Liquor industry doesn’t need tax money to survive

Freedom Editorial

D oesn’t it just — pardon the expression —
lift your spirits to learn the poor liquor
industry is getting a boost from taxpayers?

Granted, it’s just a tiny boost, but when you are a struggling business, you need all the help you can get, we reckon.

Yes, the Distilled Spirits Council is getting a $62,000 grant from the U.S. Agriculture Department. No, the Ag Department does not print its own money; it gets it from all of us who pay taxes. And since the liquor is made from grain, it comes under the protection of the USDA.

The liquor council, it seems, has so much trouble selling its products that it wants to penetrate overseas markets.

There are promising markets overseas, an official with the liquor council told The Associated Press. But those markets, alas, aren’t all that familiar with Western-style spirits.

We don’t know if American liquor gets you any drunker than overseas liquor, but the education comes from the drinking, not from the advertising.

The money will ostensibly be used to promote good old U.S. brown whiskey, rum, vodka and other spirits to Chinese markets, to point out one.

Of course, tobacco was kicked off this corporate welfare gravy train years ago, and rightly so. But that just left another seat, along with peanuts, soybeans, forest and paper industries and the wine industry, aboard the subsidized hayride.

The fact that it’s only $62,000 is even more of a slap in the face. The store across the county line from any dry county in the U.S. takes in that much money a week. The liquor industry makes millions of dollars a year.

Liquor is a highly sought-after commodity. We would wager a guess that without one line of advertising, the industry would still flourish. But because it is packaged as a product for the beautiful people (those not in rehab or wheelchairs or prison because of using it), then that’s the message the industry wants to send overseas — for only $62,000, the price of about a half dozen pretty nice funerals.