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  1. #16
    Bourbonian of the Year 2002 and Guru
    Join Date
    Sep 1999
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    Chicago
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    Re: The cost of spirits

    Taxes on alcohol, especially spirits, are outrageous because it is considered socially beneficial to make alcohol much more expensive than it needs to be, considering the cost of production and delivery. This is manipulation of the tax code for social engineering purposes and it is supported equally by liberals and conservatives.

    Prohibition itself made strange bedfellows of liberals and conservatives, liberals who believed the abolition of alcohol would improve the human condition, uplifting the poor in particular, and conservatives who believed alcohol consumption was a sin and usually occasioned additional sinning. Plus drunk workers were bad for industrial productivity.

    One could argue that high taxes help keep alcohol legal, since however much politicians might like to earn points by attacking Big Alcohol, they are loath to give up all those tax dollars.

    It should be noted that most, though not all, taxes on alcohol are taxes on the alcohol content, meaning that the tax bite for the cheapest vodka in the store is the same, in absolute dollars, as for the most expensive one.

    With state and local taxes, some are based on price, so buyers of premium spirits do pay more, but most are based on alcohol content, without regard for the product's price.

    So the difference in price among products that have the same alcohol content is generally not attributable to taxes.
    Last edited by cowdery; 01-08-2010 at 17:11.

 

 

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