced concerns about the humanitarian impact on the Chinese people.

  2. Their short term memory loss never ceases to amaze. Wasn’t just last week they were saying people were starving because the SNAP budget was too little?

    1. I’m inclined to think that nothing they do with entitlement spending can offset what they have to energy in particular and the economy in general. A little extra hosing the poor K. Couric/M. Obama style, perhaps mainly for aesthetics, probably isn’t that significant in comparison.

  3. “I learned a valuable lesson [from the experience of cutting free milk for school children]. I had incurred the maximum of political odium for the minimum of political benefit.” – Thatcher
    I would very much like for Ms. Couric to go learn the same lesson.

  4. Energy costs correlate with ‘energy-in-food’ costs. Jacking up either necessarily hurts people at the margins.
    I’m not being a weepy, liberal ‘I-care-so-much-for-other-people-who-are-poor’ type. I’m a jerk. I don’t identify with caring about that stuff.
    All things have tradeoffs.
    That said, I don’t know that it isn’t politically feasible. Obama administration history suggests that it would be viable if done through a combination of blatant dishonesty and confused ineptness.

  5. I would like to point out that Ms. Okrent, the Agriculture Department researcher, was making her comment in the context of “compare these four options”. It’s possible that she had a hand in coming up with the research, (although since the other guy is listed as “professor” and she is listed as “Ag Department researcher”, I have my doubts) but speaking as someone who has been in the position of giving a boss an answer about “which of these is the least bad”, it’s also possible that she was trying to determine which turd needed the least polishing, IYKWIM, AITTYD.

    I believe you’ve been in a similar situation a time or two, no?

      1. I can’t imagine any sane person wanting to deny you that right. Heck, I’d consider it a moral imperative. (Classical reference.)

      2. I would not *dream* of trying to deny you that privilege. Especially when she comes up with something that dumb to go on about. I’m just surprised you didn’t work a colonoscopy joke in there somehow.
        Further Googling tells us that Dr. Okrent (PhD completed in 2010 at UC Davis in Agriculture and Resource Economics, and she shares several publication credits with Professor Alston) seems to have helped write some articles on the intersection of obesity and agricultural policy. My earlier doubts may not have been as well-founded as all that. Pity.

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