Saturday, February 7, 2009

What's More Bipartisan than Beer?

Beer Tax Cut Could Be Middle Class Boon

Want to provide some real middle-class tax relief? Halve the taxes levied on beer, say a bipartisan group of lawmakers, along with one of the beer industry's lobbying groups.

Rep. Earl Pomeroy (D-N.D.) introduced a bill Tuesday that would cut taxes on beer to their level in 1991, half of what they are today. The legislation is supported by a coterie of members of Congress from both sides of the aisle, and has the support of the brewers' interest group.

"50 percent of the beer is consumed in households making less than $50,000 per year," said Jeff Becker, president of The Beer Institute, the industry's lobbying arm. "Given campaign rhetoric, you can tell they're trying to benefit low-income earners, who make up a lot of our consumers."

The latest version of the tax cut, which has been introduced for several consecutive Congresses now, would also roll back taxes on small and independent brewers. Pomeroy's office estimate the tax cut to cost roughly $1.5 billion dollars. The version introduced in the 110th Congress stalled after being referred to the Ways & Means Committee.

11 lawmakers from both parties signed onto the Pomeroy bill: House Minority Whip Eric Cantor (R-Va.) and Reps. Tom Latham (R-Iowa), Sam Johnson (R-Texas), Ron Kind (D-Wisc.), Patrick Tiberi (R-Ohio), Artur Davis (D-Ala.), Charles Boustany (R-La.), Joseph Crowley (D-N.Y.), Brian Higgins (D-N.Y.), Dean Heller (R-Nev.), and Bill Pascrell (D-N.J.).

Yes. I'm for it. Get it done and I will sing your praises from the top of a thousand hills.

And yet, this story raises a very troubling question.

Why am I just hearing about this now?

In all my years of studying in high school and college, taking aptitude tests, sitting with guidance counselors, advisors, professors all in an effort to prepare me for a chosen profession, not once did anyone ever mention anything even remotely related to studying to become the President of The Beer Institute.

Because I most certainly would have altered my chosen field of study - and - I definitely would never have had to endure the endless admonitions that I was not "applying myself" and not "living up to my full potential", if I had had that position as a career goal.

Well. I guess my long and storied career as an anonymous, unpaid, volunteer beer product tester continues unabated.

Which makes it even more important that we work together to lessen the burdens placed on middle class access to beer through lowering taxes on it.


  1. Finally a topic I know something about!

    3 Points:

    1) If they put steroids in Guinness my batting average would be way better than A-rod's, and I'm 53.

    2) The finest thing Congress has done in the last 50 years has been repealing their dictates of how beer must be brewed in this nation. After repealing Prohibition, the SOB's in Congress mandated how Amheiser and Busch and Schlitz etc had to brew the stuff, and that is why the American Beer industry sucked until about 1976 when they finally rescinded their stupid brew dictates and allowed a million microbrews in this great country to flourish. "Ambitious Brew-The Story of American Beer" was a good read about that. Why the crap that isn't heralded as the finest example of the invisible hand of the Free Market in this country I will never know. That would be my stump speech from day 1.

    3) I nominate Hit & Run for the Presidency of this Beer Institute.