A Couple Of Congressmen We Now Love Want To Cut Alcohol Taxes By 80 Percent

Say hello to United States Congressmen Todd Young (R-Ind.) and John Yarmuth (D-Ken.), who introduced a bipartisan bill in the House of Representative this week to slash federal alcohol taxes.

And after you introduce yourself to them, say hello to CHEAP BOOZE. Because if this goes through, the cost of hooch would go down. From The Huffington Post:

Specifically, their bill would cut the federal excise tax on distilled spirits, which has stood at $13.50 per proof gallon since 1991, to $2.70 per proof gallon on the first 100,000 gallons a distillery produces and $9 for each proof gallon thereafter. A “proof gallon” is one gallon of 100-proof liquor, so the federal government currently levies a tax of about $2.14 on each 750 mL bottle, or “fifth” of standard 80-proof liquor, such as vodka, whiskey or rum. Under their proposal, that number would drop to about $1.40 for liquor sold by large distilleries  and 43 cents for liquor sold by any of the approximately 1,000 craft distillers in the country.

Seventy five cents doesn’t sound like a lot, but if you drink as much booze as I do, it makes a huge difference. That’s like 75 bucks I would save over the course of a year. I drink a lot.

Of course, as awesome as CHEAP BOOZE is, this is a terrible, terrible, terrible idea, as I pointed out a while back. From The Washington Post:

In 2009, Illinois raised its excise taxes on beer, wine and liquor. The tax rate for wine and liquor nearly doubled, while the beer rate rose by a more modest 25 percent. While steep in and of themselves, the tax hikes had a modest impact on retail prices of alcohol. Assuming that the full cost of the increase was passed to consumers, they would have raised the price of a standard drink of beer or wine by about a half cent, and of a shot of liquor by roughly 5 cents.

But when University of Florida researchers crunched these numbers along with federal traffic statistics, they found that even these modest price increases were enough to cause a significant drop in drunk driving fatalities. “Fatal alcohol-related motor vehicle crashes declined 9.9 per month after the tax increase, a 26 percent reduction,” the conclude. The effect was even larger — a 37 percent reduction — for drivers under 30.

Just an increase of a few cents was enough to save nearly 1,000 lives in the six years since the hike was enacted. So… as much as I want this bill to pass, imagine what would happen if it did. Carnage everywhere. It really shouldn’t go through. But here’s what Rep. Young had say about his death creation bill.

“All around southern Indiana, many new craft distilleries are popping up, creating jobs and adding to the tax base. But there’s a lot of red tape involved in getting a new distillery off the ground and this bill helps reduce that burden.”

Yea man. Doubly so, because with so many dead people from this, there will be less people to staff all these new jobs. Unemployment will plummet like so many drivers over a guardrail and down a cliff.

Win win.