Letters to the Editor

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LIQUOR: State voters were hoodwinked

Letter by Doug E. Simpson, Tacoma on May 31, 2012 at 8:43 am with 66 Comments »
May 31, 2012 10:09 am

Re: “Liquor prices stir confusion” (TNT, 5-31).

I, for one, feel hoodwinked by Washington state regarding the vote to take the state out of liquor sales. I wish I had saved my voters information packet so I could review it again.

At the time, I felt that any time we could get the state out of involvement we would see a price/cost improvement. Boy, was I wrong.

I don’t remember seeing any mention of the ridiculous taxes and increases that they are going to impose on sales. I tried to get more information regarding possible prices that we could expect to see if the initiative passed, but to no avail.

If the vote were to be held today, armed with the current information, my vote would be different.

Leave a comment Comments → 66
  1. “At the time, I felt that any time we could get the state out of involvement we would see a price/cost improvement. Boy, was I wrong.”

    Have you learned not to trust the teawhiners, anti-American conservatives and the republicans?

    Thats who sold you the snake oil of ‘privatization’.

  2. CrazyJim says:

    kluwer has it right!

  3. Well, Doug – it looks like PT Barnum was right again…..

  4. “I, for one, feel hoodwinked by Washington state”

    Still can’t take responsibility, huh?

  5. You thought removing sales from a non-profit and giving it to a capitalist would reduce the cost of liquor? LOL

  6. sandblower says:

    Not a very bright letter, Doug.

  7. alindasue says:

    Did you read that voters pamphlet before tossing it? Every one of the fees and provisions in the new law was clearly outlined in the initiative and the entire text of the initiative was in the voters pamphlet.

    However, if you want another look, here’s the text of the initiative for you to review:

  8. Copper2Steel says:

    Yet another example that voters should not educate themselves via campaign TV ads, or the short summary of the voter’s pamphlet.

    Like other — yet not enough — educated voters, I did the math — and voted No.

  9. alindasue says:


    I also did the math and voted Yes.
    That said, I’m glad I’m not the only one fully reading the initiatives.

  10. The facts were very clear to anyone who bothered to research. I tried on these threads, ad nauseum, to explain how this law would effect the prices. The only way for the price to go down is if businesses decide to willingly make only a marginal profit.

    sure, there will be some grand opening sales, and maybe you can find discounts on some wholesale spirits on occasion; but overall we will pay more for liquor.

    it’s our own fault. we voted down 1100 (which wouldve lowered prices) and backed 1183 (which doesnt).

    once again, all of this information has been widely available throughout this process to anyone who bothered to look.

  11. Theefrinker says:

    The fact is though, that the government should never have had a monopoly on the sale of liquor; so we needed to fix that. Taxes will only go up because we will still buy liquor, just like cigarettes and gas. Taxes would have gone up again had we not privatized liquor sales. I see no reason for it to change because now the government will be saving tens of millions of dollars in wages they (we) were paying. But, it is what it is. We should be used to getting shafted by now.

  12. anders_ibsen says:

    Thanks for your honesty. I really enjoyed reading your letter to the editor for that very reason; we don’t see too much humility in today’s media. Much respect.

  13. alindasue says:

    opper2Steel said, “Yet another example that voters should not educate themselves via campaign TV ads, or the short summary of the voter’s pamphlet.”

    I agree. People should look beyond the political ads to the real issues and people prior to voting. The voter’s pamphlet did have the full text of the initiatives in it though. They are always in the back, easy to find, right after the summaries.

  14. Theefrinker – what harm was done by the state “having a monopoly”?

    I don’t see it.

  15. ‘what harm was done by the state “having a monopoly”?’

    For starters it isn’t the government’s job to be retailers. Tax dollars will be better spent in other places rather than running retail liquor stores. Smaller government.

  16. itwasntmethistime says:

    The information was all over the place. People simply got excited about the idea of saving money and refused to listen to what they did not want to believe.

    It was a major point that the state was not going to decrease services because it would still be collecting the same tax revenue. How did people figure booze would be cheaper when taxes were going to stay the same?

  17. itwasntmethistime says:

    krumm — Tax dollars weren’t spent running liquor stores. Liquor stores actually turned a profit and the profit was used to help fund state services. Citizens want the state to provide this or that service, but aren’t willing to provide the necessary funding.

