Congress Has No Clue What Its Doing; Considering Beer Taxcut

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Congress Has No Clue What Its Doing; Considering Beer Taxcut

#1  Postby GT2211 » May 11, 2013 5:08 am

In a time when dysfunctional politicians can't stop being distracted by the giant red herring that is the current budget deficit, a bipartisan sponsored bill has emerged to cut taxes on beer.

So for the record we have members of congress who think:
-We can not afford to send as many kids to preschool and must start cutting kids off ASAP. Even if this means hurting the economic recovery in the short run and the economy as a whole in the long run
-We can afford to reduce tax revenue and cut beer producers some slack. Even if research shows that these taxes reduce consumption which leads to better social outcomes like lower rates of violence.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/won ... -beer-tax/
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Re: Congress Has No Clue What Its Doing; Considering Beer Taxcut

#2  Postby Loren Michael » May 11, 2013 8:08 am

What the fucking fuck. Taxing beer is one of the best measures one can take to prevent crime. Beer taxes are win all around; either it gets extra money for the budgets or it reduces consumption of something that should be consumed less.
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Re: Congress Has No Clue What Its Doing; Considering Beer Taxcut

#3  Postby Matt_B » May 11, 2013 4:25 pm

Yes, but (tax-) FREE BEER!

:beer:
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Re: Congress Has No Clue What Its Doing; Considering Beer Taxcut

#4  Postby UtilityMonster » May 11, 2013 9:47 pm

They are doing precisely the opposite of what we should be doing: doubling or tripling the tax on alcohol.
The question is not, "Can they reason?" nor, "Can they talk?" but rather, "Can they suffer?"
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Re: Congress Has No Clue What Its Doing; Considering Beer Taxcut

#5  Postby Loren Michael » May 12, 2013 5:14 am

Mark Kleiman is the guy people should read in regards to crime and drug policy (which includes alcohol policy):

http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/won ... e-problem/

He also is one of the bloggers here, and he wrote this awesome book.

EDIT: From that first link:

...how much power do the spirits companies have? It seems like they’d fight any price increase.

Kleiman: Much power. The spirits guys are not really important because they’re not the real market. The real problem is beer. The beer guys are powerful. It’s two thirds of the market. Not only do they have heavy campaign contributions to politicians, because they’re state regulated and thus have a stake in state politics, but customers don’t dislike their beer company, so if they get a political message from the beer company, they’ll respond.

Contrast that with tobacco, with a smaller number of lower status users who hate their providers. The cigarette companies have absolutely no luck mobilizing smokers. Smokers hate tobacco companies. It’s easy to say it’s just a tax on responsible drinking until you do the math. It would cost a typical beer drinker $36 a year. The man who’d get hit is the 10 beer a day drinker, and he’s the guy we want to hit.

Taxation is just about the perfect way to control alcohol use. It’s not complete, because you need controls for the real problem drinkers. But if we tripled the alcohol tax it would reduce homicide by 6 percent. And you’re not putting anybody in jail. But instead we spend our time talking about doing marijuana testing for welfare recipients.
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Re: Congress Has No Clue What Its Doing; Considering Beer Taxcut

#6  Postby Panderos » May 12, 2013 2:47 pm

I raise you the British Government (ok maybe not raise, but it's still up there) who have just cancelled their plans to make it law that all cigarettes must be sold in plain packaging. They were convinced on economic grounds that went like this:

Plain packaging will reduce the sales/consumption of cigarettes which will reduce the tax raised from cigarettes.

This is from the same government that mere months ago spent £2.7m for a series of graphic anti-smoking adverts and has spent many £millions more over the years on campaigns to get people to stop smoking.

My thoughts:

Loren Michael wrote:What the fucking fuck.
"A witty saying proves nothing." - Voltaire
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Re: Congress Has No Clue What Its Doing; Considering Beer Taxcut

#7  Postby Ihavenofingerprints » May 14, 2013 7:02 pm

Reducing the consumption of smokes reduces the long term healthcare costs associated with smoking at the expense of the taxpayer. Any short term loss in government tax revenue doesn't come close to covering that.
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