Are you ready for the govt war on booze?

posted at 3:31 pm on June 1, 2014 by Jazz Shaw

Everything old is new again in the era of expanding government regulations, so why limit yourself to only trying new things? Let’s dredge up some golden oldies and take them out for a fresh spin. This seems to be part of the thinking of Reihan Salam, writing at Salon this week. As far as a new war on alcohol is concerned, Salam isn’t calling for a renewal of prohibition… we tried that before. But he will settle for just taxing it out of this world.

Alcohol Taxes Should Be Tripled
The war on drugs has been a failure. But the war on booze deserves a second chance

For a nightmare vision of where heavy drinking can lead a society, consider Russia, where the pervasiveness of binge drinking contributes to an epidemic of cardiovascular disease and a death rate from fatal injuries that you’d normally see in wartime. Political economist Nicholas Eberstadt has gone so far as to suggest that drunkenness is a key reason why Russia, a country with universal literacy and a level of educational attainment that is (technically) in the same ballpark as countries like Australia and Sweden, has roughly the same living standards as Ecuador.

Andrew Stuttaford at The Corner takes a run at the correct answer.

Reihan is right that excessive alcohol consumption has been a disaster for Russia, but that is, in no small part, a function of the way that the state has used and abused alcohol both as a method of social control and a source of revenue (as much as 40 percent of the state’s income came from alcohol at certain points in the Czarist era, and as much as 25 percent for certain periods in Soviet times)…

Moral panics generally make for bad policy, but, despite the efforts of David Cameron (a man hopelessly susceptible to moral panics and a reliable enthusiast for big government initiatives, the supposedly ‘conservative’ prime minister wanted to fix a minimum alcohol price, a proposal that fortunately came to nothing) not much was done in response other than the introduction of some worthwhile public health education initiatives on the problems caused by hitting the bottle too hard…

As so often, society is correcting itself, as it often tends to do when the Nanny State keeps out of the way.

You’ll have to read Andrew’s entire response to get the full flavor, but it’s worth the time. What’s missing from this discussion, though, is the social control component. Drinking to excess is pretty much uniformly a bad thing (Trust me on this one..) Of course, as Andrew notes, it may prove to be a largely self-correcting feature.

But the alternative is to follow Reihan’s course and leave it to the government to modify human behavior through prohibition or excessive taxation. Our running series on how well sin taxes have worked out in stopping smoking should be a clue here. It doesn’t generally work, and usually fails to deliver a lot more government revenue either. Triple the alcohol tax? No thanks.


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Last time they tried this they got it done by giving the women the vote and then waiting for all the men to go off to fight World War I…

ConstantineXI on June 1, 2014 at 3:32 PM

Well, except for the part where the war had been over for a couple of years before it was enacted…

WitchDoctor on June 1, 2014 at 3:36 PM

It’s hard to imagine the government would think it could win a war on alcohol this time around, considering this government is the reason so many of us drink.

DrMagnolias on June 1, 2014 at 3:36 PM

More moonshine!

Drinking to excess is pretty much uniformly a bad thing should be left to the professionals

rbj on June 1, 2014 at 3:37 PM

Hooray for the rise of bathtub gin!

John the Libertarian on June 1, 2014 at 3:38 PM

Even more people will be going to the Indian Reservations where the alcohol, gasoline and tobacco taxes are much lower. If they can’t do that, smuggling will increase. Use education and moral persuation to the degree that you can and then let the people make their choice.

KW64 on June 1, 2014 at 3:41 PM

They’ll replace it with a daily chocolate or soma ration.

Wethal on June 1, 2014 at 3:41 PM

Prohibition put the alcohol rehab clinics out of business.

I’d say that was a good thing.

Bigbullets on June 1, 2014 at 3:41 PM

I could learn to build a still, I guess.

trigon on June 1, 2014 at 3:43 PM

A man named Reihan Salam proposes a war on alcohol…

…hmm…

steebo77 on June 1, 2014 at 3:45 PM

Didn’t they try that once already? So they want to legalize drugs and make booze illegal.

Tinker on June 1, 2014 at 3:46 PM

Know what’s funny? Salam calls himself a conservative.

flipflop on June 1, 2014 at 3:47 PM

Out of our bedrooms, or whatever!

