I’m just thinking out loud here, and I apologize for the sensationalized headline, but I do have a point of view on this subject. With the economy in ruins, the government has taken on the role of bailing out companies & individuals to jump start the economy. The current tactic is to feed revenues to the government to increase the income side of the country’s P&L so it can have the funds to pay for the bailouts. Simple accounting — increase taxes to generate revenues — spend ‘appropriatly’ to feed the economy.
One of the government ‘income’ proposals is to tax alcoholic beverages – in some states that translates to a 10% tax per drink — in others (such as California) it translates to a ‘nickel a drink’ tax to raise revenues earmarked to reduce the budget shortfall and provide support to programs addressing alcohol related problems.
I suppose this sounds good on paper — but wait a minute — more taxes simply don’t translate into appropriate spending! It takes a great leap of faith, I believe, to think that a government (that’d be any government) has the expertise to prudently re-invest revenues earned. In fact, I think they have an incredible track record of doing exactly the opposite — feeding more and more bureaucracy and building less and less efficiencies. President Obama has told Chrysler & GM that their re-structuring efforts just aren’t good enough — yet I’m seeing an enormous amount of money going into both state & federal governments hands, with little accountability and results. They are asking companies to cut, yet they are growing. Hmmm.
Don’t get me wrong, I believe government is critical for the efficient running of a country — I just don’t believe they are adept at business, and I simply don’t trust that the money going in, is spent appropriately. And now they want to tax alcoholic beverages even more. Is this the intent of our Founding Fathers? I just don’t think so.
One of the foundations of the Humanitas business model is to, by virtue of selling wine, generate revenues to give directly to charities. These charities operate extremely efficiently – with only a small percentage of the revenues generated going to the overhead needed to manage the charity — and the vast majority going directly to those in need. Can we say the same for our government spending?
I’m quite certain readers have an opinion on this — please share in the comments section. I, for one, am tired of increased taxes with no accountability for the results. I’ll just lob that one up for a start.