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A Beer Stimulus, Comcast Merger Questions and Urban Beekeeping

Daily Update

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A Beer Stimulus, Comcast Merger Questions and Urban Beekeeping

A proposed “Beer Stimulus Bill” would reduce the federal excise tax that small brewers must pay.

Yesterday lawmakers conducted a field hearing questioning “Who Benefits?” from the proposed Comcast-NBC Universal merger.

Unlike many other cities, New York votes to repeal its decade-old ban on keeping bees within city limits.

1. TAXES

A proposed “Beer Stimulus Bill” would reduce the federal excise tax that small brewers must pay.

CEI Expert Available to Comment: Policy Analyst Michelle Minton on how a better solution would be to abolish the tax on beer.

“Consider that brewers not only pay the federal excise tax, but also a state excise tax in addition to all the other fees and costs. In 2004 the Beer Institute estimated that taxes represented over 40% of the retail cost of beer. Imagine that! Without the tax burden on producers your craft brew would cost just $3.50 instead of $6, your Budweiser would cost $1.50 and a Miller High Life would only cost you your dignity (just kidding, I drink High Life).”

 

2. BUSINESS

Yesterday lawmakers conducted a field hearing questioning “Who Benefits?” from the proposed Comcast-NBC Universal merger.

CEI Expert Available to Comment: Vice President for Policy Wayne Crews on how blocking the merger will slow growth, decrease competition, and lower service quality.

“The Comcast-NBC merger represents one element of an evolving communications marketplace that is increasingly magnifying consumer choice and the ability to customize information—not just consumed information like movies on demand, but also that which individuals themselves create or assemble for distribution to others. That hyper-personalization legitimately coexists with giant media enterprises.”

 

3. NANNY STATE

Unlike many other cities, New York votes to repeal its decade-old ban on keeping bees within city limits.

CEI Expert Available to Comment: Policy Analyst Marc Scribner on how restricting urban beekeeping is a violation of basic property rights and liberty.

“[Several major cities have] specifically prohibited the keeping of bees within city limits. Other cities created land-use restrictions, such as minimum lot size requirements, that effectively prevented legal beekeeping. ‘Public health’ was the reason most often given, even though experts agree that beekeeping poses few, if any, public health risks (and it may, in fact, provide public health benefits). Essentially, irrational fears of urban bee swarms attacking school children, or something equally absurd, drove the implementation of these regulations.”