Murphy9 on June 1, 2014 at 3:47 PM

Minor point. Govt won one of the fronts (production) of this war. It would be unfair to call it a new war.

nobar on June 1, 2014 at 3:48 PM

Washington cocktail parties of course will be exempt.

diogenes on June 1, 2014 at 3:48 PM

A man named Reihan Salam proposes a war on alcohol…

…hmm…

steebo77 on June 1, 2014 at 3:45 PM

Maybe we could trade him to the Taliban for a deserter to be named later.

Adjoran on June 1, 2014 at 3:49 PM

Tinker on June 1, 2014 at 3:46 PM

They don’t want to make it illegal, per se. Just tax it into oblivion.

Don’t worry…they’ll be doing the same with drugs before too long.

lineholder on June 1, 2014 at 3:49 PM

Progressivism is returning to its roots. When will they begin mass arrests of political prisoners, like under Wilson?

theCork on June 1, 2014 at 3:50 PM

Of course, as Andrew notes, it may prove to be a largely self-correcting feature.

Or it’s just a self-perpetuating feature.

But the alternative is to follow Reihan’s course and leave it to the government to modify human behavior through prohibition or excessive taxation. Our running series on how well sin taxes have worked out in stopping smoking should be a clue here.

I’d say that it’s worked pretty well.

Stoic Patriot on June 1, 2014 at 3:50 PM

If the government declares war on booze, I’m enlisting with the booze.

We may have to call up reserve officers like Charlie Sheen.

#Winning

Adjoran on June 1, 2014 at 3:51 PM

Or is this simply a case of “creeping sharia”?

directorblue on June 1, 2014 at 3:54 PM

This seems to be part of the thinking of Reihan Salam

Let’s just go straight to Sharia

faraway on June 1, 2014 at 3:54 PM

They’ll replace it with a daily chocolate or soma ration.

Wethal on June 1, 2014 at 3:41 PM

…Mooch will require that it have… Salt Peter!

KOOLAID2 on June 1, 2014 at 3:55 PM

Prohibition turned two bit thugs like Al Capone into millionaires and Tommy-gun gang battles were common in the big cities. Yeah, let’s repeat that.

Grammar Nazi on June 1, 2014 at 3:55 PM

Progressives and Islamists are cut from the same cloth.

Always have been.

What about zero interest rate policy? Isn’t that akin to Sharia compliant finance?

Murphy9 on June 1, 2014 at 3:57 PM

What if they held a War Against Booze and no one showed up, man?
Make booze, not war!

Flange on June 1, 2014 at 3:58 PM

Political economist Nicholas Eberstadt has gone so far as to suggest that drunkenness is a key reason why Russia, a country with universal literacy and a level of educational attainment that is (technically) in the same ballpark as countries like Australia and Sweden, has roughly the same living standards as Ecuador.

I’m sorry, if alchohol is the reason this person thinks that Russia lags Australia and Sweden, he should immediately strike the word ‘political’ from his job description. Freaking idiot.

Midas on June 1, 2014 at 3:59 PM

Time to brew up another 6 gallons of Wollys “everything but the kitchen sink” Stout.

It’s wicked good. About 9-10%.

When they outlaw barley, rice, oatmeal, honey,,yeast, then we’ll have a problem.

wolly4321 on June 1, 2014 at 4:00 PM

Russia is a fascinating case! What the article didn’t mention is that it is mostly males who end up engaging in excessive consumption of alcohol. Lots of socioeconomic factors play into that. Behavioral pattern that has been passed down through a couple of generations now, so very difficult to change. Leads to low death age of Russian males.

lineholder on June 1, 2014 at 4:01 PM

This tax is an ethnic war against the Scots-Irish peoples1

philw1776 on June 1, 2014 at 4:01 PM

How do Federal and State prisoners make alcohol? That’s how smugglers will make it for sale on the black market – with no taxes too.

Ruckus_Tom on June 1, 2014 at 4:03 PM

…we have an open border to the south…I can become the head of an Alcohol Cartel!

KOOLAID2 on June 1, 2014 at 4:03 PM

It’s pretty easy

Utube has about a million designs.

wolly4321 on June 1, 2014 at 4:05 PM

One thing is for sure, alcohol consumption has enormous costs on society every year.

libfreeordie on June 1, 2014 at 4:06 PM

A man named Reihan Salam proposes a war on alcohol…

…hmm…

steebo77 on June 1, 2014 at 3:45 PM

My thoughts exactly. But Wiki says he’s a conservative and writes for NRO. Of course, he also writes for Slate. Could there be two?

