Tag Archives: alcohol

Taxachusetts Voters Repeal Alcohol Sin Tax

No more gratuitous 'tips' to the nanny state.

No more gratuitous 'tips' to the nanny state.

In case you missed it, Massachusetts voters on Tuesday successfully repealed the 6.25% sin tax placed on alcohol, beer and wine last year. Nanny state advocates are now whining that the state will lose about $110 million in annual revenue that would have been funneled to anti-alcohol advocacy programs and organizations.

Jonathan D. Scott, president and executive director of Boston’s Victory Programs Inc., is upset that his organization will no longer be getting a piece of the alcohol sin tax pie:

For years, the sale of alcohol in Massachusetts has been treated as a necessity along with clothing and food, despite the serious harm it can create in people’s lives. This tax served as recognition that alcohol, like cigarettes, should not be considered a necessity, and created a fair way to fund important services.

Do you find anything “fair” about forcing responsible adult beverage consumers to foot the bill for rehabilitating those who abuse alcohol? Sound-off on Scott’s pro-sin tax/anti-alcohol diatribe in the Boston Globe’s comment section.

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Feds Say We’re All Binge Drinkers Now

The CDC doesn't want you to end-up like granny after 5 beers.

The CDC doesn't want you to end-up like granny after 5 beers.

Refusing to simply take a report from the State-Run Media about America’s growing “binge drinking” epidemic for its word, one enterprising blogger decided to research the government-provided ‘facts’ and found out it’s the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) that’s more than a little loopy and totally drunk with power:

The most recent way our government defines binge drinking is “[f]our or more drinks within a few hours for a woman and five or more for a man.” That actually narrows yet again, as recently as the last few years it’s been “five or more drinks in a row,” which tends to imply more speed. Adding “within a few hours” means even drinking at a leisurely pace makes you a binge drinker. I wrote more about this shift last year in a post, Inventing Binge Drinking.

The CDC video further claims that “half of all alcohol consumed by adults in the US is binge drinking.” Wow, that’s pretty remarkable, especially if you consider that according to the DOJ only 54% of adults drink alcohol. We’re now a nation of binge drinkers. You’d think a society where 1 in 2 people drinking is on a bender would be more noticeable …

Naturally, they propose all the same old chestnuts to “fix” the problems they just created by inflating the statistics. Nothing new is ever proposed. Of course, none of the proposals ever work, either, wherever they’ve been implemented. Here’s the CDC recommendations.

  1. Increase alcohol taxes
  2. Close places that sell alcohol, reducing their number
  3. Close the remaining outlets earlier
  4. Enforce the laws that prohibit underage drinking

Read the rest of the article to learn how big government is inflating binge drinking statistics to “demonize alcohol manufacturers and criminalize law-abiding people,” as the Brockston Beer Bulletin’s Jay Brooks reports.

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School Sends Kids to Drug Rehab for Drinking Soda

School's zero tolerance policy towards bad jokes lands kids in drug rehab.

School's zero tolerance policy towards bad jokes lands kids in drug rehab.

A dozen children pretending to drink alcohol were suspended from Wake Forest Rolesville Middle School school in Raleigh, N.C., despite school officials not falling for the awkward joke. Once it was determined that the fake booze was just soda, the kids were disciplined as if they had brought hard alcohol to school.

One parent told the local ABC News affiliate that his daughter received a “10-day suspension and was told to attend a drug program that costs $450.” That’s the standard punishment given to kids caught violating the Wake County Schools’ “Narcotics, Alcoholic Beverages, Controlled Substances, Chemical and Drug Paraphernalia” policy.

Wake County Schools policy 6429 says:

No student shall possess, use, distribute, sell, possess with intent to distribute or sell, or conspire or attempt to distribute or sell, or be under the influence of any narcotic drug, hallucinogenic drug, amphetamine, barbiturate, marijuana, anabolic steroid, other controlled substance, any alcoholic beverage, malt beverage, fortified wine, other intoxicating liquor, drug paraphernalia, counterfeit substance, any unauthorized prescription drug, or any other chemicals or products with the intention of bringing about a state of exhilaration, euphoria, or of otherwise altering the student’s mood or behavior.

School officials declined to comment to ABC News on the case, but even if the kids were charged with possessing “counterfeit” alcohol, the soda in their bottles could in no way — intentionally or unintentionally — brought about “a state of exhilaration, euphoria, or of otherwise altering the student’s mood or behavior.”

Punish the kids for playing a bad joke about a serious matter on their teachers, but pretending they’re drug addicts, suspending them for 10 days, and sending them to rehab seems a bit much. What are your thoughts?

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Idaho Wants Smokers and Drinkers to Pay for Budgetary Indiscretions

Potato head bureaucrats want to loot smokers and drinkers.

Potato head bureaucrats want to loot smokers and drinkers.

