Pennsylvania House Liquor Committee decision creates conflict of interest regarding selling of wine and spirits, state foundation says; state government should be removed from alcohol sales business

HARRISBURG, Pennsylvania , December 13, 2011 (press release) – The Commonwealth Foundation disapproved of a Pennsylvania House Liquor Committee decision today that fails to address the inherent conflict of interest when state government serves as promoter and seller of wine and spirits while attempting to enforce laws and educate citizens about dangers of drinking.

"This measure does nothing to address the dangerous conflict of interest that sees government selling both the ailment and cure at the same time all on the taxpayer dime," said Jay Ostrich, director of public affairs. "It's time government stops creating more problems by picking wine winners and liquor losers, because taxpayers and consumers are tired of picking up the tab."

The free-market think tank has endorsed the complete removal of government from the wine and liquor sales business, a measure it says will create jobs, save taxpayer money, get government out of costly conflict of interest and allow consumers to buy what they want at a fair price.

"The people of Pennsylvania have been forced to vote with their feet and wallets on this issue for years by streaming across borders like bootleggers just to get what they want at a fair price," said Ostrich. "We hope lawmakers return to the drawing board and figure out a way to get government out of the booze business by restoring freedom to taxpayers and consumers."

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