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Thursday, July 15, 2010

Beer and Politics

A word to the wise: politicians seeking a little quick publicity should mention beer. Yeah yeah, unemployment sucks, and there's something going on in the Gulf of Mexico. But, whoa, did you see this--Senator Wyden went to Ninkasi to discuss beer taxes! In the last legislative cycle, Jules Bailey's little Honest Pint Act got a lot of press, and the biennial scrap over state beer excise taxes got huge amounts of press.

Now it's the crazy DOJ interpretation about homebrewing that is getting news:
State legislators are, of course, lining up to correct the problem. In political terms, this is a can't-lose issue: 1) no one's against it, 2) you get to beat up on stupid bureaucrats, 3) everyone's pro-beer, 4) you get lots of press.

It's worth noting, though, this is an effect, not a cause. Even twenty years ago, no one would have cared about beer laws. It's a testament to the popularity of the Beaver State's favorite beverage that any regulation immediately becomes front-page news.

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