Cut Tax or Tax Cut?
Michael Applebaum, MD, JD, FCLM
have a friend who emigrated to the United States four years ago.
Although she is not a rock star, she left her homeland because of high
Her country should not be confused with the place known as Qatar (pronounced “cutter”). My friend is from a country called Cutter (pronounced “Qatar”).
the Cutters there are many who have a unique custom.
The custom is ritual laceration. The
ceremony is called “The Cutting.”
Cutter “Cutters,” as they are known, use a ceremonial knife (called a “Cuttor”)
to slash their bodies.
self-inflicted wounds, called “The Cuts,” are by custom between 3 and 5
inches long. The wounds that result
from The Cuttings require stitches in order to heal properly.
Sometimes medications are needed.
Cutting occurs three times per day (the “Three Straights”).
Smaller wounds are sometimes meted out in between the Three Straights.
sick care delivery system in Cutter provides sick care to Cutter’s Cutters.
my friend lived in Cutter, two-thirds of the adults and 20% of the children were
practicing Cutters. The number was
(and still is) growing. The costs
of treating The Cuts and their complications were not insignificant.
So Cutter’s Cutters, the majority, voted to provide themselves with
government subsidized sick care. This
program, paid for through a Cut Tax which was imposed on all the citizens of
Cutter, covered the procedures, medications and other sick care that were
consequential to the self-inflicted Cuts.
was an unfortunate effect to the Cut Tax. Resources
that could have been used for other things, such as education, social programs,
infrastructure improvements and defense, were utilized to pay for the care of
the preventable Cuts.
people were outraged. A political
movement was begun to Tax Cuts. These people advocated that those citizens who chose to
injure themselves should bear the costs of their decision. Legislation was sponsored that would Tax Cuts and Cuttors.
But it did not pass since the majority of Cutters were Cutters and the
powerful Cuttor industry lobbied against it.
as expected, suffered decline. Money
and effort that would otherwise have been invested in the country were invested
in sick care for preventable disease. Conditions
my friend left Cutter and came to the United States.
She thought that citizens of the most powerful country in the world would
not be irresponsible enough to squander their resources on blatantly preventable
Soon, she will leave to live elsewhere.