There's been much debate in recent months over the best way to reduce the nation's deficit, but one local doctor says he believes sin taxes could help solve our fiscal crisis and promote healthier lifestyles.
Michael Joyner, an anesthesiologist at the Mayo Clinic and an expert on exercise physiology, recently wrote about the financial and behavioral benefits of sin taxes:
One of the major arguments against sin taxes is that they fall disproportionately on the poor. However, the counter argument is that the positive behavioral changes associated with these taxes would probably disproportionately benefit the poor in terms of improved health over time and more money to spend on other things. This is especially important because policies that promote positive behavioral health changes in the poor have been difficult to implement and results have been marginal in many cases.