BRYANT: Joe Biden And Xavier Becerra Want To Crush Your Spirits

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Phil Bryant Contributor
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On this 4th of July, when you reach for your favorite adult beverage to celebrate our nation’s birthday, savor it while you can. President Joe Biden and the U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS) Xavier Becerra are on a mission to ruin your holiday spirits. 

In January 2023, the World Health Organization declared that “no safe level” (NSL) of alcohol exists. Now, a six-member panel at HHS, along with the USDA, plans to release the 2025 Dietary Guidelines recommending Americans drink zero alcohol.

NSL is no joke. The push for restrictive alcohol guidelines comes from the same bureaucrats at HHS who bungled the COVID-19 vaccine rollout and the healthcare.gov website. With $144.3 billion in discretionary spending and $1.7 trillion in mandatory budget authority for FY 2024, HHS should prioritize urgent crises like the opioid epidemic, mental health services and healthcare access in rural areas, rather than policing American’s alcohol consumption. And are you ready for this one: the panel making these decisions—all six of them—includes three members that, as the Wall Street Journal pointed out, are from the WHO and the Dalla Lana School of Public Health at the University of Toronto.

Embracing a “no safe level” approach risks sliding down a slippery slope toward prohibition. If you really think about it, NSL essentially means, “We, the government, don’t think you should consume alcohol anywhere at any levels.” What does that lead to? 21st-century prohibition. And if you think that’s a reach, just look at Joe Biden’s administration.  Weaponizing the justice department and empowering the deep state to control the lives of Americans at an alarming level. Now, they want to take away your right to safely consume alcohol in any amount even in the comfort of your own home, or at the backyard grill.  

As the former Governor of Mississippi, I understand firsthand the impact of these policies. Such restrictive policies will have negative economic impacts on industries and communities that rely on responsible alcohol consumption. In my state, I’ve witnessed the pivotal role our restaurants and entertainment venues play in our economy and communities. In 2023 alone, these establishments employed over 122,000 people and generated a substantial $5.2 billion in sales. They aren’t just businesses; they are integral to our social fabric and economic well-being.

As governor, I have always supported the national minimum drinking age and enforced some of the strongest laws in the nation against drinking and driving.  That is responsible government. But, I am also a believer in moderation and education, not prohibition. The decision to consume moderate levels of alcohol should be a personal choice made with the advice from your physician. Leaving it up to Joe Biden, Xavier Becerra, a few Canadians and the WHO leaders is simply ridiculous.

So, this July 4th, as you raise your glass to celebrate our nation’s independence, remember that our freedom to make responsible choices is at stake. Let’s toast to moderation, not prohibition. 

Phil Bryant is a founding member of BSS Global where he provides strategic advice and business development services to some of the world’s largest industry leaders. Governor Bryant served two terms as Mississippi’s 64th Governor from 2012 to January 2020. He also served as Mississippi’s lieutenant governor, state auditor, and legislator in the Mississippi House of Representatives.

The views and opinions expressed in this commentary are those of the author and do not reflect the official position of the Daily Caller.