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News-Sentinel.com Your Town. Your Voice.
Opening Arguments

A penny here, a dime there

You know when public officials have the most fun? When they get new money to spend that they don't have to take the political heat for.:

A proposal to double Indiana's alcohol taxes to bail out a struggling Indianapolis sports board would funnel money to cities and towns across the state, cash the plan's architect hoped would be used for economic development.

But mayors say their cash-strapped cities need the money to plug holes in their budgets, and they plan to use the money to cover the basics like police and fire protection.

That sense of serendipitous lagniappe is especially strong when the tax is against a sin such as drinking, gambling or smoking, and the amount is thought to be too small to be worthy of worry:

The tax would add about a penny to a 12-ounce beer or about a dime to a bottle of wine.

"This is not a significant burden on the average person," said Sen. Brandt Hershman, R-Wheatfield.

No, Mr. Hershman, it's not. But, then again, most of the taxes we pay don't seem like all that much of a burden individually. It's the aggregate that gets to be staggering, and what really galls are attitudes like yours (especially unattractive in a Republican) that


MRev. Kenneth White, Jnr.
Fri, 04/03/2009 - 11:41am

Simple solution boycott the beer industry and start making our own at home find a consumption vehicle that is not taxable by the current legislation, (eg: wine jug or mason jar) and then just insure that they are sterilized at the microbrewery for a fee before they are refilled. There of course is the other solution, someone could just file suit against unfair taxation.

Michael B-P
Sat, 04/04/2009 - 9:19am

The Townshend import duty on English tea was only three pence per pound. Nevertheless, the relative pittance didn't stop the New York Sons of Liberty from posting "that whoever shall aid or abet, or in any manner assist, in the introduction of tea from any place whatsoever, into this colony, while it is subject, by a British Act of Parliament, to the payment of a duty, for the purpose of raising a revenue in America, he shall be deemed an enemy to the liberties of America."

Less than a generation later, small-scale farmer/whiskey producers who relied upon their private distilleries to provide a subsistence income took to arms in response to a 9-cent per gallon federal impost intended to retire the national debt.

Are impotent third parties and woosified Republicans to be blamed for the public's apparent docile attitude toward expansionary goverment? Considering the general paucity of protest and abstemious nature of language employed where such protests have been raised, it is hardly surprising that bribery/earmarks and extortion/taxes have altogether displaced the principle of freedom in guiding decisions concerning coercive authority.