OccamsRazor on June 1, 2014 at 4:07 PM

Boehner hardest hit.

StubbornGreenBurros on June 1, 2014 at 4:07 PM

Well, that’s one thing we won’t have to worry about Boehner caving on.

Jayrae on June 1, 2014 at 4:07 PM

‘Nothing so needs reforming as other people’s habits. Fanatics will never learn that, though it be written in letters of gold across the sky: It is the prohibition that makes anything precious.’

- Mark Twain

‘After Prohibition, after everyone had seen how devastating it was to morals, to policing, to government. It was really a failure. People are picking up the pieces trying to make sense of it. The key thing, though, about this picking up the pieces after Prohibition, was the same God that laughs at our folly — and there was folly in Prohibition — still holds us responsible, still wants us to build a better society, to build a better world, and doesn’t disdain human endeavour. And, I think that post-Prohibition, you were picking up the pieces trying to find a moral framework to build a better America, but without quite so much of the pride, arrogance and self-assurance that the Prohibitionists had.’

- Martin Marty, Theologian

‘Prohibition was an affront to the whole history of mankind.’

- Home Secretary of Great Britain, Winston Churchill

‘Very little good has ever been done by the absolute shall.’

- Anonymous American clergyman, 19th century

‘Of all tyrannies a tyranny sincerely exercised for the good of its victim may be the most oppressive. It may be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron’s cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated, but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end for they do so with the approval of their own conscience.’

- CS Lewis

Excessive taxation, which makes a product or service cost prohibitive, is just another form of prohibition.

‘Now those who seek absolute power, even though they seek it to do what they regard as good, are simply demanding the right to enforce their own version of heaven on earth, and let me remind you they are the very ones who always create the most hellish tyranny.’

- Senator Barry Goldwater, (R-AZ)

‘What has always made the state a hell on earth has been precisely that man has tried to make it his heaven.’

- Friedrich Hoelderlin

‘[Modern, elite Progressives adhere to and promote] social gospel, without the gospel. For all of them, the sole proof of redemption is the holding of a proper sense of social ills. The only available confidence about their salvation, as something superadded to experience, is the self-esteem that comes with feeling they oppose the social evils of bigotry and power and the groupthink of the mob.’

- Joseph Bottum, An Anxious Age: The Post Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of America


The ‘Absolute Shall’ Shall Always Absolutely Fail, Especially In America! And More Cheers For It!

Resist We Much on June 1, 2014 at 4:09 PM

libfreeordie on June 1, 2014 at 4:06 PM

So does government abuse of public funds that leaves millions of Americans living in poverty

lineholder on June 1, 2014 at 4:09 PM

It’s the do-gooders. Almost certainly they’re drinkers themselves, but the do-gooders are wealthy and they don’t give a flying leap about the tax that would hit the steelworker that comes home after a hard days work and wants a cold one.

Yeah, it’s the do-gooders. Whether it be sodas, beef, alcohol, and other incarnations of past do-gooders took on drugs (pot etc), they say “we’re from the government, and we know what’s best for you.”

And if you don’t like it you are going to pay through the nose, or suffer with Bubba in prison. One of the true costs of all this, and this should be considered in a cost / benefit analysis, is that everyday people feel they are being screwed over by the elitist sanctimonious govt know-it-alls. This is a negative bad feeling, so it costs society in terms of overall well-being.

There’s no limit to what the do-gooders will decide that they want to go after. Like, soon they will start going after things like beef and sugar. This is all a matter of freedom and personal choice. We need to upend the do-gooders now before they are able to get carried away.

anotherJoe on June 1, 2014 at 4:09 PM

Time to brew up another 6 gallons of Wollys “everything but the kitchen sink” Stout.

It’s wicked good. About 9-10%.

When they outlaw barley, rice, oatmeal, honey,,yeast, then we’ll have a problem.

wolly4321 on June 1, 2014 at 4:00 PM

Sounds nice, I’m imagining something with a toasty, smooth finish if you’re using oats and honey. Let me know if you’re willing to ship, if it gets to that point.

The real problem with all these sin taxes is you’ll get do-gooders who are happy to direct that revenue stream into some “save the children” social program that, on it’s face, appears to be a great idea.

Then, when use and consumption declines (predictably, as any taxed item will), they scream that the revenue is drying up. Ultimately even the non-users end up footing the bill for the program(s), because the alternative would be to cancel it [shudders at the thought].

