Beer tax?

I didn’t realize $28B in federal revenue was even worth blogging about anymore.

Also, it is scary how many utilitarian numbers games we have going on these days. Crossing my fingers I never get caught on the wrong end of one!

Does anyone seriously think that an admittedly small increase in cost of alcohol is going to affect the purchasing decisions of consumers?

Claims of the inelasticity of alcohol demand may prove to be greatly exaggerated.

Adam: for the vast majority, it probably won’t make a whit of difference. It’ll be a few pennies out of their pocket.

For a few hardcore drinkers, that extra 200 bucks a year might get them to stop. On the other hand, if you’re downing 11+ beers per night you’re probably not someone who’s going to be looking very closely at the cost/benefit analysis.

Well, if you ignore the three biggies, war, social security, and medicare/medicade, then 28B is real money. Those three things are all 600B each, with 500 covering all other discretionary spending, and 400 covering mandatories.


I’d agree with you if it were 2 years ago, but with all the bailouts and loosened credit, it becomes much less exciting. Certainly not enough to overhaul healthcare, which will cost ten times as much as anticipated anyway.

I’m obviously out of the loop on this, but 5% of non-tea-totalers drink 11+ beers or equivalent per day!!! Jesus jumped up Christ on a pogo stick…

Wait a minute… bullshit alarm is sounding off here. Some quick googling turned up this NIAAA data which shows that in 2007, 6.1% of men were “heavy drinkers” as defined by having more than two drinks per day, on average, over the last year. Now, since 31.6% are listed as abstainers, that would indicate that around 9% or so of drinkers are at more than two drinks per day. I find it hard to believe over 1/2 of those are at 11+.

What am I missing? It looks like Volsky got that from “National Epidemiologic Survey on Alcohol and Related Conditions, 2002” according to the references in the PDF.

More digging…

Bah. Not having any luck getting the data he’s referencing. Anyone with better google-fu than I want to give it a shot?

Fixed. And yes. Speaking from past personal experience on trying to calculate on if I can afford to split a pitcher of Yingling’s (along with a few quarters for pool or Addam’s Family pinball) at the local bar on ‘service worker’s’ night, yes. judging from other similar sin taxes, like the cigarette tax, it is a big deal.

I thought every night at a bar was service workers’ night.

Well, to be fair, games writing pulls in pretty amazing wages.

It’s true. I’m writing this on my gold-plated diamond encrusted ‘reviewing keyboard’. The diamonds make the reviews sparklier.

Current federal beer tax is $18 per 31 gallons, or $0.58 per gallon.
Current federal wine tax (14% to 21% alcohol content) is $1.57 per gallon.

Adjusting for alcohol content (assuming beer is 4% alcohol) we see that beer alcohol is currently taxed at a higher rate than wine alcohol.

More wine taxes! Leave our beer alone!

Muslims don’t drink beer, do they?

I knew this made too much sense.

This Milwaukee’s Best ICE I’m drinking tonight would not be worth its “cheapest six pack they had” price if I had to pay more for it.

Think of the crap beer drinkers before you support more taxes on beer, people!

Our beer tax, if I’m calculating this correctly, is $1.69 per gallon.

Time to start home brewing like true patriots!

It may drive them from beer to hard liquor which seems to have a better price to alcohol ratio for the cheaper stuff.

Yeah, it’s pretty clear that this would lead to a rise in moonshine again.

Excessive beer consumption leads to obesity, much in the same way that excessive food consumption leads to obesity. Beer consumption in reasonable amounts is fine, and has been shown to have some health benefits (same goes for wine).

Screw moonshine, I mean serious home brewing of beer. Maybe this will have a net positive effect, as inspired cheapskate drunks all sit home concocting new, delicious recipes.