COLUMN: Bless our bourbon for helping fund schools

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By Ben Carlson

Column as I see ’em ...

Bet you didn’t know that money from the sale of bourbon will help buy your child or grandchild’s textbooks this coming school year.

It will also help feed them, pay their teachers, put fuel in their buses and keep their classrooms warm on cold days.

Yep, those awful, evil distilleries that pollute our souls with their wicked brew are without question our public school system’s greatest benefactors, and there’s not a thing you anti-alcohol types can do about it.

Well, there is one thing, but it says here not one of you has the moxie to do it.

I was taken aback while writing an article this week regarding how county taxes are distributed among the various taxing districts.

While pondering for the umpteenth time just how in the world it takes nearly as much money to run the library as it does all of county government, I marveled at how much money Wild Turkey pays in whiskey taxes — in excess of $500,000.

Of that amount, nearly $300,000 is poured directly into the public schools.

Anyway, that kindled memories of how, in a fit of pious, holier-than-thou foolishness, the powers that be years ago rejected Wild Turkey’s offer to fund the creation of a county park.

“What? Have our children play and our dogs walked at a facility funded by you poison peddlers,” they said. “Never!”

Instead, those same powers were just fine in borrowing millions of dollars to build the park, and having us pay for it each year when we fork over our property taxes.

It also rekindled memories of the conniption you teetotalers had every time the discussion of liquor by the drink or Sunday sales reared their evil heads.

Those discussions generally began with a handful of outraged squeaky wheels preaching the evils of alcohol, and ended with frightened politicians supplying the grease for fear of losing their free health care and link to the state’s retirement system in the next election.

Yet, come budget time, those same politicians rubbed their free-health-care having hands together when counting the coins Wild Turkey deposits in the county coffers.

I’m not that well versed on all things religious, but I figure hypocrisy has to be somewhere on life’s list of sins.

So as a faithful gesture to help you hypocrites from continuing to sin, I propose the following: We can rid our fair county of businesses that produce alcohol if those so viciously opposed will agree to pick up Wild Turkey’s half-million dollar tax tab each year.

To do so, the fiscal court can draft an ordinance outlawing the production and storage of alcohol. Then you alcohol haters can step up to the plate and have your property enrolled — in perpetuity to all heirs and successors — to have your share of that half million dollars added to your tax bill.

Heck, seems the least you can do to save the rest of us from our ignorant belief that bourbon is what built Lawrenceburg and in large measure continues to fund it to this day.

Any takers?

Speaking of funding, it’s amazing how difficult it is for the county to develop a way to ensure that all businesses in, or coming into, Anderson County purchase a business license.

Although collections of the licenses jumped to around $90,000 last year, County Clerk Jason Denny is probably right that that figure should be closer to $150,000.

Well, I’ll offer the following as a means of getting a little closer: Being that the judge and clerk offices are near or inside the courthouse, how’s about stopping every attorney heading into a courtroom and asking to see his or her business license?

While it’s a near certainty that local attorneys have one, it’s almost equally as certain that those flocking here to defend our drunk drivers and wife beaters don’t.

E-mail Ben Carlson at bcarlson@theandersonnews.com.