It’s happened with tobacco and gambling, surely would happen with ETOH…

Wikalista on June 1, 2014 at 4:11 PM

I’ll just have to dust off the still and increase my beer brewing. Don’t give a fig what the nanny state says, they can go…erm…..mate themselves.

Diluculo on June 1, 2014 at 4:12 PM

You’ll have to read Andrew’s entire response to get the full flavor, but it’s worth the time.

I’m gonna need a drink first.

Hooray for the rise of bathtub gin!

John the Libertarian on June 1, 2014 at 3:38 PM

And makers of doors with those smaller doors in the top center…

Or is this simply a case of “creeping sharia”?

directorblue on June 1, 2014 at 3:54 PM

Probably more like clumsily stumbling sharia.

JetBoy on June 1, 2014 at 4:13 PM

Minor point. Govt won one of the fronts (production) of this war. It would be unfair to call it a new war.

nobar on June 1, 2014 at 3:48 PM

In PA, they control the bottle sales. You can buy wine or beer by the case, or a keg of beer, but a single bottle of wine or any liquor is sold only at State [liquor] Stores.

Tom Corbett and the GOP have been talking about reforming this, but the SS employees’ union is fighting it, and not much has happened in the legislature.

The union only wants to negotiate with one state-wide employer. The union recently ran ads of a little girl by her daddy’s grave. The father was supposedly killed by a drunk driver because the private liquor store owner wasn’t “trained” not to sell to drunks the way SS employees are. (Like every bar owner in the state doesn’t already know about Dram Shop liability.)

Wethal on June 1, 2014 at 4:14 PM

Resist We Much on June 1, 2014 at 4:09 PM

Add:

“Beer is proof that God loves us, and wants us to be happy.”

-Benjamin Franklin

Wethal on June 1, 2014 at 4:17 PM

Remember, we have the Income Tax (16th-A) because the advocates for Prohibition needed to propose something to replace the cash flow to the government that they intended to end with the banning of alcoholic beverages. The alcohol tax was, in 1910, the single largest source of revenue for the Federal Government.

Another Drew on June 1, 2014 at 4:17 PM

One thing is for sure, alcohol consumption has enormous costs on society every year.

libfreeorgan on June 1, 2014 at 4:06 PM

…and you’re part of the…………”keep the change” crowd!

KOOLAID2 on June 1, 2014 at 4:20 PM

What Andrew neglected to point out about Britain after noting that Russian use of alcohol has been, to a large degree a product of the mess government has made, is that the very real problem of binge drinking in the UK is also largely a result of the government. It isn’t usually kids in the suburbs engaging in binge drinking. It is the kids that have grown up and become ‘imprisoned’ in the poverty, dependence, and dystopianism of the council estates. They get wildly drunk, fight, and pass out on the public street precisely because they have nothing else. They aren’t bloody likely to be encouraged to leave the estate and go to university. In fact, the welfare state encourages quite the opposite. (The Michael Philpott case is an extreme, but not unheard of example of the evil born of pervasive and entrenched welfare dependency).

And, before liveenslavedthendie screams ‘Racist!,’ I should point out that class more than race is the problem in the UK. Kids on council estates or ‘Benefits Street’ are just as likely – in fact, more likely – to be white than minority.

Resist We Much on June 1, 2014 at 4:26 PM

Let’s just go straight to Sharia

faraway on June 1, 2014 at 3:54 PM

Why not? As we know from the 9/11 terrorists, they drank and went to strip clubs, and still sought fit to stone their women in so-called honor killings, but were certain they’d go to their heaven with 72 virgins.

ladyingray on June 1, 2014 at 4:38 PM

One thing is for sure, alcohol consumption has enormous costs on society every year.

libfreeordie on June 1, 2014 at 4:06 PM

So does the AIDS virus.

hawkdriver on June 1, 2014 at 4:40 PM

I hope the Left takes up this war on booze.

faraway on June 1, 2014 at 4:41 PM

they don’t want to kill alcohol, they just want to wound it badly enough that it will go off and hemorrhage….preferably money

clandestine on June 1, 2014 at 4:42 PM

The Democrats are getting their legal dope and homosexual weddings. Everyone else should be allowed to have their booze, cigarettes and online poker.

Buddahpundit on June 1, 2014 at 4:43 PM

One thing is for sure, alcohol consumption has enormous costs on society every year.

libfreeordie on June 1, 2014 at 4:06 PM

I say limiting the amount of tax $$ the federal government spends each year would provide MUCH for benefit for society as a whole.

