Saturday, April 12, 2008

CA Assemblyman Beall's Beer Tax

Assemblyman Jim Beall has made a proposal to tax your beer. You can read more about it at the Mercury News website.

If he has his way, the beer tax would go from 2 cents to $1.80 per six-pack. I'll use the author's math here to state that this is "an increase of about 1,500 percent". 1,500 percent! Of course this doesn't count our wonderful recycling tax, also known as the CRV. Aren't their slimy fingers deep enough into our wallets as it is? Apparently not.

While I don't agree with the tax, I could get over it a little easier if he had some solid reasoning. Here is his explanation: "The people who use alcohol should pay for part of the cost to society, just like we've accepted that concept with tobacco." Yes, he said just like we've accepted that concept with tobacco. What kind of reasoning is that? Just because we have accepted something bogus doesn't mean we should use that same bogus reasoning to support our outlandish crusades. I will save my thoughts on the tobacco tax for a later date, but suffice it to say that pipe and cigar smokers should not be lumped in with the strain on society garbage that the California government is spewing to appease the likes of Barbara Boxer and Dianne Feinstein.

I marvel sometimes at how low we set the bar for a minimal intelligence standard when it comes to our elected officials. It goes up through the federal government as well, but we sure pick some winners in California, don't we? Beall doesn't stop there though. Want to know his reasoning for taxing beer? Other states tax beer at a higher rate than California. That's right, everybody else is doing it, so we should too. As if this particular portion of his argument wasn't bad enough, he again goes the route of using an unjust situation to validate his reasoning. Check this out: "Beall said he's targeting beer because his research showed that California undertaxes brew relative to other states, which he said isn't the case with wine and spirits." So, since we already stick it to the wine and spirits industries, let's make certain we don't miss anybody. Why not repeal those taxes and make the beer industry's current rate the universal rate? I doubt you will hear him arguing for that.

Apparently Beall has had some success in this area before, and is trying to make this his cause. He managed to raise the price of Mike's Hard Lemonade and the like, taxing them at a hard alcohol rate, rather than the beer rate. Since when is a malt-beverage hard alcohol? Beall's work will raise the price of a six-pack by $2.

According to the article, this plan doesn't stand much of a chance. At least someone in Sacramento has their head on straight. I say it's time we tell Sacramento that this kind of behavior is not acceptable. We need to stand up for the rights of all of California's citizens, not just the wealthy professional liberals who want to spend more money on bogus stuff.

As an afterthought, I will mention that I am not much of a beer drinker. This article fired me up on the sheer stupidity of Assemblyman Beall alone. I am tired of one group of people thinking it is fair to tax another group of people in some sort of back-handed attempt to convert them to your way of thinking.

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