To the Editor:
The alcohol sellers are at it again. Back in the 1980s, if enough people in a town were convinced that there was a problem, the state would train a team to return to their community with the education and tools to effectively deal with the problem.
Maine became a national model for its multifaceted community approach and, best of all, the program was funded by the users themselves. A small percentage of alcohol sales money ran this program. The more you drank, the more you contributed to the program.
Well, the alcohol sellers of the state paid a local bulldog lawyer to go after this so-called Alcohol Premium system. Their assault was veiled with arguments of fairness: “why should this program alone get what is essentially everyone’s tax money? Isn’t it fairer”, they argued, “that the alcohol premium money go into the general tax pool? Let the alcohol education and treatment programs fight for their money like any other!”
So, the alcohol dealers’ mercenary lawyers prevailed, the community teams withered and were replaced with less effective stop-gap approaches, and we’re into another cycle of wondering why so many people are addicted to alcohol and other drugs.
So these indignant paradigms of capitalism are at it again. This time their sacred right to profit is threatened by a tax (another premium).
This time their well-funded attack is full-paged lies in the news papers and statewide mailings. Their scare now is “high taxes”. They claim we have the highest taxes in the universe. They don’t have the guts to put on the ads that these are paid for by the alcohol dealers’ (they call themselves “distributers”) association to protect profits while dealing addictive substances; no, they have to manipulate it to something like “Citizens for the Red White and Blue”.
They may even have a point (of the several they make), but because they are so underhanded, I hope they meet the same fate as when they fought so hard to kill the returnable bottle bill.
“Fed Up with Taxes?” No, I’m fed up with being manipulated.
To the Editor: