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Tax cut opponents using fear tactics even in lower drink prices E-mail
Friday, 01 December 2017 10:19

LETER TO THE EDITOR, Dr. Joseph Perrone, Chief Science Officer, Center for Accountability in Science

If nothing is certain but death and taxes, it's no wonder the media is lapping up recent claims that 1,150 Americans will die every year if the Senate reduces alcohol taxes. Fortunately, the statistic is more hyperbole than certainty.

The uproar mirrors recent misinformation that one daily drink increases the risk of breast cancer by five percent. For the average 30-year-old woman, that amounts to a real risk increase of less than one-fiftieth of one percent - a sliver of a sliver - for breast cancer before age 40.

Real-world alcohol and tax trends reveal that inflation has steadily reduced federal alcohol taxes since the 1950s to less than 10 cents per serving of beer or wine, and less than 20 cents per 80-proof shot of liquor. Yet despite access to comparatively cheaper drinks, death from alcohol-related causes remains relatively stable, increasing by just .002 percent in the last three decades. The two aren't correlated, let alone causative.

It shouldn't be a controversial point. By definition, alcohol-related deaths involve excessive drinking and studies clearly indicate that addiction and substance abuse do not adhere to simple supply and demand.

Think critically about the claim: Even if the federal excise tax were completely eliminated, does anyone believe a 20 cent cheaper bar tab is the only safeguard from rampant loss of life? Resist the fearmongering and enjoy your slightly cheaper drink.




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The High Plains Daily Leader and Southwest Daily Times are published Sunday through Friday and reaches homes throughout the Liberal, Kansas retail trade zone. The Leader & Times is the official newspaper of Seward County, USD No. 480, USD No. 483 and the cities of Liberal and Kismet.  The Leader & Times is a member of the Liberal Chamber of Commerce, the Kansas Press Association and the Associated Press.

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