This is in response to the June 29 guest column by Malory Shaughnessy and Wayne Gallant that claimed the increase in taxes on alcoholic beverages should deter underage drinkers.

Actually, the new tax increase was on a variety of beverages, not just alcohol. It was levied on chocolate milk, on cola syrup and other flavorings for soft drinks. And it was supposedly to bolster the failing Dirigo insurance plan, that even the administers of the plan admit is a failure.

The tax was pushed through at the last minute, with a minority of legislators in attendance.

Unfortunately, the two authors also claimed that the liquor businesses brought in paid pollsters from “away” to bring the issue up for a ballot vote against it. That is just another dig at big business.

The propaganda machine is at it again. Someone makes a negative statement and it takes on a life of its own.

We should keep in mind that big businesses also pay taxes and pay wages, and those wage earners pay taxes to support the vast bureaucracy that is the state government.

I would suggest that the governor clean house and cut that bureaucracy, and maybe not have to raise taxes in this over-taxed state.

If I believed the tax increase would truly cut down driving while intoxicated, I would applaud the originators of the article.

Hap Gallin, West Sumner

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