The Federal Government and all of it’s various encroachments on society inflicts MUCH more cost than alcohol ever will.

Meople on June 1, 2014 at 4:44 PM

Probably more like clumsily stumbling sharia.

JetBoy on June 1, 2014 at 4:13 PM

You had better hope so…

ladyingray on June 1, 2014 at 4:44 PM

One thing is for sure, alcohol consumption has enormous costs tax receipts on society every year.

libfreeordie on June 1, 2014 at 4:06 PM

FIFY.

ladyingray on June 1, 2014 at 4:48 PM

banning alcohol is both racist and an attack on religious freedom….its also a form of apartheid and a kind of pro-anti-pro-abortion thingy……and it will delay airline departure times across the board…..in the past cars drank gasoline and men drank alcohol…in future cars will drink alcohol and men will be forced to drink gasoline, thus precipitating another health care crisis as every third male in the nation will require a pig allograft liver transplant by age 17……..

clandestine on June 1, 2014 at 4:48 PM

Can I sign up for the war on Big Over-intrusive Government? Where’s that line start?

Meople on June 1, 2014 at 4:51 PM

Last time they tried this they got it done by giving the women the vote and then waiting for all the men to go off to fight World War I… – ConstantineXI on June 1, 2014 at 3:32 PM

Obviously you ain’t much an historian. World War I ended in 1918 and the Prohibition Amendment was passed in 1920. Of course Prohibition was repealed in 1933, the year that FDR came into office. However FDR is still said to have made the worst martinis the White House ever served.

SC.Charlie on June 1, 2014 at 4:54 PM

I have to wonder what Mr. Salam’s religious beliefs are. Sounds to me like the imposition of a certain middle eastern religious prohibition. The first prohibition spread the Italian Mafia across the country, the war on drugs has done the same thing for the Mexican Mafia. You cannot tell FREE PEOPLE what they can put in their bodies.

Zelsdorf Ragshaft on June 1, 2014 at 4:54 PM

‘Now those who seek absolute power, even though they seek it to do what they regard as good, are simply demanding the right to enforce their own version of heaven on earth, and let me remind you they are the very ones who always create the most hellish tyranny.’ – Senator Barry Goldwater, (R-AZ)

Resist We Much on June 1, 2014 at 4:09 PM

Think: drug war.

Think about what hell is created by this. Millions of people get their lives utterly destroyed by being imprisoned in horrible prison. With Bubba. And with felony records that will follow them forever. Users. Recreational users, that aren’t harming anyone. Or sellers, often small-time sellers, and sellers are going to be there to satisfy a very lucrative trade regardless of how strict we try to make the laws or whether we have the death penalty or 200 lashes (look at Saudi Arabia).

The social stigma and other costs associated with drug addiction is ruinous, and adding additional legal costs (threat of prison) adds little additional effective deterrent.

Drug addiction is a medical problem. It is not amenable to treatment by big fat publicly unionized police thugs busting through doors at 3am, with guns ready to shoot the dogs and stun grenades ready to be tossed into baby cribs.

Oh, you might say, the macho SWAT teams are busting through to get the pushers, not the users. But the problem is the users, the addicted problem users. Again, because of the way our society is, mega penalties and even turning our country into a overwhelming Orwellian police state is not going to put a significant dent in the amount of drug sellers. Treat the addicted drug user with help, not guns. Then the problem is going to solve itself to a degree, and we won’t have the crazy costly militarized police state all to fight the unwinnable drug war.

If drugs are considered so bad, and so sellers are utterly evil, then clearly tobacco is considered very bad, and tobacco sellers (like execs, and in corner shops!) then should get equal treatment by being imprisoned. Or, yes, alcohol sellers should for that matter then get the slammer as well as in fact alcohol kills a lot more people every year then even methamphetamine or heroin.

anotherJoe on June 1, 2014 at 4:57 PM

Whut about all these drunk automoviles running amok?

vnvet on June 1, 2014 at 5:05 PM

Zelsdorf Ragshaft on June 1, 2014 at 4:54PM

I’ll just leave this here.

OT: In my opinion, the Cult of Islam should not be protected under the First Amendment. For all the reasons we see every day, all over the world.

When the cult’s followers can demonstrate they can practice their “religion” without lopping off limbs or heads, or setting off a large explosive in a café somewhere on any given day, then we can talk about it being an actual religion of peace.

