Congressman Ted Yoho: Obamacare Sun Tanning Bed Tax Is 'Racist'

| by Jonathan Wolfe
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American politicians consistently produce some of the best headlines around. This latest gem comes from Florida Rep. Ted Yoho (R).

Speaking to John Boehner, Yoho said the new 10% tax on sun tanning beds, yes, the same tanning beds known to cause cancer, was a “racist tax.”

“I had a little fun with Boehner and told him about the sun tanning tax," Yoho said. "[Boehner] goes, 'I didn't know it was in there,' and I said, 'Yes, it's a 10 percent tax.' He goes, 'Well, that's not that big of a deal.' I said, 'It's a racist tax.'"

Yoho’s support for his claim? A “very dark skinned” Indian doctor once told him that he didn’t go tanning because he didn't need to. 

“So therefore it's a racist tax," Yoho explained. "And I thought I might need to get to a sun tanning booth so I can come out and say I've been disenfranchised, because I got taxed because of the color of my skin. As crazy as that sounds, that's what the left does right. By God, if it works for them, it'll work for us."

Poor, poor light-skinned tanners of the world.

Yoho isn’t the only one who, albeit a bit sarcastically, feels this way about the tanning tax.

Former Florida Rep. Allen West, an African-American, echoed Yoho's sentiments.

“You want to talk about something that's really racist? They have a tanning tax. I'm not tanning," West said.

Conservative radio host Doc Thompson also added fuel to the racist tanning tax fire.

"I now too feel the pain of racism. Racism has been dropped at my front door and the front door of all lighter-skinned Americans," Thompson said. "Why would the President of the United States of America -- a man who says he understands racism, a man who has been confronted with racism -- why would he sign such a racist law?"

One day, Obamacare is criticized for subsidizing poor health choices. The next, it’s criticized for taxes designed to prevent poor health choices. I guess it’s damned if you do, damned if you don’t.

Here’s another take on the issue: Not only white people tan. I know people of European, Arab, and Asian decent that all enjoy the skin-degrading benefits of fake baking. Also, tanning causes an estimated 170,000 cases of skin cancer a year. Could this possibly be a tax on cancer-causing activities rather than race?

Nah, never mind. The racist route makes for a better headline anyways. 

Sources: Huffington Post, Washington Post