Almost three-quarters of Americans support a five-cent per drink increase in federal alcohol taxes, according to the Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI). The hike could raise more than US$20bn over five years, according to the CSPI, which says governments should raise taxes on beer, wine, and spirits to help fund costly social programs such as Medicaid and social security, currently straining budgets in many jurisdictions.

The CSPI survey found 71% of those asked supported the idea. Among those favouring the tax increase were many traditionally tax-wary Republicans.

Assessed as a flat dollar amount, federal alcohol taxes have fallen over the years due to inflation. Currently, some US$18bn in state and federal alcohol taxes are collected each year in the US.