Meople on June 1, 2014 at 5:05 PM

One thing is for sure, alcohol consumption has enormous costs on society every year.

libfreeordie on June 1, 2014 at 4:06 PM

But weed is fine…………………………Dope.

VegasRick on June 1, 2014 at 5:06 PM

I believe I’ve seen this movie somewhere.

Jimmy Cagney and Edward G, right?

formwiz on June 1, 2014 at 5:08 PM

Of all tyrannies, a tyranny sincerely exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. It would be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron’s cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated; but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end for they do so with the approval of their own conscience.
C.S.Lewis
I know this quote doesn’t apply to taxes on alcohol, but it does apply to the methods the progressives use to control others.

Bakokitty on June 1, 2014 at 5:11 PM

Prohibition turned two bit thugs like Al Capone into millionaires and Tommy-gun gang battles were common in the big cities. Yeah, let’s repeat that.

Grammar Nazi on June 1, 2014 at 3:55 PM

Don’t forget, prohibition allowed the Kennedy Crime Family to become fabulously wealthy too, and without that wealth their family would not have been able to enter politics.

slickwillie2001 on June 1, 2014 at 5:13 PM

Oh, you might say, the macho SWAT teams are busting through to get the pushers, not the users. But the problem is the users, the addicted problem users. Again, because of the way our society is, mega penalties and even turning our country into a overwhelming Orwellian police state is not going to put a significant dent in the amount of drug sellers. Treat the addicted drug user with help, not guns. Then the problem is going to solve itself to a degree, and we won’t have the crazy costly militarized police state all to fight the unwinnable drug war.

If drugs are considered so bad, and so sellers are utterly evil, then clearly tobacco is considered very bad, and tobacco sellers (like execs, and in corner shops!) then should get equal treatment by being imprisoned. Or, yes, alcohol sellers should for that matter then get the slammer as well as in fact alcohol kills a lot more people every year then even methamphetamine or heroin.

anotherJoe on June 1, 2014 at 4:57 PM

Kudos for weaving in a knock on SWAT with such amazing skill – breathtaking! To be sure, we are rather macho, and I’ll apologize in advance if you find that intimidating. Thankfully the drug “pushers” -you know, the ones who sell heroin to the high school kids after they addicted to prescription opiates- find us intimidating too, and virtually always give up immediately when we come crashing through the door at 4 AM or so. Or, it could be because they’re cowardly pieces of crap who don’t care if their poison kills someone’s child. Either way, it’s nice since it reduces the likelihood of us getting shot at, and having little resort but to shoot back and kill the dealer in return.

FWIW, opiate-related overdoses are on track to surpass accidental deaths related to trauma or suicide in my region. But keep beating that alcohol and tobacco horse, cowboy.

Wikalista on June 1, 2014 at 5:16 PM

Political economist Nicholas Eberstadt has gone so far as to suggest that drunkenness communism is a key reason why Russia, a country with universal literacy propaganda and a level of educational attainment that is (technically) in the same ballpark as countries like Australia and Sweden, has roughly the same living standards as Ecuador.

FIFY, salon guy…

Newtie and the Beauty on June 1, 2014 at 5:29 PM

1. Jazz, this was published on Slate, not Salon
2. The insinuations by some commenters about Reihan proposing this because he’s a Muslim are stupid and ad hominem (nevermind y’all who were saying Islam shouldn’t be protected under the first amendment, which is poppycock. Protect all faiths. It’s the American way.). He writes for National Review and is a good and prominent defender of conservatism. His argument here isn’t good, but we should be able to discuss ideas then advocate them or dismiss them without pointing out he’s a Muslim.

The Internet on June 1, 2014 at 5:30 PM

The insinuations by some commenters about Reihan proposing this because he’s a Muslim are stupid and ad hominem (nevermind y’all who were saying Islam shouldn’t be protected under the first amendment, which is poppycock. Protect all faiths. It’s the American way.). He writes for National Review and is a good and prominent defender of conservatism. His argument here isn’t good, but we should be able to discuss ideas then advocate them or dismiss them without pointing out he’s a Muslim.

The Internet on June 1, 2014 at 5:30 PM

Take your blinders off brother, they will get you killed.