Idaho bureaucrats are struggling to provide continued funding for health and welfare, education and the state’s prison system, so they’re hoping smokers and drinkers will help pay the bills.

“Our reserves are gone,” said Senate Finance Committee Chairman Dean Cameron (R-Rupert). “We can’t expect more federal stimulus.”

Sensing desperation, anti-smoking advocates are telling lawmakers they can pull-in a quick $46 million in revenue with a $1 per pack cigarette sin tax increase. House Minority Leader and wordsmith John Rusche (D-Lewiston) managed to pass-off the penalty tax targeting smokers as “another smoking prevention tool [for kids].”

Rep. Lenore Hardy Barrett (R-Challis) scolded greedy big government lawmakers for budgetary indiscretions in the past and wanting smokers and drinkers to pay for their mistakes today.

“Boil it down: stop spending and lower taxes,” Barrett advises fellow legislators.  She defended smokers and drinkers targeted by sin taxes, stating, “that’s their choice and they’re not breaking the law.”

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Congress to Decide on Lowering Drinking Age for US Troops

Give Radar a beer!

Give Radar a beer!

According to Rep. Jack Kingston (R-Ga.), top military leaders “unofficially” support lowering the legal drinking age to 18 at on-base watering holes. Drinking a few cold ones with the big boys could help relieve stress among teenagers serving in combat zones, he said.

Kingston legislation’s that would lower the drinking age has bi-partisan support and opposition, reports The Florida Times-Union. Military leaders are hesitant to voice their opinions out of fear that they might upset lawmakers who are ultimately charged with regulating the drinking age among servicemen.

Kingston said he would like to get an “official opinion” from military leaders before Congress votes on his legislation that could have potential drawbacks, as well as benefits, that might not have been considered by civilian lawmakers.

“If you are responsible enough to be willing to sacrifice your life for your country, you should be able to drink alcohol,” said Sheila McNeill, the Navy League’s former national president. “They should not have to sneak around and do it.”

What are your thoughts? Should Congress lower the drinking age of men and women who are old enough to sacrifice their own lives in defense of our nation’s freedom?

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Court Rules Ladies Can Still Get Drink Specials

UPDATE (09/10/2010): The Second Court of Appeals rejected a frivolous lawsuit Wednesday challenging the constitutionality of “Ladies’ Night” drink specials. Read more.

The following article was originally reported by NSLF on July 2, 2010.

Bureaucrats Say “Ladies’ Nights” Violate Human Rights Law

All the ladies in the house say, “Boo!” No more free drinks for you, thanks to some busy-body bureaucrats in Minnesota who have declared “ladies’ nights” at bars and night clubs illegal.

According to a report from Minnesota Public Radio earlier this month, establishments that hold “ladies’ night” promotions are “discriminating against male patrons.”

The promotions, which offer female customers free or discounted drinks, violate the Minnesota Human Rights Act, department officials said in a statement.

“It is the Department of Human Rights’ position that ladies’ night is illegal. Gender-based pricing violates the Human Rights Act,” Commissioner James Kirkpatrick said.

Makes you wonder if the Human Rights Commission will target gay and lesbian watering holes for what some might perceive to be exclusionary practices that don’t exactly encourage heterosexuals to patronize their establishments.

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Russia Offers Conflicting Messages on Smoking and Drinking

Just say no to vodka? Russian citizens are confused by mixed messages from big government.

Just say no to vodka? Russian citizens are confused by mixed messages from big government.

Russian bureaucrats are confusing the masses with their mixed messages about the benefits and drawbacks of smoking and drinking. Reports out of Moscow this week show efforts to increase consumption of booze and smokes to spur economic growth through sin taxes, as well as a crackdown on late-night vodka sales to prevent citizens from killing themselves.

“If you smoke a pack of cigarettes, that means you are giving more to help solve social problems such as boosting demographics, developing other social services and upholding birth rates,” Russia’s finance minister Alexei Kudrin said Wednesday. “People should understand: Those who drink, those who smoke are doing more to help the state.”

Also on Wednesday, Moscow banned late-night sales of vodka and other spirits in an effort to curb crime and enhance public health. Russian President Dmitry Medvedev last year declared alcoholism a “national disaster” and ordered a series of anti-alcohol laws be enacted to save the public from itself.

Medvedev believes alcohol is responsible for the nation’s declining population due to violent crime and alcohol-related deaths, hence the draconian measures.

And, in related news about big government bureaucrats overseas trying to legislate what they believe is best for citizens, Greece is officially banning smoking.

Touting the slogan “Cut smoking, gain life,” Greek officials have imposed a nationwide smoking ban in enclose public and private workplaces, as well as restaurants and cafes.

First-time offenders of the smoking ban will be given a warning and placed in a national database. No word on whether the Greek government will tie its smokers database to health care and health insurance databases, but one can only assume the punishment for getting caught lighting-up doesn’t stop with a slap on the wrist or a fine.

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