    Running retail liquor stores sounded like a reasonable way to generate revenue to me.

  18. Common sense and the right wing can’t seem to see it.
    And they want to run the country (into the ground) again!

  19. State doesn’t have any business running liquor stores. Studies show states that do not own a monopoly on liquor sales pull in more revenue that those that do.

  20. concernedtacoma7 says:

    What other industry should the state takeover to make a profit? Is this South America? What an insane defense of an unAmerican system.

  21. Back to my question…..what harm was done by the state running liquor stores. The answer is “none”.

    “Studies show states that do not own a monopoly on liquor sales pull in more revenue that those that do.”

    Could you please cite that study? There is something wrong with the math on this issue. Everyone says that booze is cheaper if you take the state out of the picture, but now we’re being told that the price is lower and the revenue is higher?

    We’ve barely begun and already we are seeing that private enterprise has no intention on saving the consumer any money. That was just the bait.

    As someone that makes a liquor purchase less than once a year, it doesn’t really affect me, but there is a mindset that the government is out to hose constituents, when the proof is to the contrary.

  22. I believe the stores were started after prohibition, thus they didn’t “take-over” anything.

    As usual, false information gives a false appearance.

  23. Everyone says that booze is cheaper if you take the state out of the picture

    Everyone says that? I don’t think so…

  24. concernedtacoma7 says:

    However they gained the monopoly, the state should not be involved in retail sales. Period.

    The excuse that it was a positive for the state because they turned a profit is a slippery slope.

    And since you are dry, all you want is more money in the state’s hands without having to pay. Selfish stance.

    Tax each and every song played live $100.

  25. “…the state should not be involved in retail sales. Period.”

    Word, and I’m an independent who leans left.

  26. krumm – the song and dance during the campaign was “cheaper booze”. Right, left or sideways, that can’t be denied.

    If the state can make money at something and provide services, there is no reason for them not to sell directly to consumers. We are watching health care go right through the ceiling because of the private nature of selling it.

    Should we privatize licenses? Instead of dealers getting a buck or so for their services, they could sell for whatever the market can bear. Thus, your fishing license could be $50 instead of $27.

    Gotta make money for those stockholders, you know.

  27. “Tax each and every song played live $100.”

    There is already a caberet tax for live performances. But the real theft is the “rights” collected by BMI, a PRIVATE firm that collects money from venues if they turn on the radio when customers are eating.

    They tried to collect $359 from a venue that has music once a year and pays the artist less than that for the performance. Why? Because they can! Privatization at its best.

    Concerned – quit now and avoid looking like a fool on the subject of fees for live performance. You don’t do real well on subjects that require accuracy. Stick to your flag waving and jingoism.

  28. concernedtacoma7 says:

    A defelction from larry, but “We are watching health care go right through the ceiling because of the private nature of selling it.”

    NO. We are seeing healthcare rise due to govt subsidizing healthcare and distrupting the free market. Same with college costs.

    Oh, and don’t play their music if you do not want to pay the fee. Nothing is free.

    Off to go wave my American Flag with pride.

  29. bobcat1a says:

    Doug is another whiner, blaming others for his own lack of due diligence. The state did not do this; the citizens did and they need to take responsibility for their own actions and quit blaming everyone else.

  30. concernedtacoma7 says:

    Please show me where you read 21%. I think you are way off. Thanks.

    I’ll leave you to your lounge music and whining about private industry.

  31. concernedtacoma7 says:


    4.5%. Nice try.

    And most is made of investing premiums. Darn facts

  32. alindasue says:

    LarryH said, “Theefrinker – what harm was done by the state “having a monopoly”?”

    In my case, the cost of booze was never a factor since I don’t buy alcohol. I never expected breaking the “monopoly” to lower liquor costs (especially after reading the text of I-1183.)

    However, I have major issues with the board that’s regulating liquor in this state also being the sole proprietor of the substance that they are supposed to be regulating. To me that stinks highly of conflict of interest and THAT is where the potential for harm comes in.

