Rooted in Reason: Nurturing the Seeds of Liberty


Cheers to That! by grassroothawaii
March 24, 2011, 4:45 pm
Filed under: Economy, Limited Government | Tags: , ,

by Frances Nuar

Earlier this month Governor Abercrombie patted himself on the back for his first 100 days in office. Seems like he is extremely proud of his accomplishments thus far, claiming he has created a “Government that Works.” One of his alleged accomplishments was cooperating “with public sector unions to put thousands of federally funded workers back on the job.”

This claim is currently being investigated by Civil Beat, which is still trying to verify the statement with the Governor’s office, but has been unable to do so for almost a week now.

What we do know is there are plenty of bills still moving forward in the legislature which would raise taxes–and by raising taxes, put thousands of people out of jobs. Senate Bill 1289 and House Bill 840 would increase the tax on beer, wine and spirits by 50%.  Current rates are already high: state government already takes 17.3 cents of every dollar spend on beer; 21.5 cents of every dollar spent on wine; and 25.5 cents of every dollar spent on spirits. Opponents of the tax estimate the tax hike will kill nearly 1,136 jobs.

In Britain in 2008 they raised the beer tax 18%. Recent studies show that tax hike has cost them 20,000 jobs so far. Why? Because someone has to pay for the new taxes. The business can only pass so much of that cost on to consumers; they have to somehow absorb the rest of the increase themselves, leading to job losses.

Not to mention the summary of Senate Bill 1289 states the liquor tax increase is to “promote safety and health in Hawaii”–are none of us responsible enough to make our own health and wellness decisions? If this is the case, the state might as well mandate cycling and walking as the only acceptable means of transportation; this would not only serve to promote health and wellness and solve the obesity problem, but our traffic problems as well.

Increasing the liquor tax, whether justified as a “necessary funding source” or “in our own best interests”  is not the solution to the state’s budget crisis. Real solutions, not band-aid approaches are what Hawaii needs. Now that would be something we can cheers to!

Want to take action against SB 1289 and HB 840? Click here to find out more!

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