VegasRick on June 1, 2014 at 5:36 PM

One thing is for sure, alcohol consumption massive over-regulation by a power hungry, socialist-agenda-driven, over-weaning, subversive Central Government has enormous costs on society every year.
libfreeordie on June 1, 2014 at 4:06 PM

FIFY…

Newtie and the Beauty on June 1, 2014 at 5:44 PM

One thing is for sure, alcohol consumption has enormous costs on society every year.

libfreeordie on June 1, 2014 at 4:06 PM

so do racists not minding their own business.

dmacleo on June 1, 2014 at 5:45 PM

The insinuations by some commenters about Reihan proposing this because he’s a Muslim are stupid and ad hominem (nevermind y’all who were saying Islam shouldn’t be protected under the first amendment, which is poppycock. Protect all faiths. It’s the American way.). He writes for National Review and is a good and prominent defender of conservatism. His argument here isn’t good, but we should be able to discuss ideas then advocate them or dismiss them without pointing out he’s a Muslim.

The Internet on June 1, 2014 at 5:30 PM

You’re right, Reihan’s argument isn’t good. Not at all.

My thoughts about the Cult of Islam not being protected, while off topic (sorry for that) are quite valid however. The 1st Amendment protects religions as long the practicing of said religion doesn’t infringe on anyone else’s rights.

A cult like Islam, that dictates I either convert and practice it, or I am killed, pretty sure that infringes on my rights.

This also applies to followers of Islam that decide they want to convert to Christianity. They are also to be killed.

Not sure how that washes with the whole “Freedom of Religion” thing, but I don’t think it ends well.

Meople on June 1, 2014 at 5:47 PM

http://blogs.reuters.com/reihan-salam/2013/04/22/boston-and-the-future-of-islam-in-america/

I grew up in a Muslim household in New York City’s polyglot outer boroughs

Reihan is a muslim and lying to advance islam which is taqiya.

He can serve satan with the rest of his mohammedian brothers, just don’t lie to us about it.

Murphy9 on June 1, 2014 at 5:49 PM

We did this already…war on booz’s….

sorrowen on June 1, 2014 at 5:52 PM

Reihan is a muslim and lying to advance islam which is taqiya.

He can serve satan with the rest of his mohammedian brothers, just don’t lie to us about it.

Murphy9 on June 1, 2014 at 5:49 PM

Yep, that’s one helluva good religion they got there…………..

VegasRick on June 1, 2014 at 5:52 PM

We did this already…war on booz’s….

sorrowen on June 1, 2014 at 5:52 PM

Just wait until they try a… war on boob’s! Ho boy!

VegasRick on June 1, 2014 at 5:55 PM

I knew I picked a good year to long copper tubing!

WryTrvllr on June 1, 2014 at 5:56 PM

Yep, that’s one helluva good religion they got there…………..

VegasRick on June 1, 2014 at 5:52 PM

Hey, maybe eventually enough of the “peaceful” followers will get tired of the ones always killing in the name of their “peaceful” cult, and do something about it?

NAAAHHHH, not going to hold my breath on that one.

Meople on June 1, 2014 at 6:00 PM

slickwillie2001 on June 1, 2014 at 5:13 PM

The last Prohibition got the Kennedy’s out of bootlegging and into politics.
Maybe this one will reverse that.
Hopefully.

soundingboard on June 1, 2014 at 6:02 PM

Our running series on how well sin taxes have worked out in stopping smoking should be a clue here.

My DNS must not be working correctly. I thought I was on a site that claimed, daily – if not more often – that “If you want less of something, increase taxes on it.”.

corona79 on June 1, 2014 at 6:19 PM

Guess they didn’t learn from prohibition. Raising taxes will drive it underground.

sadatoni on June 1, 2014 at 6:24 PM

One thing is for sure, alcohol consumption has enormous costs on society every year.

libfreeordie on June 1, 2014 at 4:06 PM

So does Liberalism.

Hammie on June 1, 2014 at 6:34 PM

WA State, my ‘home’ for the past 32 years, finally increased their ‘sin taxes’ on hard booze so much I stopped buying it except for a bottle of Jack Daniels once every 3 years, used in certain meat marinades.

But I fish in Idaho twice a year and pick up bottles for my neighbors by the gallon, just like everyone else.

Tard on June 1, 2014 at 6:42 PM

Drinking to excess is pretty much uniformly a bad thing… it may prove to be a largely self-correcting feature.

But the alternative is to follow Reihan’s course and leave it to the government to modify human behavior through prohibition or excessive taxation.

That’s the alternative?

