The Prohibition Party put out press release criticizing a speech by Senator Charles Schumer in which Schumer called for federal government help the alcohol industry by expediting regulatory processes.
The text of the press release reads as follows.
Recently, Senator Charles Schumer gave a speech calling for the federal government to take actions to help the alcohol industry. Schumer called for federal agencies to take actions to expedite their regulatory actions to help alcohol companies who were inconvenienced by the government shutdown.
We condemn Senator Schumer’s misguided call for the federal government to support the alcohol industry.
Mr. Schumer fails to recognize the vast damages that alcohol has on people and society. Alcohol is a toxic substance, that causes or contributes to over 200 forms of disease and injury, including brain damage, organ failure, and several forms of cancer. Alcohol kills over 88,000 Americans a year, and an estimated 1/7th of Americans suffer from alcohol addiction and abuse disorders. It produces more death and addiction than the opiod crisis. In addition, alcohol contributes to a variety of social ills, including increased rates of poverty, domestic violence, child-abuse and neglect, sexual assault, and violent crime in general. The social, medical, and economic damages caused by alcohol cost our country over 258 billion dollars a year, shrinks the economy, and drives up taxes. The alcohol industry makes our country makes our country sicker, poorer, and more highly taxed. It damages, the health, safety, and the wellbeing of the people of this country, for the profit of a few.
Mr. Schumer touts the importance of the alcohol industry to his home state, New York. He touts that the alcohol industry is a 4 billion dollar a year business in New York State. While leaving out the fact the state loses over 16 billion dollars a year from the social, medical, and economic damages caused by alcohol.
He touts the increase in breweries, distilleries, and other alcohol business in the state, while ignoring the human costs. The people sickened and killed by alcohol, alcohol addiction, drunk driving, alcohol fueled violence and crime, economic deprivation, the suffering of loved ones, and damage to communities.
Mr. Schumer claims that the alcohol industry in New York is a success story. It’s not. The Cuomo administration and members of the state legislature misused their positions to weaken state restrictions on the alcohol industry, and used state agencies and tax-payer money to promote the growth of the alcohol industry. They abandoned their responsibility o look out for the wellbeing of the people, misused taxpayer money, and worked to make the problem of alcohol worse in the state.
We had hundreds of thousands of hard-working people who went weeks without pay during the government shutdown. But senator Schumer wants to take advantage of the situation to give special support to corporations who profit off a product that harms people and damages society. To us, that seems like a slap in the face to those workers and their families.
If the federal government were to give special support to the alcohol industry then they would be contributing to the harm that alcohol does to our people and society. It would go against the constitutionally written principle that government is supposed to promote the general welfare.
For these reasons, the Prohibition Party condemns Senator Schumer’s proposal. We would ask that Senator Schumer reconsider and withdraw his proposal, and we invite all members of the federal legislature and administration to join in rejecting Senator Schumer’s misguided proposal. We would further encourage all members of the government (whether federal, state, or local) to recognize alcohol as a social and public health problem, to end any and all government support for the alcohol industry, and to use your legitimate legislative and administrative powers to take stronger actions to address the problem of alcohol.