Forget cigarettes; go after alcohol

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A few days ago I saw in the news where a politician in Atlanta was advocating raising cigarette taxes $1 per pack. I do not and have never smoked, but it appears tobacco has become a whipping boy for folks from all walks of life. Some think cigarettes should be outlawed from all restaurants.

I know there is a lot of talk about how deadly smoke is. I would like to see the figures comparing the deaths actually caused from smoke and those killed from alcohol-related incidents. How many times have you read where someone sat in a restaurant, ate his meal, smoked a cigarette, got in his vehicle and caused a serious accident, causing death or injury to others? You hear of it when they have been drinking, but no politician wants to tackle that problem by raising the taxes extremely high on alcohol. Wonder why.

I know there's a politician from Columbia County who got a DUI in Atlanta after being involved in a wreck, and who kept getting his hearing put off until he could get re-elected -- and then was able to get just a slap on the wrist. Why?

Of course it must have been reported wrong, since alcohol is not all that bad -- tobacco is. He must have just smoked a cigarette before the accident, instead of taking a drink.

I remember sometime back when a man was involved in an accident after drinking in a local restaurant. If my memory serves me correctly, they wanted to blame the restaurant and the waitress who served him the drinks for serving him too much drink. Who gave a waitress the authority to know when a person has had too much to drink?

I think it is time for the politicians to address the alcohol problem, but you hear no talk about raising taxes on it. Why?

Seems to me some have their priorities wrong. Need to go after the real killer.

Don Matthews

Augusta

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As It Is
2
Points
As It Is 01/17/09 - 04:59 am
0
0
You are right about one

You are right about one thing, everyone now days looks to lay the blame elsewhere. No restaurant or server should be held responsible for someone who drinks to much as they are an adult and should be fully responsible for their own actions. As for alcohol taxes, they are already very high, higher than cigarettes and there is even an additional surcharge on every drink served in restaurants, hotels, bars, etc. In addition to the taxes on the product, every seller must obtain an alcohol permit to sell the product which is one of the highest permits in pricing. There is no charge for a cigarette sales permit but to sell alcohol, plan on paying the county and state almost $10,000.00 per year on top of all of the taxes. I agree these items should be taxed at higher rates, and they already are.

GGpap
528
Points
GGpap 01/17/09 - 05:19 am
0
0
Well, Don, while I do not

Well, Don, while I do not smoke (lung cancer took care of that problem), I do enjoy a sip of the spirits on occasion (sometimes more often) but, I MUST AGREE with your point. However, if we were to accept higher taxation on alcohol, would not it be appropriate to also raise taxes on soft drinks, candy bars, and all those terrible fast foods available at a number of drive "restaurants" in America? IMO, taxing the products that many choose to use as they destroy their health is just an example of government exerting their awesome power to crap on the weaker members in our society. Live and let live, Sir! GGpap.

patriciathomas
42
Points
patriciathomas 01/17/09 - 06:00 am
0
0
Don, did you just drop on to

Don, did you just drop on to planet Earth? Tobacco has just become the whipping boy...? Since the mid-70s there's been all types of anti-smoking campaigns paid for by the taxpayers and the tobacco companies. Now, the collectors have realized there's gold in them there addictions. Smokers will pay $1 or $2 or $3 per pack in tax if the increases are made slow enough. Most drinkers will just quit drinking or cut way back on consumption if the price goes up. Smokers can't. Alcohol abuse needs stricter law enforcement, but as far as raising money goes, there's nothing like a legal addiction to whet a politicians appetite.

patriciathomas
42
Points
patriciathomas 01/17/09 - 07:59 am
0
0
That must be some really good

That must be some really good breakfast crack you're smoking Retired Army. Read "The Fair Tax Plan". Your knowledge of how it works will go beyond zero and your posts on the subject will be relevant.

shamrock
541
Points
shamrock 01/17/09 - 08:45 am
0
0
RetiredArmy and his type

RetiredArmy and his type scare me. Give someone a gun and teach them to blindly obey orders so they can protect our freedom and suddenly they think they have brains. I'm not denying that is why soldiers are taught that way but just becuase I love football doesn't mean I can be Donovan McNabb!

