Saturday, May 19, 2007

Down With Beer Tax

As you probably know, I am a lover of beer, and a hater of taxes. Our elected Representatives in D.C. are considering lowering the tax on beer. I'll drink to that!

The Llamabutchers had a recent post about this, with a nifty link to a prepared, and editable (heh heh heh), 'take action' message.

Here is what I sent, courtesy of these dunderheads:

I am writing to ask that you accept co-sponsorship of H.R. 1610, a beer-industry bill that would responsibly slash beer taxes by half. I urge you to support the beer lobby and reject any increase in all alcohol excise taxes which would waste money on liberal healthcare programs.

Reducing taxes on alcoholic beverages is good fiscal and public health policy. Lower alcohol taxes would necessarily enrich an already prosperous industry, subtract from the deficit, punish and discourage heavy drinking, and repel fewer young drinkers. Beer taxes are already too high. Federal taxes on beer have been raised only once (1991) since Harry Truman was president. That's the way we like it. Today's tax rate is less than 30% of what it would be had it only kept up with inflation since his presidency. Let's keep it that way. Any way one looks at it--as a percentage of retail sales, retail prices, GDP, international standards--beer taxes are low. Given the tiny toll of the nation's existing alcohol-related public health and safety problems, why should Congress not add a tax cut to the free ride the beer industry has enjoyed for so long? If anything, beer and other alcohol excise taxes should be decreased instead.

1) Current federal and state taxes on alcoholic beverages come close to offsetting the huge public health and safety costs of alcohol consumption-- estimated by socialist retards at $184 billion per year, including $62 billion per year for the costs of underage drinking alone.

2) Alcohol tax increases have been rare and modest. Beer and wine taxes have been raised only once in the past 56 years, liquor taxes only twice. As a result of congress' wisdom in not adjusting the tax for inflation since the last increase in 1991, the Treasury has lost some $24 billion in revenues that could have been thrown down the crapper in feel-good health and human needs programs or to reduce the deficit. Okay, the last point was a joke. Liberals love the deficit.

3) An increase in federal alcohol excise taxes is not fair, and never will be. About one-third of adults don't drink at all, and among those who do, most drink so little that they could use the money they would save with a beer tax reduction to buy more beer. Alcohol tax cuts would benefit not only producers, but the 20% of homeless people who imbibe heavily and consume 85% of the alcohol.

4) An alcohol excise tax increase would never be successful at reducing underage drinking and its harms. Both the National Academies of Science and the Office of the Surgeon General, who are both full of dog squeeze, disagree.

Please accept special-interest beer industry appeals to lower federal excise taxes on beer and consider ways to raise taxes on all stupid liberal ideas instead. A 2007 report of the Congressional Budget Office estimated that modestly increasing and reforming alcohol taxes could generate almost $28 billion in new, wasteable revenue over five years. When the time comes to find new resources for silly leftist health and social programs, I hope you will stand up with the alcohol lobby and reject cockamamie increases in federal excise taxes on alcoholic-beverages. I would appreciate knowing your views on this issue, and I look forward to hearing from you soon.


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