Alcohol industry will get boost from Senate tax plan – The Hill

Americans are eagerly watching and hoping for final passage of comprehensive tax reform. It would be a huge win for Americans, providing an impressive income boost for the middle-class. 

The Senate just passed their tax bill with an amendment that could also cut federal excise taxes on beer, wine and spirits, and result in an estimated $130 million in annual savings for brewers.

Currently, taxes on the beer industry are extremely high. In fact, 40 percent of what beer drinkers in America pay for a beer goes toward taxes. Savings from reduced federal excise taxes would help brewers reduce costs and create more jobs in the alcohol beverage industry, which already supports 4.6 million American workers. 

The amendment is a version of the Craft Beverage Modernization and Tax Reform Act, a bill that has garnered 300 bipartisan cosponsors in the House and 55 bipartisan cosponsors in the Senate. Its popularity is due to the bill being backed by the entire alcohol industry — brewers, vintners, distillers and importers, large and small. Cheers to the Senate for recognizing this is a smart amendment that would benefit millions of businesses, and suppliers.  

However, a recent outlandish and skewed report claims the amendment would lead to more alcohol-related deaths and that alcohol deaths are currently soaring. The fact is that’s just not true. Drunk driving fatalities have decreased 51 percent since 1982, and 21 percent over the past five years, according to statistics from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Furthermore, underage drinking is reporting at historic lows, according to the U.S. Dept. of Health and Human Services’ National Survey on Drug Use and Health.  

This is not to say that alcohol abuse is not a serious problem. It is and we should and must continue efforts to promote responsible alcohol consumption. However, the

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