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Alcohol drinkers beware – you’re in for a scare [by Will]


It’s probably cliche for me to say that nothing free is free, but that doesn’t make it any less true.

Which is why when Obama spoke of “free” health care, a rational thought would be to ask where the money comes from to pay for it. Well that’s a question even Obama doesn’t have the answer to. But rest assured, there are ideas storming in our government’s proverbial brain storm.

One proposal? A beer tax.

As if buying a beer wasn’t expensive enough at bars or restaurants in the city, let alone sporting events where buying a beer requires a high credit score, the one moderately affordable way to buy some brew is at a small, local liquor store. But even then you’re already faced with a tax plus a deposit fee. Deposit fee, AKA an errand to get your 30 cents back. The proposed tax would additionally raise the prices on a six pack of beer by 48 cents. Not to 48 cents, mind you, 48 cents plus the current 33 already in effect. Sure, that’s small change, but by the time you get to a case of beer, a 145 percent tax raise comes to about two dollars. And if you aren’t a beer drinker, but enjoy the occasional glass of wine or a mixed drink, don’t think you’ve been overlooked.

The tax on hard liquor would see a 19 percent increase per fifth, and wine would go up by a whopping 233 percent per bottle. What if you’re just a kid, or if you don’t drink alcohol at all? Well if you haven’t already heard, wrap your head around this, head-wrapper… there has already been a proposed tax on soft drinks. But apparently not diet soft drinks. Damned if I know why high fructose needs to be taxed, but cancer-causing artificial sugars don’t. Probably because people who are able to force down diet soda are already punished enough.

But back on point — doesn’t taxing alcohol to ultimately help the poor people who can’t afford health care seem backwards? Alcoholics aren’t going to stop buying alcohol because of the inconvenience of having to pay more. They’re just going to have less money to spend on other necessities. That’s how dependency works.
So will the ends justify the means? Will everyone get their “free” health care if we pass this beer tax? The expected revenue the tax proposes is about $60 billion over 10 years. Wow, that’s a lot of drunks. But not enough. The 50 million uninsured Americans need about $1.5 trillion over 10 years to pay for their “free” health care. Maybe if we tax hookers, food stamps, public urination, and sitting on sidewalks, we’ll be a little closer.



On record – that’s a seltzer in my hand. Which will remain untaxed.

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