By THE COMMONWEALTH FOUNDATION
Governor Tom Corbett's liquor privatization plan would bring Pennsylvania into the 21st Century.
The Commonwealth Foundation applauds Gov. Tom Corbett for introducing a plan to end the state government's Prohibition-era liquor system in Pennsylvania.
Today, Pennsylvania remains one of only two states in the entire nation (the other Utah) where government wields complete control over all wholesale and retail sales of both wine and spirits. Gov. Corbett's proposed overhaul of the outdated liquor laws will bring Pennsylvania into the 21st century.
"The governor is giving the people of Pennsylvania what they want-more choice and greater convenience," said Matthew J. Brouillette, president and CEO for the free-market think tank. "Pennsylvanians would finally be able to buy bread, beer and Bordeaux all in one stop on privately-run shelves."
Ending the state-run monopoly will unleash millions of dollars in new business investment, create thousands of new jobs across the state and allow more wine shops and liquor stores to open.
Pennsylvania loses millions of dollars annually in liquor sales and tax revenue because residents willingly break the law and cross the border to buy wine and liquor in other states.
This proposal will keep revenue in Pennsylvania by ending the need for residents to bootleg wine and spirits across state lines to get the price and selection they want.
Polling has consistently shown overwhelming majorities of Democrats, Republicans and Independents support ending the monopoly in favor of privatization that will bring personal and economic freedoms while keeping more jobs and higher tax revenues flowing into the community chest.
"Government should focus on improving education and public safety, not spending tax dollars advertising and selling alcohol," said Brouillette.
"At the end of nearly 80 years of control, the PLCB ponderously produced a monopoly of manipulation, mediocrity, malfeasance and mismanagement."
It was recently revealed that the state spent as much as $10 million creating and marketing its own brand of wine that competed with privately-owned Pennsylvania wineries.
Privatizing state stores will end this conflict of interest, removing government from the business of peddling alcohol and ensuring the PLCB's sole mission is to enforce the law.
The Commonwealth Foundation (www.commonwealthfoundation.org) is a nonpartisan, free-market think tank headquartered in Harrisburg.