    I also have an issue with the state holding a tight reign on the establishment of casinos and busting up gambling clubs while at the same time telling the public that “some lucky dog can win big” at it’s latest new lotto incarnation…

    The fox shouldn’t be guarding the hen house. The Liquor Control Board should be controlling liquor sales, not selling it themselves.

  33. took14theteam says:

    Wonder if sum one violated the TNT rules at 7:08 PM?

    Who owns the entertainment industry? Democrats….

  34. alindasue – I can’t think of a better sales agent for an intoxicant than the regulating agency.

    Tomorrow is day one. Lets see what takes place on sales enforcement issues also. Who has a more vested interest in not selling to a questionable person – a minimum wage worker or someone that is risking a state job with a pension and benefits.

    As to the financial aspect, liquor sales made money. We now have to replace that money, or cut more programs.

  35. Who owns the entertainment industry?

    Major corporations.

    Someone is allowing the right wing talking points to make them stupid.

  36. http://lunaticoutpost.com/Topic-Who-Owns-The-Entertainment-Industry


    Why are people so content to be mislead so easily?

  37. took14theteam says:

    If it costs more, that means the state is making more money via taxes. What is the lefty complaint?

  38. Uh….if you think a “lefty” wrote this letter and the other LTE whining about booze prices……

    I have a nice bridge over the Narrows, complete with toll booths that you can make money from…..


  39. took14theteam says:

    Everyone of the 5 in your video were leftist peeps.

  40. concernedtacoma7 says:

    Thanks for wasting my time on a 2 year old article.

    The summary is Obamacare caused premiums to rise, and profits. No where near the 21% someone here claimed. Profit margins were no specified (wonder why).

    Govt caused those to rise.

    Try again!

  41. Major entertainment corporations are “leftist”….Oh gaaawwwd….I’ll bet Sony didn’t know that Japanese businesspeople were “leftist”

    “peeps”??????? I get it now. I’m dealing with a child.

    Between that and CT’s naivety on health care insurance, I don’t know which is more entertaining.

    How could mandatory insurance lower the profits of insurance companies?

    CT – I’d like to sell my house… How would you like a great deal? You sound exactly like the kind of person I want on the other end of a business deal.


  42. oops…I used a four letter word and my comment from October is being “moderated”. LOL

    It starts with a “K” and ends with a “D”.

  43. concernedtacoma7 says:

    Stop deflecting. Where is the 21%? Come Larry! Show it.

  44. concernedtacoma7 says:

    Because our inefficient govt overpays for healthcare. Until the death panels are introduced, of course…

  45. Doug? We tried to tell you, buy you wouldn’t listen.

  46. I guess CT’s search engine is broken:

    MAY 17, 2011
    To: Editors and reporters
    From: Ethan Rome, Executive Director, Health Care for America Now
    Re: AHIP’s Misleading data about health insurance company profits

    In response to astonishingly high first-quarter profit reports from health insurance companies, the industry trade group America’s Health Insurance Plans, claims it is among the least profitable health care industries. AHIP says the health insurance industry profit margin is only 4.4%, and that this “low margin” represents less than one penny out of every dollar spent on all health care in the U.S. These are simplistic and misleading statistics.

    Last week the New York Times reported that the health insurance industry is enjoying record earnings while millions of Americans get less medical care. Wall Street investors are delighted with the industry’s profits, and to health insurance executives, that’s all that counts. Insurance CEOs are happiest when investors want to buy their stock and keep share prices marching higher, and that’s exactly what has happened. To achieve excessive profits, insurers are happy to gouge consumers and small businesses, do little to rein in medical costs and spend billions of our premium dollars on lobbying, secret political activities, bloated executive pay and stock buybacks.

    AHIP’s focus on profit margins is misleading and designed to protect their massive income by shifting attention away from their return on equity – a key measure of profits as a percentage of the amount invested. That return is a phenomenal 16.1% as of today. By that measure, health insurers are ranked fourth highest of the 16 industries in the health care sector. The health insurance industry has a higher return for investors than cellphone companies, beer companies, mortgage companies, life insurance companies, TV broadcasters, drug store companies, or grocery stores.

    AHIP likes to talk about how insurance profits are a small share of national health spending, but that is an absurd, deceptive and self-serving statistic. Yet even their own chart of this data shows that the share of the health care economy sucked up by health insurance profits has more than tripled over the past decade.

