Tattoo Blog

Art that adorns the flesh…

Uncle Sam Wants You…To Pay For Tattoo Removal

March 15th, 2009 by

It’s pretty surprising to me that with all the recession talk and money being scarce and jobs being non-existent and what have you, that the US government is actually setting aside money to pay for tattoo removals.  No kidding, Congress’ $410 billion spending bill has been sent to US President Obama and among the nation’s most pressing costs is $200,000 for tattoo removal in the state of California.

Now, I don’t know what any of you out there think about this, but speaking as someone who lives in a country with nationalized health care, I can assure you that this sort of thing would not even be covered here.  It would be termed a “cosmetic procedure” and the cost would come out of your own pocket.  Am I wrong in assuming that people shouldn’t have to pay for other people to have their tattoos removed?

Part of what irritates me about giving a clinic money to remove tattoos, is that they are using some of the money to “educate” students at local schools about the perils of being tattooed.  Then, as if that isn’t bad enough, the organizers of this clinic use the excuse that people want jobs but they can’t get jobs because of their tattoos, so they have to come and get them removed.  Huh?  That to me is not the problem of tattoos, that is the problem of a society that puts far too much emphasis on the ridiculous notion that tattoos are somehow a gauge of a person’s work ethic, skill and moral fiber.  Besides, aside from neck, face and hand tattoos, pretty much every other tattoo can be covered up if need be.  You could work a  9-5 desk job, wear a suit every day and still be covered in tattoos without anyone knowing.  So I’m sorry, the excuse that people can’t get jobs because they are tattooed can be true in some cases, but for the most part I’d have to say it’s a pretty weak excuse to ask for $200,000 worth of tax payers money.

True, the article does go on to say that 90% percent of those coming to the clinic to have their tattoos removed are gang members, but even if that is an accurate statistic, I still don’t think the general public should have to pay for it.  $200,000 could probably be better spent in areas where gangs are prevalent, educating youths about the medical danger and stigma that could result from joining a gang.

Am I wrong?

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