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Wednesday, February 25, 2009

PETA Joins the Beer Tax Debate

Okay, this is pretty amusing. I submit it without comment. (Though in the interest of full disclosure, I will note, apropos of having offended Ralph below, that I am a vegetarian. I do not support a meat tax.)
After learning that Oregon State Representative Ben Cannon is proposing a huge tax increase on beer, PETA [director Sarah King] fired off a letter to Cannon urging him instead to propose a 10-cent "sin" tax on every pound of meat sold in grocery stores and restaurants in order to keep beer cheap and Oregonians (and their economy) healthy.
The letter, which you can read in its entirety here, is mostly summed up in Sarah King's opening paragraph.
As an Oregon native and a beer aficionado, I was extremely interested to read about the bill that you recently sponsored to increase Oregon's tax on beer. On behalf of People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) and our more than 2 million members and supporters worldwide, including thousands of Oregonians, I'd like to propose an alternative that would keep beer—a product that's important to the state's economy—affordable, yet still bring in needed revenue: an excise tax on meat. A 10-cent "sin" tax on every pound of chicken, turkey, pig, fish, and cow flesh sold in grocery stores and restaurants would not only raise funds but also help stop climate change and reduce health-care costs.
I don't know if this is a good idea in terms of public policy, but it does shine a rather bright light on the issue of externalities and the degree to which Oregon breweries should be picking up the tab for asserted public costs. The beer tax could be a pandora's box of new taxing ideas: meat, beer, wine, liquor, tobacco, potato chips, corn syrup, SUVs .... Okay, some are more persuasive than others. Still, once you start talking about costs to the state, you better be prepared to talk about other things, too.


  1. A "sin tax" for purchasing meat... I'm sorry but that's a crock of shit and one of the most ignorant comments I have heard in awhile. People shouldn't be guilted into a sin tax because their lifestyle doesn't conform to those with other lifestyles.

  2. PETA's involved!!

    Great! All the kooks are coming out the woodwork!!

    Lets hope they don't want to align themselves with the beer tax defensive! We want to be taken serious!

    Quick some start a BBQ and throw on some ribs!!! I hear that works like Mustard Gas to the PETS people...


  3. Wait! I have another idea! The sin tax on Meat is totally stupid! I'm sure people all over the country are laughing at that one!

    Lets just eat the PETA people... problem solved!


  4. I see someone's sacred cow is being attacked. Or sacred meat. Apparently the meat tax is a no-no!


    I think raising this as a plausibility shines light on the foolishness of the beer tax. That's how I related to it. Many activities have associated costs. Why do we think those associated with beer are so important as to require an additional tax?

  5. I say.... TOFU and GRANOLA TAX!!! 20%!!

    That might just work here in Oregon...!


    *I don't really care about Meat Tax... Do you think anyone has ever taken PETA that seriously!!! :-O

  6. Matthew D. said...

    People shouldn't be guilted into a sin tax because their lifestyle doesn't conform to those with other lifestyles.

    But that is how it works. The owner of this blog even says when you get below 20% in usage and societal harm to nonparticipating parties matches some threshold you get the shaft.

    Yes, I'm still worked up over the smoking ban. Oh and don't forget the cigar bar exemption, because the laws shouldn't apply to the rich.

    Maybe they can just tax ground beef but not steak...

  7. Maybe they can tax Organic products, but not non-organic products. The poor can't pay for the Organics anyway, so why should they live healthier lives.

    This is getting fun! Probably more thought that any of meatball congressman or state can come with!


    I'm waiting for them to start on the "Sales Tax!" What in the hell do with the money they get anyway? It doesn't seem to go for schools and you can only find a cop when you DON'T want one. We have the highest personal tax in the nation. Is Barney and Goober playing Monopoly with our revenues???