Stephen Simon and Chelsea Becker: Tax alcohol, save lives

  • Article by: STEPHEN SIMON and CHELSEA BECKER
  • Updated: March 27, 2010 - 5:22 PM

A dime a drink could give Minnesota the money it needs for DWI enforcement and other costs.

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mr_jason_kMar. 27, 10 5:56 PM

If you put this in at the excise tax level, distributors are responsible for it and have huge pushback on raising prices from retailers - plus the cost is hidden from consumers. Put it in at the retail sales tax level where drinkers can see it on the receipt when buying a drink, a six-pack, or a bottle.

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davehougMar. 27, 10 6:08 PM

This would be an excellent 'health-impact fee'. The fear of getting caught has more deterent than adding time to a sentence.

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jackthemackMar. 27, 10 6:42 PM

What would not be reasonable is to tack ever-increasing, exorbitant taxes on alcoholic beverages in an attempt to price people out of the ability to purchase this product, as has been done with cigarettes. I've never doubted that the success of this strategy with cigarettes will embolden those who wish to "nanny" the rest of us. A financial bludgeon is a very effective tool. How long before such taxes and "user fees" on certain foods to start cropping up? That's for starters, just use your imagination-there are plenty of behaviors that could be modified with this and similar approaches. There is a lot of talk of freedoms and rights being tossed about the country right now, but lets not forget that there are many ways to limit people's rights. The financial bludgeon is a very effective method to do so and is likely to be used repeatedly in the future unless people stand up and say no.

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c20000Mar. 27, 10 7:05 PM

Go soak you're head........

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ebrandelMar. 27, 10 7:22 PM

Alcohol tax in Minneapolis during prime drinking hours is 12.65%. Do they want 15%? 20%? 30% I also don't buy that alcohol costs the state $4.6 billion per year. Just under $1000 per person per year? I really doubt it. Sounds like a typical MADD statistic, created from whole cloth.

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SupervonMar. 27, 10 7:57 PM

a few years ago-people were testifying before congress about all the abductions. Finally, a wise senator went to the FBI and asked how many TRUE (not just missing, etc) abductions there are nationwide every year. The FBI said -about 50 - every year. The senator learned a lesson-some of this stuff is made up. Second-hand smoke killing thousands in our state-the horrors of Radon killing thousands-on and on and on with no verification or proof. It's too bad the S-T prints this without checking sources-it makes them yellow jounalism instead of quality.

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lordhawhaw1Mar. 27, 10 8:32 PM

Consuming too much alcohol is just one of them. Have we taxed and legislated them out of existence yet? At some point we have to ask ourselves do we want a free country? A free country that allows people to fail as well as to succeed? A free country entails allowing a certain amount of tolerance toward our neighbors, knowing it might hurt us in some way. A friend of mine visited Russia while it was still the USSR. Afterwards I asked him if he felt safe over there. "Safer than here", he answered. There was a cop with a machine gun and a K-9 on virtually every street corner. Slowly, but surely this is where we are headed.

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bikemilesMar. 27, 10 8:47 PM

For taxaholics.

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futuricsMar. 27, 1010:37 PM

But now, I'm convinced. Give it a rest with the MADD propaganda already! A new study by conducted Northwestern University's found that anti-alcohol PSAs designed to reduce binge drinking in college students may actually have the opposite effect. Kindly take heed and cease this deluge of prohibitionist propaganda! It may indeed blow up in MADD's face!

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kleindropperMar. 27, 1011:12 PM

Why doesn't the state just chain us to our work areas and feed us scraps once in a while? That would save the state tons of money.

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