_SisterAbdullahX_
3
Points
_SisterAbdullahX_ 01/17/09 - 09:02 am
0
0
RetiredArmy clearly hasn't

RetiredArmy clearly hasn't read the fair tax book....or didn't understand it.

soldout
1280
Points
soldout 01/17/09 - 09:16 am
0
0
Alcohol creates eight dollars

Alcohol creates eight dollars worth of cost for every one dollar that comes in. If that wasn't the case Richmond county, that has been wet for years, would be flowing with money. Columbia county never had a financial problem until they went wet and now they have to watch their pennies. It is called "sowing and reaping" and we just can't talk God into repealing that law.

patriciathomas
42
Points
patriciathomas 01/17/09 - 09:24 am
0
0
soldout, some time when

soldout, some time when you're interested, google prohibition.

soldout
1280
Points
soldout 01/17/09 - 09:36 am
0
0
I know prohibition worked

I know prohibition worked great; reducing crime, mental problems, accidental death etc. There are ten more alcohol addicts than drug addicts. The Bible says in Proverbs it creates social problems, emotional problems, red eyes and mental problems. One out of twelve that starts dringking will become a problem drinker. Would you put your child on a plane that crashed on one of every 12 trips?, yet parents set the example with alcohol in their home. We keep trying to pass laws to control it but that is like asking a rattle snake to nice and not bite anyone.

TechLover
15
Points
TechLover 01/17/09 - 09:54 am
0
0
I've read the unFair Tax

I've read the unFair Tax book. Every questions against it is essentially answered by "because we said so". It's become a religion to some. Hey I've got a wide screen tv for $500, it'll cost you $650 in the store but I'll let you have it for $600. No, won't be any blackmarket under the unFair Tax. Let's raise the taxes for everything that isn't good for you. All meat,aything with sugar, sodium, etc. It seems many people are for taxing behavior they don't agree with, but when it starts getting to something they use, they scream and holler. Red wine in moderate amounts is GOOD for you and studies have shown that moderate drinkers are WAY healthier than heavy drinkers but actually also healthier than non-drinkers. Just ban all the bad stuff. They can have my Dunkin' Donut when they pry it from my cold dead (powdered sugar coated) hands.

SandyK2005
1
Points
SandyK2005 01/17/09 - 10:04 am
0
0
#1 health problem and money

#1 health problem and money source all in one -- alcohol. Smokers pale in numbers, so the logical choice to also help lower societal decay is to campaign hard against alcohol consumption.

corgimom
34239
Points
corgimom 01/17/09 - 10:09 am
0
0
"Some think cigarettes should

"Some think cigarettes should be outlawed from all restaurants. "
Include me in that. It's done that way in California and the restaurants are packed. It hasn't hurt their businesses one bit.

Bizarro
13
Points
Bizarro 01/17/09 - 10:18 am
0
0
So basically I gather we

So basically I gather we humans are just unethical, irresponsible, and criminal from reading these posts.

Riverman1
87157
Points
Riverman1 01/17/09 - 10:24 am
0
0
Columbia County doesn't allow

Columbia County doesn't allow smoking in its restaurants and bars. Those in Richmond Cty allow smoking. So when I want to get stinking drunk, I go to Columbia Cty where I don't have to smell the stinking cigarettes.

Bizarro
13
Points
Bizarro 01/17/09 - 10:27 am
0
0
Actually tobacco is the

Actually tobacco is the number one killer of americans-alcohol falls to number three. I think the costs of either is in the 6-15 billion range.

ITDoc
1
Points
ITDoc 01/17/09 - 10:28 am
0
0
I do solemnly swear, if any

I do solemnly swear, if any "FairTax" is enacted, I will indeed become a black marketeer myself & will endeavor to assist any and all citizens to avoid a tax which will still rebate more to the poor. Any "Fair Tax" that rebates a cent is unfair and open to corruption. If you aren't going to eliminate those problems, best to leave it alone.

Bizarro
13
Points
Bizarro 01/17/09 - 10:37 am
0
0
Well doc our present system

Well doc our present system doesn't accept equality under the law so it is unfair too-we do have a progressive tax base.

TechLover
15
Points
TechLover 01/17/09 - 10:43 am
0
0
Ga state law prohibits

Ga state law prohibits smoking in a building unless no one under 21 is allowed, ie a bar. If someone wants to drink without being around someone who smokes they can go to TGIFridays or somewhere like it. Personally I think it should be left to the business owner. If he thought he would make more money by being smoke free, he has the right. My favorite was a restaurant that used to be in town but I can't remember it's name (maybe Black Kettle or something). They had many patrons who enjoyed sitting around and having a few without screaming kids around so if you came in with kids you were seated in a back room. Those with crumbsnatchers became irate. Id like to see that come back again.

