Sunday, December 4th, 2016

Cold brew

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The next time Frank Ryan wants to propose a tax increase, maybe he should have a drink instead.

I have nothing against the beer industry or beer drinkers. But the question needs to be asked: When is this very profitable industry that can afford multimillion-dollar dueling ads going to pay its fair share in Wisconsin?

It’s been about 37 years (1969) since the last increase in the beer tax in this state. Can any other industry make that claim?

The fact is, some enlightened states have increased taxes on beer and liquor to help remedy the billions of dollars in damage and pain that over-indulging has caused. Wisconsin, stretched beyond breaking in critical rehabilitative services, needs to join them and help relieve the burden on taxpayers.

He has nothing against the beer industry or beer drinkers, but unless you support his tax increase for his pet cause you’re not enlightened, i.e. you’re stupid.

That an industry has managed to go 37 years without having the tax raised on it is not an argument that it should have taxes raised now. It’s an argument that for the last 37 years too many other industries have had taxes raised on their products.

And just how does raising taxes on a product from an industry that still employs brewery workers across the state “help relieve the burden on taxpayers”? But as we read later, Ryan isn’t really interested in helping out the taxpayers.

Are “regressive” taxes bad if they help pay for needed services, such as alcohol addiction rehabilitation? The answer for many of us, even beer-drinking friends, is no.

By his own admission, Ryan is even willing to disproportionately tax the poor if it funds his pet cause.

It’s enough to drive a man to drink.

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