|Yahoo! Modernization will make so much money!|
Really, Tom? Better for whom is the question. Certainly not the citizens, who will now have to cover any shortfalls in bond payments if there is a glitch in the revenue stream. Remember that PLCB Operating Income went down 8 of the last 15 years on a year to year basis, even though every year had "record sales."
The plan is for the PLCB to make an additional $185 million more than they do now in only two and a half years, with all sorts of unproven ideas. We've talked about them before, but they're worth revisiting...for the Governor's benefit.
|Oh. Well, maybe not, but still...|
Then there is the pie in the sky idea about shipping product bought at the State Stores to people in other states (which we can only believe is about screwing PA citizens out of our Pappy Van Winkle allocation, once the margins are unleashed). You know how well that goes over in reverse, if you try that in PA; call the BLCE! Do you think New York would take more kindly to it? They're going after their own stores for shipping out of state! I can't come up with a single reason any state would agree. They may now turn a blind eye to their citizens bringing in wine from elsewhere, but that isn't the same as a state-sponsored evasion of their liquor excise tax, which is what the "modernization" folks are really proposing here.
|Wait...What? That shit don't make any kind of sense.|
Last year the state stores had an unspent tax collection margin ("profit") of 6.62% before kicking in for the BLCE's budget, or about $148.6 million on sales of $2.24 billion. How much will sales have to increase to get to the $333.6 million Wolf needs? The answer newspapers are finding is huge: at over $5 billion, and that still isn't enough: it doesn't take into account the inevitable increase in the State Store System's operating expenses. The Stores' Operations and Supervision expenses went up by 8.75% just in the last year, even though only nine stores were added. How many stores would be needed to reach $5 Billion in sales, even if all the other schemes worked out? How much would all the extra workers add to the already over $600 million in PLCB pension debt? And exactly how much booze is Wolf planning to force down our throats? Who knows...and the "modernization" folks aren't saying.
Even to reach the minimum expected "profit" increase of $46 million on expanded Sunday sales would require selling $700 million more annually on Sundays, or over 33% of the entire year's sales on a day that is, let's see, 14.3% of the week - something no other retailer does. To get to the upper estimated figure of $69 million in additional profit from Sunday sales, they would have to sell over $1 Billion more worth of product just on Sundays. Get on down to the State Store, Reverend, they got some serious "modernization" going on. It's a miracle!
|Tell Costa to get a bucket...I think I'm gonna be sick.|
With the PLCB now responsible for paying off the pension debt bond the Governor proposes, any shortfall will result in higher prices. They have no choice: there is nowhere else to get it (unless the State Stores start selling recreational weed, as some control-crazed supporters suggest). It will be this generation's version of the Johnstown Flood Tax...only the Flood Tax will still be with us, 18% on every single bottle, plus bottle fees, plus the "adjustable margin," plus sales tax (that's going up as well, of course). Hello, New Jersey! Hi there, Delaware!
During the last round of normalization hearings, one of the key points made against the idea was that according to a CDC "task force" report, the end of control would bring a 40% increase in alcohol consumption, bringing the end of civilization as we know it to the Commonwealth. Yet the same Control Crazies are lining up behind a "modernization" plan that requires consumption to increase at least 100% — to DOUBLE — to reach the numbers they need. Every argument about safety, external costs, health, and control goes out the window when it comes down to the brass tacks of keeping these unpopular, unwanted, unbelievable retail fossils. This is Control in its naked, ugly truth: it's really about keeping union jobs, and union campaign contributions.
Tell your Representatives and Senators to reject this insanity and to bring Pennsylvania as close to what is normal for the majority of the other states as we can get. We deserve it. God knows we've waited long enough. Tell the Governor, too. He's clearly confused.