I got a call (on my cell phone) this morning from a survey group. They said they were “loosely representing the Obama administration’s plan to reform health care and wanted to ask a few questions about using an excise tax on beer to raise money for health care reform.” My interest piqued, I agreed to use my precious prime time cell minutes to complete the survey. Never mind (for now) where and how they got my cell phone records…and why they violated my “Do Not Call” mandate.
The first couple of questions were demographics. How old am I? Have I consumed any sort of alcoholic beverage in the past 7 days? Am I male? Do I make less than $119,000 per annum? Etc. Then they described the premise:
“Since so many Americans lack basic health care or are unable to get the health care they need, we will be asking you a series of questions related to taxation of beer, liquor or wine to pay for health care reform. Ready? Begin.”
Let me interject something here before we start. Yes, a lot of Americans lack basic health care. Just check out this blog. I have trouble with the premise that everyone needs to be provided with free health care. I work for a living and I get my health care from my employer’s group plan. My friend Steve works for a living too and his old company did not provide basic health care. So he bought his own health care insurance from United Health Care. Yes, it was costly for him, but it was something he felt he needed, so he purchased it for around $425 a month for the “bell and whistles no deductible plan.” Those that do not choose to work for a living…well, they do not deserve a damn thing for “free.” Those that collect gov’t welfare checks and choose to sit around all day doing nothing do not need to be given any handouts except for a handout describing the nearest job application center. Those somewhere in the middle…lower income and cannot afford the expensive health care plans…they have options too besides gov’t handouts. Low income health care plans. A modification of lifestyle to be able to afford health care. How can someone who goes to the movies every Friday night, dances at the exclusive clubs and smokes 3 packs a day claim they cannot afford health care? Priorities are all out of whack. How can someone sitting there watching sports on a 52″ LCD TV claim they cannot afford health care? Come on!
Back to the survey. All of the questions danced around this basic premise. Do you support a $3.25 per case or $0.80 per six pack beer tax? Or 240% excise tax on beer and 150% on wine or 20% on hard liquor? Circular questioning and tricks tried to get you to provide an averaged response. Some of the questions provided the option to comment, some did not. Without repeating the whole survey, here are my closing thoughts on this:
- Taxing beer will not raise the $1.5 Trillion that is needed to reform health care (and we all know the bill will be much higher).
- Taxing beer, liquor or wine is really placing a larger tax burden on those than make less than $50,000 per year.
- Yes, alcohol abuse does lead to health concerns which then leads to the need for more medical care. Just ask the boneheads who have had multiple heart surgeries that continue to booze it up in a defiant act of stubbornness toward the grim reaper (who ultimately always wins). But recent estimated put the abusers at about 10% of the people who consume beer. Most do it recreationally. Taxing the other 90% takes money away from those who are already having trouble paying the bills.
- Domestic beer is an American beverage….made with American jobs. Taxing beer led to the loss of 61,000 jobs in the 90’s when beer was taxed. This time around, it is estimated that 96,000 jobs will vanish.
- The gov’t needs to reform everything under the sun before even considering more taxation to solve the health care dilemma.
Here are some unsubstantiated statistics.
The proposed tax on alcohol is estimated to raise $60 billion over the next 10 years. For the beer drinker, the tax on a six pack would increase by .48, wine’s increase would be .48 a bottle and hard liquor would increase by .40 per fifth. Hard liquor was already being taxed at a much higher rate than beer or wine and this proposal would eliminate the beer and wine’s tax advantage.
Last time I checked, $60B < $1.5T.
What we need to do is eliminate all of this welfare and use thatmoney to pay for health care reform. Let me break in with another story. Down the road from me, two Hispanic women started renting. And I am not singling out Hispanic women as I am married to one. So these women were sisters…and they each had several kids, where several is a positive integer greater than 3 and less than or equal to 5. They had a h-u-g-e Chevy Suburban to handle the transport of all these fatherless kids. Neither of the women worked. In fact, they sat on the hood of that Suburban all day long, from morning to 9PM at night…flirting with every guy who tiptoed past their spider web. They were looking for a man…a sugar daddy. And they were living high on the hog. Come to find out…both of them lied like dogs to get hefty checks each month. Not just free cheese and WIC coupons…but dollars rolling in from Uncle Sam. Unemployment, child support, welfare, etc. They knew how to play the system and how to play the men that impregnated them. These types of slumdogs, intrepid readers, are the people who are getting Free Healthcare from our overburdened government. And these are the types spreading chlamydia, gonorrhea and AIDS…those things are squashing the health care industry. And that money is coming from YOU every time you take a sip of beer.
Rumor has it that sugar laced sodas and fast food are next up to be taxed as part of a resurrection of the “sin tax” to pay for all of these lofty fascist and socialist ideas. Get a job…get training…increase your knowledge…pay your own way. Quit waiting for Uncle Sam to tax each and every thing you think, see or do…to pay for the laziness and greed of others.