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A Tanning Tax?


kimmy

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My news feeder alerted me to a Twitter exchange between John McCain and Snooki Palozzi.

Snooki is a young woman from a "reality show" that I don't watch. It chronicles the adventures of a group of young Italian-Americans in the Jersey Shore area. Snooki is famous for being punched out on TV, and for being a white-person who is tanned to a darker color than most Africans. Or at least, she used to be. Sadly, hard times have hit Snooki's tanning regimen:

"I don't go tanning anymore because Obama put a 10% tax on tanning," she says in the preview, which aired before the MTV Movie Awards Sunday. (Snooki co-hosted the pre-show.) "And I feel like he did that intentionally for us."

Her plight has found a sympathetic ear... none less than John McCain!

"@Sn00ki u r right," the 2008 Republican presidential candidate tweeted on his verified account.

"I would never tax your tanning bed! Pres Obama's tax/spend policy is quite The Situation. but I do rec wearing sunscreen!"

(I think it's too late for sunscreen to help Snooki, John.)

Apparently, this is for real! As part of the Obama health care bill, there is now a 10% tax on tanning beds, which will come into effect in July. The theory is apparently that indoor tanning can cause skin cancer, so people who do so should contribute to the healthcare system to offset the costs their habit will likely cause the system.

Personally, I don't tan. I can't. I get red just walking past a window. That picture in my profile isn't over-exposed... I'm just that color. So on the one hand I wouldn't mind a bit if tanning stopped being "cool". I'd love to see the idea that a tan is an indicator of a healthy active lifestyle just vanish. I personally think it's quite ridiculous. And, lighter skin is cool again, thanks to people like Scarlett Johansson. Perhaps a tanning tax will help that along... perhaps I should actually be glad to see Barack beat down fake tans. After all, what happens on mainstreet America one day shows up in Hollywood the next, and arrives in Canada the day after.

However, this sounds slap-dash and arbitrary. As this article explains, the tanning tax was rushed into the legislation as a last-minute replacement for a 5% tax on cosmetic surgery (which is probably as much a potential health risk as tanning, one might expect). Why was the 5% tax on cosmetic surgery dropped? Because it was unfair to women, allegedly, or more to the point because cosmetic surgery is a huge economic industry. And, I'd suggest, because medical groups have a way better lobby than the Indoor Tanning Association.

-k

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.....After all, what happens on mainstreet America one day shows up in Hollywood the next, and arrives in Canada the day after.

Frankly, if you are voluntarily seeking and engaging tweet alerts on this degree of American legislative activity and reality television, it has already arrived.

http://money.cnn.com/2010/03/24/news/economy/tanning_tax/

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Frankly, if you are voluntarily seeking and engaging tweet alerts on this degree of American legislative activity and reality television, it has already arrived.

I was speaking of trends, Dick. I think that many fashion trends emerge here because many Canadians emulate what they see on (American) TV.

I don't follow Tweets from either Snooki or McCain, but I caught this one somehow, and it struck my sense of whimsy. Perhaps you'll soon be changing your handle to mccain_snooki_2012. :)

-k

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I was speaking of trends, Dick. I think that many fashion trends emerge here because many Canadians emulate what they see on (American) TV.

If they are emulating Snooki and her Jersey rat pack, it is far worse than I thought.

I don't follow Tweets from either Snooki or McCain, but I caught this one somehow, and it struck my sense of whimsy. Perhaps you'll soon be changing your handle to mccain_snooki_2012. :)

No....I will remain bush_cheney2004 to remind people here that America will make its own choices thank-you-very-much. That some Canadians would make choices based on what they see on Yankee television isn't that surprising I guess...after all...that's why I'm here....watching you watching us.

Edited by bush_cheney2004
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....It`s easier for the government to deal with lobbying than to try to make decisions based on what`s best for the people, best for business or what have you.