TechLover
15
Points
TechLover 01/17/09 - 10:45 am
0
0
Death is the number one

Death is the number one killer of Americans. Almost dying is close.

733
Points
Barry Paschal 01/17/09 - 10:47 am
0
0
Mr. Matthews says, "I would

Mr. Matthews says, "I would like to see the figures comparing the deaths actually caused from smoke and those killed from alcohol-related incidents." Here they are, courtesy of Google: 435,000 U.S. tobacco-related deaths annually, compared to 85,000 alcohol-related deaths (including 16,653 from alcohol-related vehicle crashes).

ITDoc
1
Points
ITDoc 01/17/09 - 10:47 am
0
0
Biz: I agree present system

Biz: I agree present system is unfair too. So if you're not going to make it fair, leave it alone. B4 PT jumps my excrement, "Fair" to me is no one getting any rebates for any reason.

egan
0
Points
egan 01/17/09 - 10:52 am
0
0
We do not need to raise the

We do not need to raise the tax on anything or anybody. Goverment needs to tighted its belt and learn to live on what it takes in with what taxes it has now. You can not tax or spend your way out of debt.

Bizarro
13
Points
Bizarro 01/17/09 - 10:59 am
0
0
Hey I said the same thing.

Hey I said the same thing. Thanks Barry for putting real numbers in for perspective. Makes the point much better.

Motorman5039
0
Points
Motorman5039 01/17/09 - 11:16 am
0
0
Alcohol, alcohol,

Alcohol, alcohol, alcohol...Cigarettes, cigarettes, cigarettes...Vices, vices, vices...Sin, sin, sin...Death, death, death....

ITDoc
1
Points
ITDoc 01/17/09 - 11:18 am
0
0
Echo... echo ... echo...

Echo... echo ... echo... Pinch hitting for Pedro Borbon bon on, Manny anny nny Mota Mota Mota Mota ota ta.

TechLover
15
Points
TechLover 01/17/09 - 11:22 am
0
0
Bacon, bacon, bacon, sausage,

Bacon, bacon, bacon, sausage, sausage, sausage, death, death, death. Dang, now I've made mysef hungry. I guess I'll have to take one step closer to the grave and make myself a Cason's sausage sandwich. Those merchants of death, but my it tastes good.

I4PUTT
5
Points
I4PUTT 01/17/09 - 11:32 am
0
0
Why not just raise taxes on

Why not just raise taxes on any thing we like? At some point why not just give our entire pay checks to the government and let them take care of us as they see fit? Government housing, transportation, medical care, groceries, ....wait...isn't this a great campaign promise????

Bizarro
13
Points
Bizarro 01/17/09 - 11:36 am
0
0
Well I agree with Tech we

Well I agree with Tech we were all born to die. I just want the freedom to live as I please because you never know when you might die from an accident which doesn't care if you're sick or healthy. Look at eskimos they eat whale and seal blubber and they stay healthier than if you change them to a european diet.

mable8
2
Points
mable8 01/17/09 - 11:45 am
0
0
Mr Matthews: The legislators

Mr Matthews: The legislators will not go after the alcohol because they drink; and that is too close to home, if you get my drift. It's always easier to go after something less than the something more because it requires little, if any, effort to make the correction. Ever notice how the murderer or big drug dealer gets away, yet the little drug hustler or burgler gets the high end of the sentence? Unfortunately, that's the reality of today.

disssman
6
Points
disssman 01/17/09 - 11:56 am
0
0
Dear Don you must know that

Dear Don you must know that politicians don't consider something they use (regularly) as a problem. To face that would indicate they have a flaw. Its like the MCG having alcohol parties, but banning smoking on or near their campus. BTW when was the last time a doctor asked if "you are a drinker" they ask if you are a smoker all the time. In conclusion, I would like to say that as a group, the nurses in the medical profession need to set an example and lose some weight. That obviously isn't healthy and probably is clogging their arterries. But you know what, if a fat smoker dies because of clogged arteries in one of these studies, it isn't because he was fat, its because he smoked.

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