The beer industry is cheering a recently introduced bill that would roll back the excise tax on brewers in the Washington, DC area to pre-1991 levels. The industry sees the bill as a wise measure to relieve the economic pressures on small and large brewers alike. H.R. 836 the Brewers Excise and Economic Relief (BEER) Act was introduced by the bipartisan duo of Reps. Earl Pomeroy (D-ND) and Tom Latham (R-IA). And given that the prices of ingredients for beer are on the rise it does seem that this is a smart way to help out an industry that contributes more than 1.7 million jobs with wages and benefits of nearly $55 billion to the American economy.
However, this type of action is what congress should be doing across the board in order to deal with the current economic crisis. Instead of doling out tax payer money to prop up favored businesses and muddle competition, they should be working on ways to to get out of the way of economic progress, innovation, and small businesses; repealing cumbersome regulations and taxation is a very good start. This will save brewers millions of dollars and prevent innumerable layoffs, bankruptcies and the inevitable request for stimulus money. Reducing taxes on productive achievement is a win-win strategy for industry, consumers, and even government itself.