How’d you get this job?

Akzed on June 1, 2014 at 6:51 PM

We did this already…war on booz’s….
sorrowen on June 1, 2014 at 5:52 PM
Just wait until they try a… war on boob’s! Ho boy!
VegasRick on June 1, 2014 at 5:55 PM
The MPAA already declared war on Eva Green’s boob’s…

sorrowen on June 1, 2014 at 6:56 PM

His argument here isn’t good, but we should be able to discuss ideas then advocate them or dismiss them without pointing out he’s a Muslim. The Internet on June 1, 2014 at 5:30 PM

Gee, those who oppose gay marriage are often told to keep their rosaries off of Jetboy’s ovaries, but a Muslim (spit) attempting to implement a tenet of Islam (spit) as govt policy gets a pass.

(It’s not really clear what you mean since you seem to have left out some words, so if I misunderstood you blame yourself.)

Akzed on June 1, 2014 at 6:59 PM

I read a theory that the real reason for prohibition was that men could go out and get drunk and go home and beat up their wives. They were victims. But they were going at it the wrong way just as the gun haters are doing. The problem was not the booze. The problem was that women had no power. Husbands could do anything and wives had no recourse. If they left they would have no custody of their children. They had to fight for these things.

crankyoldlady on June 1, 2014 at 7:06 PM

One thing is for sure, alcohol consumption has enormous costs on society every year.

libfreeordie on June 1, 2014 at 4:06 PM

So does sex outside of monogamous lifetime relationships.

wifarmboy on June 1, 2014 at 7:08 PM

So pot is cool and alcohol is bad? You won’t get a dime from me for either.

Cindy Munford on June 1, 2014 at 7:08 PM

Any time our government forces people to do something “for their own good” it’s going to be a goat-rope.

abester on June 1, 2014 at 7:37 PM

drinking beer is the only sane thing to do in this completely crazy schizoid world

clandestine on June 1, 2014 at 7:49 PM

So, according to this “conservative”, we need to conduct a war on alcohol here in America because of Russia, lol.

Sheesh, with Conservatives like him, who needs republicans?

xblade on June 1, 2014 at 8:05 PM

Y’all best get used to it…as long as Barack HUSSEIN Obama is transforming us into the Islamic States of America, you do realize the muzzies don’t do no alcohol…don’t like the gheys much either…or wimmins…or bacon…For myself, I’m gonna invest in a rug factory and kneepads…

bimmcorp on June 1, 2014 at 8:25 PM

The reason Russia
Is doomed to Poverty:
No respect for Contracts.

Why would anybody invest any money or work hard in a country that can abrogate any contract at any time in favor of the corrupt ruling class? You are better off just hiding your money or getting it out of the country any way you can.

Haiku Guy on June 1, 2014 at 8:47 PM

They’ll replace it with a daily chocolate or soma ration.

Wethal on June 1, 2014 at 3:41 PM

Wonder how many here didn’t get the soma reference.

massrighty on June 1, 2014 at 9:02 PM

but we should be able to discuss ideas then advocate them or dismiss them without pointing out he’s a Muslim. The Internet on June 1, 2014 at 5:30 PM

If I wrote something, and it closely conformed to the basic tenets of the LDS church, then the question of whether or not I was a Mormon would certainly be germane. For that matter, if I advocated for something that was directly in contravention to the LDS church, my being a Mormon would also be germane.

That he is a Muslim probably informs his decisions regarding Alcohol, don’tcha think?

massrighty on June 1, 2014 at 9:09 PM

Wonder how many here didn’t get the soma reference.

massrighty on June 1, 2014 at 9:02 PM

A gramme is better than a damn!

Murphy9 on June 1, 2014 at 9:17 PM

If we’re doing sin taxes, how about one of the Big Ten?

Seems to me the government should be able to successfully tax sex acts outside the bonds of marriage, don’t you agree?.

No question that illicit sex has and will lead to enormous suffering – even death- as well as high financial costs and huge societal burdens.

I realize a significant part of the Democratic machine is based on breeding children outside of wedlock (i.e. into poverty; the prime indicator of child poverty is the marital status of the parents) and their campaign promises have a lot of “No Consequences! Risk-free Sex is your Destiny!!” flavor to them, so maybe this would be one thing the Left isn’t inclined to tax?

But jeez louise… think of the REVENUE.

Dolce Far Niente on June 1, 2014 at 9:32 PM

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