It's an easy decision, as this artificially induced melanoma subculture has few supporters outside of the tanning salon industry. The perception is that such people are so narcissistic and self absorbed that they will pay the tax anyway.

As a child, I often wondered about a very high profile Coppertone (tanning lotion) ad campaign that featured a dog pulling on the bathing suit of a child to reveal fish belly "white" buttocks. This as "colored people" were banned from "their" beach! ;)

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It's an easy decision, as this artificially induced melanoma subculture has few supporters outside of the tanning salon industry. The perception is that such people are so narcissistic and self absorbed that they will pay the tax anyway.

As a child, I often wondered about a very high profile Coppertone (tanning lotion) ad campaign that featured a dog pulling on the bathing suit of a child to reveal fish belly "white" buttocks. This as "colored people" were banned from "their" beach! ;)

Yes, I forgot your background here.

The beach banning thing happened in the north, too, where Robert Moses effectively banned busses from coming to Jones Beach.

You seem to think the tax isn`t such a bad thing, though. Are you one of those Republicans who favours `sin taxes`? These are very popular in Canada too.

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Yes, I forgot your background here.

It's not so much my "background" in that way; I spent many years on the south Jersey shores of Wildwood and Cape May, a favorite these days for Canadians as well. This is part of the set for Snooki's world on reality TV.

You seem to think the tax isn`t such a bad thing, though. Are you one of those Republicans who favours `sin taxes`? These are very popular in Canada too.

It is what it is....the tanning salon industry has other issues that spawn many detractors. Few feel sorry for them....another reality television program ("Sunset Tan" on E!) gave us a peek at the California version of this tacky trade.

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Obama is probably preparing the US healthcare system for all those young people of today that are going into sun or tanning salon and turning brown. When they start to hit their mid 40's, how many of them will have skin cancer or pre-skin cancer. I bet if they saw what skin cancer does to a person's skin, it definitely NOT pretty! Your lucky if its caught in time, so it doesn't kill you. I would think McCain would understand the dangers of cancers, since he has/had it!

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Obama is probably preparing the US healthcare system for all those young people of today that are going into sun or tanning salon and turning brown. When they start to hit their mid 40's....

We are already seeing their choices in the way of wrinkled leather skin with tatoos. Give grandma/grandpa a big hug!

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Apparently, this is for real! As part of the Obama health care bill, there is now a 10% tax on tanning beds, which will come into effect in July. The theory is apparently that indoor tanning can cause skin cancer, so people who do so should contribute to the healthcare system to offset the costs their habit will likely cause the system.
I seem to recall a Steyn snipe at the "tanning tax" but Obama's health bill is such a dog's breakfast, God knows what provisions it holds. And I wonder whether it will be implemented in July. The health bill is more of a draft bill than completed legislation. (As an aside, the Quebec Liberal government recently passed a similar omnibus bill and bureaucrats were explaining that if it was incomplete, it wouldn't matter because they could simply apply the rule until proper regulations are enacted. I think governments are so large now that they can't even write proper legislation on time.)
I'd love to see the idea that a tan is an indicator of a healthy active lifestyle just vanish.
If tanning salons become expensive (like cosmetic surgery) you can probably expect the opposite. Like brand labels, they signify that the person is rich.

----

BTW, what kind of parents name their kid Snooki? Isn't that the name of a cat or a small dog?

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We are already seeing their choices in the way of wrinkled leather skin with tatoos. Give grandma/grandpa a big hug!

Having leather looking skin is the least of it. Some pre-cancers start out small, brown crusty spots and if nothing done, they grow from the inside out turning black and growing. I know a guy, who has had two surgeries on his nose and they had to cut away all the skin and graft skin from other parts of his body. The worse was when they took the skin from his forehead and when they were done he look like elephant man, they couldn't detach the skin because they needed it to attach to the nose and grow. Thing was all the damage happened when he was a teen not when he reached his 40's. People really need to be educated about the dark side of tanning salons and too much sun.

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