Booze Bailout


We know that in these tough times, some of us are hitting the bottle a little bit more and a little bit more often, so it seems quite a stretch that the booze industry is that much in need of a financial bailout.

As we wrote back in June, thanks to TARP, some taxpayer money is going to several unlikely recipients, including British maker of Captain Morgan rum

The LA Times reports today that under the agreement with the government, London-based Diageo, Captain Morgan’s maker, will receive tax credits and other benefits worth $2.7 billion over 30 years, including the entire $165-million cost of building a state-of-the-art distillery on the island of St. Croix in the Virgin Islands, a U.S. territory. 

From the LA Times:

“The U.S. taxpayer is basically being asked to line the pockets of the world’s largest liquor producer,” says Steve Ellis, the vice president of Taxpayers for Common Sense, a nonpartisan watchdog organisation.

With the exception of Ellis and a handful of lawmakers, however, the deal has attracted little opposition in Congress or elsewhere.

Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner has said he does not have authority to block or investigate the project. Criticism on the Hill has been confined to a small group that includes Republican Congressmen Dan Burton of Indiana and Darrel Issa of California, plus a handful of Democrats with large Puerto Rican constituencies.


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