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The Five Taxes Viewers Intelligence With Rant On Food Tax

Reported by Aunty Em - July 26, 2011 -

Yesterday’s episode of The Five is one that takes the cake, and the soda, and the rest of the junk food. When Gregg Gutfield introduced his segment he was outraged—OUTRAGED!—over the possibility of a new tax on junk food. Who is suggesting this tax? A food writer at the New York Times. That’s right. A writer makes a silly suggestion and Greg Gutfield acts as if it’s the end of the republic. And, it only gets crazier from there. Watch and read along:

So, in Sunday’s New York Times Mark Bittman demands we tax snacks and soda, which would force us to eat better. Tax soda 2 cents an ounce, he says, and a 6-pack costs a buck-fifty more. That would then subsidize crap like cooking lessons and fruit machines and public service announcements. Yeah, those’ll work. Of course, this is based on the idea that government is smart and you’re stupid, so they can tax your idiot vices. Now, you notice these scolds never offer their own vices for taxation. I’m sure Bittman, a food writer, eats at many gourmet joints. So why not tax goose liver or breadsticks or cloth linens? [Judge Napalitano starts his trademarked chortle, but low in the background] Or how about every time someone buys the Times, a tax goes to fund something readable. Let’s tax Yoga. It creates annoyingly boney people. I hate them. See? Taxing is fun, if I get to pick the targets. But, here your diet is the crime and the tax is your punishment, which then funds things the left likes: like soy milk, sprouts, and unitards. [Judge Napalitano begins laughing very loudly now, as does Andrea Tanteros] Unitards are stupid. Of course, it only hurts the poor who can afford fancy lettuce, but will pay—end up paying more for their Coca-Cola because Coke adds life, unlike creeps like Bittmann.

This would be a good time to remind the reader that Mark Bittman is a food writer, not a legislator, and is writing an opinion piece in the New York Times, not a law in congress. However, calling Bittmann a “creep” makes one wonder if there is history between him and Gutfeld, who might actually be the dictionary definition of the word “creep.”

However, leave it to Bob Beckel to derail the conversation immediately.

BB: What the hell’s a unitard?

GG: It’s like a leotard that goes from top to bottom—

Dana Perino: [screaming] It’s that thing you wear—that thing you wear when you go home, at the hotel.

BB: You know what I want to tax? You know those guys who ride those bicycles, wear that Eurotrash—the outfits with all that—helmets that go like that? I’d like to drive those son-of-a-bitches off the road.

This would be another good time to remind the reader that taxing junk food was just the opinion of a food writer.

DP: I think Greg has a really good point and that is—this one—the question being, why is it that the elite should get to choose what’s taxed?

GG: Right. A gourmet restaurant—a gourmet meal has a couple’a thousand calories in it, it’s high fat, yet they point to McDonalds.

AN: Why should the government, which can’t deliver the mail, tax our food and try and tell us what [crosstalk] Who is the government to tell us [crosstalk]

BB: Let me just say, it obviously didn’t work with me. But, uhh, let me make a serious point here. Michelle Obama, and I’ll defend her over and over again—childhood obesity is an epidemic in this country and if we don’t do something about it, you’re going to end up paying a lot more money—

AN: Is it a federal issue under the constitution?

BB: Yes absolutely—

AN: No it is not! [more crosstalk]

BB: You still think the coun—Yannow, you’re still frozen in the ‘50s, Judge. It’s as simple as that. I love ya, but you’re frozen in the ‘50s.

AN: What about my [inaudible over the crosstalk] the constitution?

BB: Yannow I’d never wanna be—would you want to be, when he was a judge in a courtroom? Are you kidding? We’d both be a [inaudible, but it really makes The Judge laugh loudly]

DP: You can’t find a city in America that isn’t trying to find more revenue sources.

AT: That’s right.

DP: And one of the problems is, is that they keep going after—going back to the same well, instead of dealing with the thing. They don’t want to tax soda so that they can put all this money in a nutritional program. They want to tax soda so they can pay for the pensions.

Another reminder: This was just a silly suggestion by a New York Times food writer.

AN: So why would they put a tax on a food that is eaten by a class of people that can least afford the tax?

AT: Because it’s the new, cool thing and they have a food fetish. I mean, Dana pointed it out. There’s going to be even more bizarre taxes. There probably will be taxes on unitards. I just don’t believe that the U.S. tax code should be used as a weapon to influence behavior.

And, on and on (and on and on) the arguments go on The Five. However, let’s stop right there and take up Tanteros’ remark. In point of fact, the U.S. tax code (along with states’ tax codes) is used to influence behavior. Cigarette taxes keep going higher and higher? Why? One of the stated goals is to influence behavior. To make it more expensive so that people will stop smoking, and then there will be extra revenue for health care issues.

And that, in a nutshell, is what’s wrong with The Five. They start with a stupid topic and pile stupid on top of stupid (on top of stupid on top of stupid) until they have just one big heaping pile of stupid. It’s nothing but one big argument, from the start of the show to the finish. However, no one is arguing with facts and figures. They’re just pulling personal talking points out of their asses, which, more often than not, have no basis in reality. And, it’s still UNFAIR and UNBALANCED with four against one; Bob Beckel being the odd man out.

And “odd” doesn’t really begin to describe Beckel’s presence on the show. While he almost always gets interrupted while trying to make his point, he’s also his own worst enemy. He interrupts himself!!! He interrupts himself to go off on strange tangents. Sometimes he even interrupts himself to go off on a tangent and then interrupts his interruption to say, “No, I shouldn’t go there.” He used the word “fucking” on air last week, and had to apologize for it. He has come very close to swearing many other times, but has caught himself (except for that Eurotrash “son-of-a-bitch” remark above). Or, he’ll interrupt whatever flow is happening—rare, but real conversation does seem to accidentally happen on the show on occasion—to talk about his former addictions, of which there seem to be many. I have yet to see a show on which he doesn’t reference them at least once, sometimes more than once. Yesterday’s show had him mention, apropos of almost nothing at all, how he had passed out under the Christmas tree in the East Room of the White House during the Carter administration. I hate to say this, but Bob Beckel is the absolute worst part of the absolute worst show on television.