Enrich Illinois: Raise Alcohol Taxes

As the State Legislature struggles with means to raise revenue, it's missing the most obvious way to enrich Illinois: raise alcohol taxes.  Check out this article I  wish I'd written for the full argument, or just accept my quick-and-dirty version: it's more dangerous to get drunk than to get stoned, so while we're acknowledging one side of this equation by legalizing marijuana we should acknowledge the other side by making alcohol more expensive.

The important thing to realize is that the big profit in any product line comes from people who use too much of the product. A few extra bucks paid by moderate drinkers has the potential to reduce the damage caused by, and to, problem drinkers. Or, as more elegantly stated years ago in an ad for some sort of fancy booze, "If price matters, you're drinking too much."

[And no, I don't just think this because my brother is the expert most cited in the article, not to mention his being the Washington State pot czar. That's just a happy nepotistic byproduct of my agreeing with him.]

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    The Nonprofiteer is Kelly Kleiman, principal of NFP Consulting, which provides Board development, strategic planning and fund-raising services to charities and philanthropies. Through her consulting practice and in her guise as The Nonprofiteer, Kelly has spent the past 25-plus years helping small and mid-sized nonprofits organize themselves better and raise more money. These days she focuses especially on helping them use high-skill volunteers. Kelly is also a lawyer and freelance journalist whose reportage and essays have appeared in the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, Christian Science Monitor and other dailies; in magazines including In These Times and Chicago Philanthropy; in the alternative press; on websites including the Huffington Post; and on the radio, including the BBC and WBEZ Chicago Public Radio. She and her fellow "Dueling Critic" Jonathan Abarbanel present a weekly podcast of their reviews of Chicago theater at DuelingCritics.net. Earlier in her career she was dean of admissions of IIT Chicago-Kent College of Law and Executive Director of the Chicago Children’s Choir, and practiced real estate and zoning law with the firm of Rudnick & Wolfe. Kelly holds undergraduate and law degrees from the University of Chicago. She was a founding Board member of the Association of Consultants to Nonprofits and also served for 5 years on the Board of the Association for Women Journalists–Chicago. She can be reached ("Dear Nonprofiteer . . .") at KellyNFP@yahoo.com.

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    • In reply to Richard Davis:
      I'm fully in favor of using taxes to support transfers--I don't insist that my neighbor "give what [s/he] might not ...
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      True; but the Nonprofiteer is increasingly concerned about class distinctions and the Jackson sentence is a perfect example of those.
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