How About Taxing Alcoholic Beverages!

Just how deep does our love affair with alcohol go? How in denial are we as a culture about what it does to us?  The denial runs very deep.  A short while ago, Michelle Obama launched a war against obesity.  She laid the groundwork with her garden on the Whitehouse grounds. She upped the ante with a program encouraging people to move, turn off the TV and spend time being more active. She even self disclosed that her own child was pushing maximum density.  A condition many parents are facing. The first lady is doing a good thing, make no mistake, this is not a criticism of the First Lady or her concern with our weight and health.

It seems that the concern with obesity has caused a stir in the media about taxing sugary beverages as a way to encourage us to drink more water and to cover the additional health care costs of obesity. Needless to say, beverage companies are opposed to this, saying there is little evidence to support that their product is to blame for the obesity problem in America. What does all of this have to do with our love affair with alcohol? Everyday, people die due to alcohol. It destroys families, ruins academic and athletic careers.; leaves a wake of destruction in it’s path, anywhere it is abused. The ripple effect and destruction is unknown.  With all of the destruction caused by alcohol, why is it that there is nothing in the media about taxing it to cover the cost of the damage it does? It varies from state to state but the taxes on alcohol are remarkably low. Who pays for the damage that it causes? The additional health care costs, the car accidents, the mentally ill families? In short, who has to clean up the puke from the party?

If we can debate taxing sugary drinks, we should be debating taxing alcohol as well. What is it about alcohol that keeps it out of the media? How does it sneak around, virtually unnoticed?  It must also have an impact on the obesity problem as well, most people impaired by alcohol are not busy training for any marathons. “Beer Belly” is a term for a reason, so if we are going to tax soda to cover the cost of obesity, does that include beer? Is the alcohol THAT powerful that the alcohol industry does not even have to answer any of these questions? Wow, how fucked up are we?


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