Sofa Tax Would Be Good for the Children, Says Health Group

Flanked by poster-sized images of Fat Albert and Babe Ruth, the American Mendacity Association (AMA) today launched a new initiative for a federal tax on sofas and lounge chairs.

Following its proposal for a tax on sodas sweetened with corn syrup (the "crack cocaine" of sweeteners), the organization's board vowed to do more to "protect our children from the ravages of relaxation."

A new study sponsored by the AMA finds that 384 percent of all children are obese by age five, and most experts agree that -- just behind plentiful food and the division of labor -- the third most dangerous contributor to this epidemic is comfortable seating. According to the study, whereas 100 years ago there was only one lounge chair or sofa for every three households, thanks to technology and productivity there are now four forms of inexpensive, comfortable seating per house. This, says Harriet Hydra, president of the AMA Division of Pleasure Elimination, creates a deadly atmosphere that "inspires children to sit or lay back, and turn all those extra calories to fat."

"We all pay when people relax," said Hydra, citing "negative externalities" imposed on other citizens. Wellness providers, she said, see higher instances of obesity, diabetes, nail-biting, and insanity in children who sit or recline for longer than three hours a month on comfortable sofas. "The epidemic of obesity places a strain on our public health-care system, and hence on all of us. With a 1-cent-per-second tax on sofa sitting, we could not only change peoples' behavior, we could also generate up to $1.5 billion a year, money that could be used wisely by many of my physician friends who are ready to start up new 'sofa counseling' clinics," Hydra said.

Given the respect afforded the AMA and wellness providers in general, such a bill would stand a good chance of passing the U.S. House and Senate. Max Quartlepleen, head of the watchdog group American Scientists Who Are Extremely Concerned, added, "We're extremely concerned. We're here to fight Big Sofa."

Asked by a reporter why the negative externalities of socialized medicine should be forced on free individuals against their wills, thus opening the door to higher costs, price caps on medical services, and more government regulation of private affairs, habits, and living conditions, Quartlepleen replied: "I don't know which lobby group sent you here, whether it was Serta, Sealy, or Stearns and Foster, but buddy, we don't need loudmouths like you at public forums in America. So why don't you just take your sleep-number attitude and get outta here?!"

After the news conference Hydra was asked if she saw any impediments to passage of the AMA proposal. "Well, common sense is a problem," she said. "But we're working on that in association with the National Education Association. We could also stand to curtail the power of free thinkers and those who follow the U.S. Constitution. A lot has been done in those areas, but we're not out of the woods yet."

When asked what the AMA would do if its proposal did not become law, Hydra said that the organization has an alternate plan. "If we can't get a tax to protect our kids and wallets from this deadly scourge, we will work for better regulation of sofas, and health initiatives such as time shockers and spring spikes, to get people on their feet at regular intervals," she said. Many congressmen have openly expressed support for such measures.

As he was led away by authorities, the reporter who had disrupted the conference asked Hydra what she was going to do about things like books, music, films, and conversation, since they all tend to inspire periods of sedentary, fat-building inactivity. "We're working on that," she said.

Source (Satire, of course)


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