SACRAMENTO – Joe Six-pack will have to pay a lot more to get his buzz on if Assemblyman Jim Beall has his way.
The San Jose Democrat on Thursday proposed raising the beer tax by $1.80 per six-pack, or 30 cents per can or bottle. The current tax is 2 cents per can. That’s an increase of about 1,500 percent.
Beall said the tax would generate $2 billion a year to fund health care services, crime prevention and programs to prevent underage drinking and addiction.
“The people who use alcohol should pay for part of the cost to society, just like we’ve accepted that concept with tobacco,” Beall said.
Well, then, let’s get all the attorneys general together and sue the beer industry. Force them to reach a settlement.
NO, NO! Just kidding. That’s just the reductio ad absurdum for the logic behind this tax-hungry attack on a single industry AND on the consumers and taxpayers who enjoy its product.
And, unfortunately, this punitive, jobs-killing mindset isn’t so absurdum. From the Ellsworth-American in Maine comes a doctor’s public policy prescription to fight obesity:
Tax unhealthy foods with funds going towards either environmental health improvements such as sidewalks or offsetting the higher price of fruits and vegetables. Could tax sugar sweetened items per gram. Ban sales of whole milk in stores. Legislate zoning in school areas to require businesses to have a minimum percent of sales be healthy foods.
Because whole milk is a gateway drug?
The totalitarian impulse appears way too often among public-health advocates.
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