Alcohol

The CARE Act: Another Reason for Anti-Acronym Bias

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mmmm… farm fresh beer

Here at Reason, we have a longstanding skepticism about bills with cutesy acronyms, and occasional Reason contributor Jacob Grier clearly shares that bias in a recent Washington Examiner piece:

As a general rule, the cuter the acronym politicians attach to a bill, the worse that bill actually is. Such is the case with the CARE Act, a.k.a. The Comprehensive Alcohol Regulatory Effectiveness Act, currently before Congress. The bill is backed by wine and beer wholesalers who benefit from a restrictive three-tier alcohol distribution system and opposed by, well, pretty much everyone else in the alcohol industry

The law would benefit only wholesalers, who hate seeing a bottle of wine, beer, or liquor slip into their states without collecting their cut. Wholesalers have contributed more than $2 million to congressmen, earning them 136 co-sponsors of the bill in the House.

The CARE Act is a clear sop to wholesalers at the expense of everyone else. At a time when buyers of countless other products enjoy the long tail of diverse options available for order online, wholesalers want to trap alcohol consumers in a 1930s model of distribution. 

More on the CARE Act here.

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  1. At a time when buyers of countless other products enjoy the long tail of diverse options available for order online, wholesalers want to trap alcohol consumers in a 1930s model of distribution.

    This is true.

    It is similar to just about any government program aimed at supporting, promoting, “developing”, protecting, or otherwise regulating an industry.

    Unfortunately, these twerps always get away with it on a tendentious “protecting the public” argument that is based on some narrow segment of the population that might possibly suffer damage under very particular circumstances.

    The US economy is being nannied to death.

  2. What’s the downside for Obama just vetoing this shit? The $2 million has been paid, the congresstards have completed the task they were bribed to do. This seems like a stellar opportunity for the Big-O to do the right thing.

    1. It will likely go the way of every such opportunity he has been handed.

    2. Same downside that all legislators and government officials face: Having another special interest group line up against you.

      As the late Milton Friedman pointed out, the public has only a diffuse interest in this and it will swing few votes against him if he should support it, but if he opposes it, he loses not only the direct support of a group that WILL vote against him based on his opposition, but the money they would bring to his campaign as well.

      Further, given the economic savvy displayed to date by Barry O, do you really think he understands the underlying argument against this kind of behavior?

      1. I could buy that if it was the NRA, AARP, or UAW that he’d be pissing off but with this issue it’s alcohol wholesalers. Seems like you’d get more political mileage peddling to the drunks that vote than this particular interest group.

        1. drunks that vote

          Didn’t think that one through did ya?

          1. I know at least 100 drunks that vote, myself included. I stand by my assertion that vetoing this crap is a winning proposition for the Douche-in-Chief. It can’t possibly save him in 2012 but I doubt he knows that.

            1. Look, the fact of the matter is that Obama made a campaign promise to veto as many bills as possible.

              So for him to pick up the veto pen would be a physical impossibility. STFU and buy your insurance.

          2. We need a drunk lobby. Seriously.

    3. The Big-O doesn’t “do the right thing”, you racist. He’s not Spike Lee. I know they all look the same to you, but there’s a difference.

      1. Wait! They’re both Muslims aren’t they?

        1. Michele henpecks Spike too?

          1. Maybe she can’t tell them apart.

            1. Maybe she can’t tell them apart.

              SHHHHH, why you tryin to fuckup Spike’s bootycall?

    4. What’s the downside for Obama just vetoing this shit?

      Stupid little bills are usually attached to stupid big bills that can’t be vetoed without killing The Children and risking The Jobs.

      1. Very good point.

  3. Dad blasted newfangled internet, now it wants to sell beer to kids?

  4. I’ve got a 750mL bottle of Schlafly Biere de Garde chilling as I type this. The fact that it was purchased directly from the brewery, thereby cutting the wholesaler out of the equation, will make it taste that much better.

  5. To be fair, it would be really hard to come up with a good acronym for R.E.N.T.S.E.E.K.I.N.G.

  6. Kentucky Bourbon Producers issue letter to Congress denouncing H.R. 5034 and describing how it would harm the bourbon industry.

    good enough for me.

    1. Brewers Association, organization of over 1000 American Brewers, issues position statement opposing H.R. 5034 for its “lack of protection for the legitimate concerns of America’s smaller brewers.”

      Ditto.

    2. Huh, just read the Bourbon Industries letter: this bill removes the federal “standard or identity” for calling a product “bourbon” allowing each state to set their own definition of “bourbon”.

      1. Brewers, on the other hand, complaining that it gives a commerce clause exception in the case of something that is ACTUALLY FUCKING INTERSTATE COMMERCE.

