Speed Reads

a drama in three acts

Last night Republicans and Democrats debated tanning, ice cream, and taxing the sun

The Committee on Ways and Means was hard at work debating the Republican health-care plan in an 18-hour session Wednesday, and before approving the bill along party lines, the representatives tackled tough questions like if the sun should be taxed.

Rep. Jason Smith (R-Mo.) raised the issue on Wednesday, slamming the Affordable Care Act's tanning tax for allegedly targeting women specifically. "What I found on Google is roughly 80 percent of who's taxed is women," said Smith. "Today is International Women's Day. It's interesting no one is bringing that up."

Smith added that if health was the concern behind the tanning tax, the government should also tax ice cream. And besides — "if you look at the number one cause of skin cancer, it's not tanning beds," Smith said. "Do a Google search. It's the sun. So I've noticed the [Democrats] over here haven't found too many taxes they dislike. So why have they not proposed a tax on the sun?"

A Democratic congressman interrupted Smith's mic drop to try to explain the health concerns that prompted the tanning tax in the first place. "Why did you not look at a sun tax, because that's the number one cause of skin cancer?" Smith asked.

"I'll tell you why," replied Rep. Sander Levin (D-Mich.). "Because it's a little hard to tax the sun."

Watch your tax dollars at work below. Jeva Lange