Posted on | January 5, 2012
Written by | BevNetwork
As reported last year, President Obama’s Office of Management & Budget is plotting to split up Alcohol & Tobacco Tax & Trade Bureau, moving TTB’s “protect the public” functions – which include label approvals, formula review, product testing and similar duties—to the Food & Drug Administration and its tax collection responsibilities to Treasury’s Internal Revenue Service.
Treasury was to provide guidance to OMB on how easy – or how hard – this would be by last Wednesday, Dec. 28th.
The question we asked Treasury was whether it defended its bureau in responding to OMB. Treasury declined all comment. Not surprisingly, TTB isn’t talking either.
But among our Washington sources, two scenarios were discussed. The first had Treasury making at least a pro forma attempt to preserve TTB in its current configuration.
The second scenario had the proposal to split-up TTB originating in Treasury. In this view, President Obama is looking for some agencies to “abolish” in order to project himself as seeking to reduce the federal government. Every cabinet officer was ordered to offer suggestions, and one of Treasury’s suggestions was to split up TTB.
From a cynical political perspective, splitting up TTB is ideal: Obama could posture himself as having wiped out a federal agency that “duplicated” other agencies’ functions – while in reality doing nothing to reduce the federal government’s reach or even its headcount.
Source: Beverage News Daily / NABCA