Tax milk, not booze

Letter to the Editor

Posted: Sunday, March 03, 2002

I would like to respond to Brianna Gunderson's letter posted on Feb. 28. She is supporting an additional tax on alcohol with the justification that "alcohol is a luxury." I would submit that alcohol is no more a luxury than white bread, Ben and Jerry's Ice Cream, or XX Large Grade A eggs. The only reason that Brianna considers alcohol a luxury is most likely because she does not drink it. Therefore, it also falls to reason that her "solution" will not cost her a cent, even though she is just as much a part of the problem as any other citizen of this state.

I don't drink milk (I am allergic). Why don't we tax milk instead? I think milk is a luxury. I don't like doughnuts either, let's tax those.

As for the other argument, that of the cost of health risks associated with alcohol, let's look at the health risks associated with bad eating habits and the amount of money spent on their consequences (obesity, high-blood pressure, high cholesterol, heart disease, etc.). Like I said, tax the Twinkie! Ironically, there are many medical studies in circulation that are identifying alcohol as a preventative measure for exactly these diseases. Luxury indeed.

If you want to use taxation as a solution, then let's tax the population equitably, across the board. Increase and for those areas that don't have it, implement sales tax and/or start charging income tax.

Why should I have to pay more taxes because I want a nice bottle of wine with my meal, and yet you pay nothing extra for a "super gulp" or "bottomless" cola?

Patrick McGonegal

Juneau



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