Charlottesville Breaking News
By Coy Barefoot
Our government has no business being in the liquor business. It's time for the Virginia state government to get out of the business of making money off a statewide monopoly on liquor sales. This is an embarrassing anachronism from the days of alcohol prohibition. Our government was not created to sell liquor. Our government was not founded to operate a profit-driven agency. Business is better left in the hands of business.
Washington state used to have the same 1920s-era monopoly on liquor that Virginia now has. But in a 2011 referendum, voters wisely put an end to that. Washington state privatized liquor sales last year. And you know what? The sky did not fall. Drunk driving is down, and the state is actually making more money. Go figure.
Governor Bob McDonnell (back in less scandal-ridden days), led a valiant effort to get the Virginia government out of the liquor business, but a coalition of Democrats and Republicans opposed him. Some Democrats did a lot of brow-wiping over the threat of losing millions of dollars the state makes selling booze. Some social conservatives did a lot of hand-wringing about the idea of a liquor store on every corner across the Commonwealth. The very same folks who endlessly beat the drum about less government and more free enterprise stood in the Governor’s way and against their own purported beliefs.
The day will come when a bipartisan group of leaders steps...