Wednesday, February 7, 2007

Beer Taxes: Good Sense from Oregon

The editorial page of the Albany, Ore. Democrat-Herald had a good statement about the proposed beer tax increase in that state today. Here's the whole thing:

http://www.dhonline.com/articles/2007/02/07/news/opinion/5edi01_beer.txt

Here's the heart of it:

The two Democrats want the beer tax raised to 10 cents a drink, and they
call this a “malt beverage cost recovery fee.” The proceeds, $60 million a year,
would pay for treatment and prevention of alcoholism and drug addiction and
dealing with many related problems.
During the average week most of us swill gallons of soft drinks. After all
those colas, a beer at the end of the day comes as a welcome relief. And what
does that have to do with addiction or any of the other pathologies the beer tax
sponsors want the state to pay for? We are not causing those costs, so any fee
to pay for them and imposed on us is not a “cost recovery” but a cost
shift.


Bingo. Why don't more people get this? Raising taxes on beer or wine or spirits to either pay for alcoholism problems or cut into underage drinking punishes people who haven't done anything wrong. It's like charging you a fine whenever you drive your car because you might speed.

1 comment:

Harry Spade said...

I'd venture that it's more like charging you a fine whenever you drive your car because someone else was speeding.

Yet one more reason why I vote Libertarian whenever possible.