Now just try to imagine what will happen under Obamacare if you particular brand of flesh eating bacteria isn't on the "approved" list of diseases in the government data bank…
"So far, so good, as far as that goes — the state did have an interest in which brands the bars were selling. "
Really? What interest? If the tax is paid, why do we need the State to "register" the beers?
Different issue. By creating the law that gave them the power, they essentially created the interest, but that doesn't invalidate the interest. So long as that law is on the books, they are free to enforce it, assuming, arguendo, they are capable of doing so in an appropriate and competent manner… which, if this is any indication, remains an open question, in the very least.
Is the IRS story involving the targeting of conservative and libertarian groups important to you?