        Gah, our congress is so stupid. Hey, lets make everything interstate commerce, except you know, that, which is the kind of thing the clause was meant for.

        1. And this:

          The Brewers Association (BA) believes the American consumer should have access to the widest range of domestically produced beers made available by licensed breweries.

          The BA recognizes that not all beers have adequate sales levels to find distribution on retailers’ shelves or wholesalers’ warehouses. In such situations, consumers may be willing to go to the brewery premises to find beers not readily available through normal distribution channels.

          The success or failure of a beer should depend on consumer demand, rather than on artificial barriers to distribution.

          BA supports state laws that respect and enhance consumer choice in the marketplace. BA believes that to provide the greatest ongoing choice for consumers, small brewers should have the right to sell beer directly to qualified consumers.

        2. Hey, lets make everything interstate commerce, except you know, that, which is the kind of thing the clause was meant for.
          reply to this

          I have the same issue with the USDA/FDA allowing the sale of “fat free” sour cream and half and half.

          These bureaucracies were originally tasked with stopping the sale of misbranded and/or adulterated foods. Now they facilitate it.

          1. Whats your problem with fat free sour cream? Don’t yours come empty too?

      2. I will never drink Arizona “Bourbon”, ever.*

        *maybe in a pinch

        1. “pinch”

          That’s one size down from a quart, isn’t it? 😉

        2. How about some Kanss Wheat Bourbon?

  7. That picture is disturbing. I understand hops and barley, but corn? And rice? WTF!? Whoever puts those ingredients in beer needs to be drawn and quartered.

    1. A lot of crap domestic beer is made with rice.

      1. All the huge brewers (Coors, Busch, Miller) make rice-based pilsners. Some huge percentage of all domestically produced rice goes to them, something like 90%.

        1. If you only produce two bags of rice its pretty easy to use up 90% of it.

          1. The vast majority of short grain rice eaten in America is produced in California.

            That ain’t Japanese rice you’re eating in sushi bars.

            1. That ain’t Japanese rice you’re eating in sushi bars.

              Really, Japan isnt the biggest agricultural powerhouse on the planet? With their ample arable land and cheap labor? Say it aint so!

              1. You glide nicely over how wrong you were about American rice production. Well done.

                1. Yeah, we’re all over that shit. Yup.

                  1. Still more than “two bags.”

                    1. Clearly you’re not acquainted with the collection of halftruths and hyperbole known as…well, me.

        2. IIRC, Miller is more corn-based than rice-based.

        3. But, but, but… Swiller Shite is triple hops brewed!

          1. by hops they mean rabbit shit.

            1. ironically, pelletized hops looks EXACTLY like rabbit shit. I now grow my own.

      2. Speaking of crap domestic beer – results for state fair are out:

        Finished 2nd in German Wheat & Rye (was going for the 3peat, but came up short, 4th top 2 finish in last 4 years though) and 3rd in English Brown Ale. ESB and Saison blanked though. Dont know in my categories exact numbers yet, but there were on avg 18 entries per category. I imagine about 50 IPAs.

        1. I would be most proud of the Brown if you ask me. A more difficult style to get perfect.

    2. Never drink a Fuller’s ESB then. A small percentage of corn in it.

      Corn, is judicious amounts, is useful in brewing. As our oats. And rye*. And wheat*. But rice, nope.

      *no need to be judicious. With rye, you just need to be brave.

  8. The law would benefit only wholesalers, who hate seeing a bottle of wine, beer, or liquor slip into their states without collecting their cut

    Isn’t this the kind of shit the commerce clause was actually meant to prevent?

    1. commenting without reading the comments….yeah, this was already covered.

    2. Isn’t this the kind of shit the commerce clause was actually meant to prevent?

      That is sooo 1789!

      1. Kickin it old school, yo. Got my main man MC CherryChoppa on the turntables. Benny Franks in tha house ya’ll. When I say “constitutional” you say “limits to federal government”.

  9. I go by a rule: “ASBMAETP”.

    (Acronyms should be memorable and easy to pronounce.)

  10. Isn’t this the kind of shit the commerce clause was actually meant to prevent?

    That’s precisely the kind of racist nostalgia for the Confederacy that gives libertarianism a bad name.

    1. If hating gov’t overreach means i have to hate niggers too, then so be it.

  11. “They have donated more than $2.2 million to House members, including $922,000 to lawmakers who signed on to the bill as sponsors, according to the Center for Responsive Politics.”

    Apparently the bribing efforts were only 50% effective. That makes the going rate for bill sponsorship about $7,000 per cum basket.

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