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MN-03: Paulsen goes from one “triumph” to another

by Dan Burns on January 30, 2018

ECCjan18A rhetorical pronouncement: You all know what was the greatest legislative achievement ever in Congress (at least according to the state’s corporate media, led by the Minneapolis Star Tribune) by a Minnesota legislator there, right? It was of course when Rep. Erik Paulsen (R-MN) shepherded a suspension of the medical device tax through the House and eventually into law. Worthy of a Roman triumph, if you take the aforementioned news sources seriously. But maintaining that cut turned out to be a very low priority for the current Congress, though it was finally managed via a last-ditch insertion into the stopgap spending bill.

The tax suspension never did much in the way of job creation in the industry, at least in the U.S. (That linked article is definitive, and should be perused carefully if you want to be reality-based, here.) No matter: Paulsen had moved onto another magnificence: tax cuts for craft beer. But again:

The frequent assertion that the tax cut is for craft brewers and distillers is misleading.
– For every $20 of alcohol tax cuts in the legislation, only about $1 actually goes to the true craft brewers or small distillers.
– Most of the revenue—the other $19—goes to larger producers and to importers. This is largely because of new or expanded opportunities to evade or avoid the limits on what qualifies for the lowest tax rates. For instance, it’s plausible that a third to one half of all distilled spirits sold in the U.S. will qualify for the reduced rate.
– By allowing alcohol from foreign and large domestic producers to be passed off as “craft,” certain parts of the legislation may put America’s real small brewers and distillers at a competitive disadvantage.

Paulsen’s “work” in Congress has degenerated to open farce. Long past time for a change.

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