    There’s more on the story, but I didn’t want to filibuster and steal Vox’s bit.

  47. “concernedtacoma7 says:
    May 31, 2012 at 9:12 pm Because our inefficient govt overpays for healthcare. Until the death panels are introduced, of course… ”

    Proof? Quit deflecting!

  48. Theefrinker says:

    Yeah, it’s not an issue of whether “harm” was done by the state controlling liquor sales; it’s the principle of the matter. Liquor isn’t produced by the state government so it certainly should not have been sold exclusively BY them.

  49. Theefrinker….sorry, I can’t buy into the emotionalism of “principle”. The state (taxpayers thereof) have as much right to determine their avenues of revenue generation as does “private business” (a small sector of taxpayers).

    Think about the taxpayers owning fire departments and police departments, both of which have attemped privatization in history.

  50. Theefrinker says:

    I’ll be willing to even accept part of that argument Larry. So with that said, it was the fact that ONLY government could operate retail sales; that’s the problem. Either way we look at this, having a liquor sales tax above 20% is ridiculous to me. It needs to just fall under the sales tax category only (yes, I’m a bit of a dreamer).

  51. concernedtacoma7 says:

    Larry, still looking for 21%. Admit you were WAY off and move back to this topic. Stop posting anti-capitalism garbage/wallpaper.

    Fire department vs retail sales? Come on.

  52. concernedtacoma7 says:

    Oh, and while you are proclaiming your mistakes, admit the larger profits of late are due to govt intervention in the market (Obamacare).

  53. “Govt caused those to rise.”

    Blatant lie.

  54. ““peeps”??????? I get it now. I’m dealing with a child.”

    You didn’t just now figure that out did you Larry?
    Her “reagan boom times” comment cemented it for me weeks ago.

  55. Theefrinker – we can debate the value of taxation until we’re blue in the face and it still doesn’t address “right and wrong”.

    There is nothing wrong the our elected government officials doing what they were hired to do – manage our services and resources. If that requires taxation, there is nothing wrong or illegal about it.

    Kluwer – CT is your problem now. I’m not patient enough to deal with someone who is so content on being ignorant to the issues of the day.

  56. Theefrinker, I would also ask “if you opposed the taxation, why would you vote for the Intiative?”….or did you?

  57. Theefrinker says:

    I voted in favor of it simply to remove government from the sales exclusivity, regardless of any immediate consequences.
    Also, don’t think that I’m just a typcial “against taxes” person. I recognize their necessity, but there’s so much to be revised about what is or isn’t taxed (i.e. church property taxes) and how it’s taxed.

  58. “Kluwer – CT is your problem now.”

    Nope, she is more amusement of the 3pigs type for me at this point.
    No one can be as wrong as c7 as often as she is without doing it on purpose.

  59. concernedtacoma7 says:

    Larry uses an alt rather then admit he wrong.

    Your point on govt intervention making prices raise was excellent. Your articles and link show a libertarian bent.

  60. Theefrinker – well, if the taxation was an issue, then I would suggest that it be voted against, until such time the initiative was to your liking. I’m with you on the church property taxation.

  61. concernedtacoma7 says:

    Come on big guy, take ownership of your own claims. Be a man, just once, and take responsibility.

    I know you would rather talk about taxing the Church, an organization you hate. Write another letter. Until then, take ownership of your 21% claim.

    Admit you were wrong; insurance comapnies make WAY less then you thought. Be honest for once.

  62. took14theteam says:

    I know I shouldn’t answer kluwer, since she is just an internet troll, but I will one last time.

    Please provide a link to the letter where I allegedly made this comment;

    “reagan boom times”

    Thanks in advance.

    Hopefully LarryH will be holding her breath waiting for you to reply…..

  63. concernedtacoma7 says:

    Took, that was probably mine. In leftist fashion, they can only identify people in groups, not as individuals.

  64. alindasue says:

    LarryH said, “…The state (taxpayers thereof) have as much right to determine their avenues of revenue generation as does “private business…”

    The taxpayers did determine their avenue of revenue generation – through I-1183.

  65. Took….give him a break..it was probably another of your monikers

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