Aso complains his taxes shouldn’t be used to fund health costs of ‘lazy’


Finance Minister Taro Aso said Monday it’s unfair that his taxes go toward financing the health costs of lazy people.

“I’m 73, going on 74, and I’ve never had a long stay in hospital,” Aso said to an Upper House committee, responding to a question about the social welfare system.

“It’s not fair that the tax I pay covers all the medical expenses of slouches,” he said, adding that he recognizes some people are born with poor health.

Aso’s comments come as the government seeks to rein in welfare costs to tame the world’s largest debt burden as part of Prime Minster Shinzo Abe’s efforts to revive the economy.

Aso has triggered controversy with public remarks in the past. Last August, he backpedaled when pressed on remarks about the Nazi regime offering a model for constitutional reform, saying he was misunderstood.

That January, he appeared to question the use of medical resources to prolong the lives of the elderly.

  • 151E

    And I don’t like my taxes going towards the salaries of callous, self-important blow-hards; but unfortunately we can’t individually choose just where or how our taxes are spent.

    • phu

      Yep. I imagine most Japanese could pick at least one of their government’s recent jaunts — taunting other nations at length, unpopular constitutional revisionism, territorial squabbles over barren rocks — and more reasonably question the wisdom of the expenditures involved. But then no one cares about that, oddly enough.

    • You could choose individually where those dollars are spent if you kept them and were not taxed at all.

      • Bruce Chatwin

        and if my aunt had balls, she’d be…

  • zer0_0zor0

    The more times this jackass puts his foot in his mouth, the more enlightened the Japanese people become. Hopefully they will reach full wakefulness soon and vote these crustaceans from the Meiji Oligarchy out of office.

    • Mike Wyckoff

      I couldn’t have said it better myself. Unfortunately the majority of his supporters are now hard-of-hearing.

  • Steve McClure

    God forbid that Mr. Aso should suffer a long-term, debilitating illness that causes him excruciating pain and suffering.

  • Stephen Kent

    Well, I can see his point given that he is a self-made man who has worked himself up from nothing and has never received any benefits from the government… oh wait, no, didn’t daddy’s company (that Mr. Aso would go on to be the president of) receive benefits in the form of prisoners of war to use as forced labor in his mines? I suppose those labourers themselves might have had health problems in later life, but it was probably their own fault for being lazy and doing forced labour instead of something more honest and profitable, such as diamond mining in Sierra Leone (which Mr. Aso was involved in).

    Whenever I hear this kind of absurd comment from a top ranking official or minister I really lament the passiveness of the Japanese population. Such officials should be recognised as the fools they are and forced out of office by a massive backlash every time they make ill-informed, discriminatory, abusive, or elitist comments against the people they are supposed to be representing.

  • Just force them to exercise. You already force them to pay taxes. What’s the difference?

  • raga

    `yeah the rich preaching about been healthy. perhaps the good food and comfortable living contributed to that? Unfortunately most people don’t have his benefits. Greed shall be his undoing.