The Question

Do you agree or disagree with the following statement? The government should add taxes to unhealthy foods to improve people’s health.

The Sample Essay

This question and essay came from my good friend Kathy Spratt, from House of TOEFL.  Contact her if you are looking for high-quality TOEFL lessons!

There are many perspectives on whether or not the government should tax certain foods that have led to some fascinating discussions. There are certainly people who feel that the government is entitled to tax unhealthy food, and that this  is the correct course of action. However, I personally feel that the government doesn’t have the right to impose these taxes, for reasons I will explore in the following essay. 

To begin with, it’s not fair to tax unhealthy foods, because there are many other activities that are not taxed, and they aren’t healthy either.  Specifically, many people have bad habits and do not pay more for them.  For example, when I was in college, my roommates drank a lot of alcohol. They consumed beer, wine, and vodka every weekend. They only paid the price tag on the alcohol, and didn’t pay an alcohol tax. Furthermore, as we all know, drinking alcohol is bad for your liver. It can lead to long-term problems such as cirrhosis of the liver, which negatively impacts a person’s lifespan. It can also lead to horrific accidents, such as when someone drinks and then drives and may crash their vehicle and hurt others permanently. For this reason, it’s clear to me that it isn’t equitable to tax one harmful substance and not the other. 

What’s more, the government often wastes tax money which goes to activities not everyone supports. It’s clear that the government is a very wasteful institution, so we should not give them more of our hard-earned money. For instance, the government takes forty percent of my income every year in state and federal taxes, yet I do not see any benefits from them. For instance, there are many potholes on my street that have not been filled. However, the government pays for a very sophisticated military while some people feel this money should go to health care. In addition, the government spends a lot of money to pay its workers. Nancy Pelosi, the Speaker of the House, has become a wealthy woman from tax money. She even has a refrigerator that costs twenty thousand dollars. These examples have caused me to conclude that not adding any additional taxes is more suitable for most people, even though some may disagree. 

In conclusion, I do not agree that additional taxes on food are a good idea.  I feel this way not only because there are other products that are not taxed,  but also the government is extremely wasteful.  I have had enough life experiences with this issue to feel strongly about my opinion, although I understand others may feel just as strongly in the other direction.






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