Today's Pittsburgh Post-Gazette has a Letter to the Editor
from a guy named Fred Steare Jr. Fred is an employee of the state store and also, it would seem, a moron.
Regarding "Cheers to the Poll: Most People Want to See the End of the State Stores" (Dec. 24 editorial): So, Quinnipiac University says 66 percent favor state store privatization. This sounds more like a figure you would get from a real-life Delta House at Faber College in the movie "Animal House."
Sorry, folks, but all the smoke and mirrors can't erase the fact that the nearly half-billion dollars sent to the General Fund each year by the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board is still a nice, hefty sum, which would be very hard to replace year after year once the state stores are gone.
The so-called "one-time cash infusion" is just that -- a one-time solution.
Once the money from the sale is frittered away (don't blink your eyes, you'll miss it), guess what? Higher taxes!
Incidentally, do all you legislators who are in favor of privatization ever think of the fact that the steady stream of money and goodies you receive from businesses that would benefit from privatization would dry up for you once their purpose is served? Plus the fact that taxes will be much higher to make up for what the stores used to bring in every year.
Better give it some thought, folks! I know the public will, too, when election time rolls around.
FRED STEARE JR.
The writer is a state store employee.
So Fred Steare, a PLCB state-store employee, thinks that there are two good reasons to NOT privatize the PLCB.
1. We'd lose the $500 million a year that the PLCB puts into the state budget.
2. Lawmakers would lose "steady stream of money and goodies" that privatization lobbyists give them now.
First, the PLCB actually DOES contribute around $500 million to the state's coffers every year and, as Fred Steare says, that's a nice, hefty sum. What Fred doesn't mention is that $400 million (plus or minus a bit depending on who you ask) comes from sales taxes
on the liquor. That $400 million will continue to be sent to the state as the private stores will continue to collect and remit sales tax.
The remaining $100 million will likely be covered by a variety of sources, including liquor store business licenses and additional sales tax revenue from the likely increase in sales due to better service and better selection. But, and here's the kicker, even if that $100 million is no longer generated for the state's budget, I DON'T CARE. The government has no business being in the liquor sales business.
Second, Fred Steare actually makes the argument that legislators should NOT privatize the PLCB because that will cause "the steady stream of money and goodies you receive from businesses that would benefit from privatization would dry up." At least he's making his pro-corruption argument public - it's always good to see a person's true thoughts on an issue.
Fred Steare Jr, you are a douchebag, a moron, and if I could fire you myself, I would.