Who Cares About Unemployment When We’ve Got Gay Marriage?

Today the Minnesota Senate passed a bill authorizing gay marriage which will be signed into law by our governor, Mark Dayton. That is the context for this text, which my oldest daughter sent me a few minutes ago:

If I had a dollar for every #time4marriage hashtag on my feed I’d be rich. Someone should start a #time4jobs trend, seeing as there are approx. twice as many unemployed Americans as gay Americans.

She was being conservative, it is actually more like five times as many, if you count the people who have given up. Maybe if our young people stay unemployed long enough (my daughter, happily, has a job) they will start to catch on.

But probably not at a Minnesota brewery. In addition to raising the top income tax rate to an anticipated 12%–on top of a federal rate of 39%, plus 3% for Medicare–our Democratic legislature is contemplating a 600% increase in the tax on beer. Now they’ve gone too far! What tea was in 1775, perhaps beer will be today.

One of our excellent local brewers is called Surly. Today they put out a statement on the Democrats’ proposal, which applies to brewers over a certain size, which Surly has not yet reached, but likely will soon:

If you live in Minnesota, you’ve no doubt heard that the Minnesota House is proposing to increase the beer excise tax from $4.60/barrel to $27.75/barrel. This has understandably stirred a lot of debate and discussion so we wanted to weigh in with our stance and clarify the points of the issue.

– We should be supporting our local breweries, but this tax does the exact opposite – it makes it difficult for breweries to grow and add jobs.

– Minnesota’s beer taxes are already 81 percent higher than Wisconsin, 33 percent higher than Iowa, 20 percent higher than South Dakota, and 22 percent higher than North Dakota – even BEFORE this proposed increase.

A 600 percent tax increase is bad for business, no matter how you slice it, and this proposal comes at a crucial time for Minnesota craft beer. …

At Surly, as we continue to expand, we will soon outgrow Minnesota’s small brewer excise tax exemption. If this tax is increased 600 percent, as proposed, it will deal us a serious blow while we try to make more beer. It will affect how much you pay for your beer. We realize that ultimately no one likes taxes but this proposed increase punishes growth and success, and a 600 percent increase is just plain unreasonable.

Currently this tax would directly affect Schell’s and Summit, and we stand with them on this issue.

If you are fortunate enough to live in an area where Surly beer is available, you should buy some.

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