The Crazy Write Winger

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Saturday, July 19, 2003


Been on hiatus...

Yeah, it's been a while. But with Blogger playing around with their software and just general business, I've been on hiatus for a bit.

The State of Pennsylvania is deciding whether or not to allow slot machines. Pro-gambling zealots are portraying anyone who raises any kind of objection as some religious nutcase who should go home and give up their first amendment rights.

First, Gov. Rendell and his cronies wanted to allow slots at racetracks to "keep people from spending money in West Virginia." What they don't say is that people will still go to West Virginia to take a vacation where they can gamble. SO to claim that some $500 million Pennsylvanians are spending on slots there will magically reappear in the coffers of Western Pa is just nuts.

Second, what they want seems to keep growing. First, it was just slots at racetracks to "improve education and lower property taxes." Then, suddenly we had to have casinos with table games because West Virginia is going to build some if the legislation passes in Pa. Of course, West Virginia will think of something else, which of course Pennsylvania will have to have, and before you know it, we'll be in a gambling arms race.

Now there's talk of a bill to allow two slots parlors, one in Philadelphia and one in Pittsburgh, that will be used to fund improvements to the Convention Center and possibly a new arena for the Penguins. So what happened to all that money going to fund education?

For the capper, one of the bills floating around says that counties can drop property taxes by using taxes from gambling. BUT, to get a share of the booty, those same counties must RAISE TAXES, either in income taxes or their earned income credit. In other words, the counties have to raise taxes before they can cut them.

We all know down the pike that this gambling thing won't make one bit of difference in taxation. Right now, Neveada is in a big fight because the governor is trying to raise taxes to cover budgetary shortfalls. They've got one of the two prime gambling cities in America, and they still are raising taxes. This will ultimately be repeated in Pennsylvania. One of the arguments pro-gambling zealots use is that taxes will be higher without gambling. In point of fact, taxes will eventually surpass even the levels we have now. The government can only tax casinos so much before they decide to pull up stakes and lave town. Then politicians will go right back to raising taxes on everyone BUT the casinos.

This is all about money in the pockets of politicians and casino operators. The rest of us will be footing the bill.

It's a gamble we can live without.

"Today's report confirms that, despite White House scare tactics, Social Security remains sound for decades to come.."

-? Senate Democratic Leader Harry Reid (NV) upon hearing reports that the Social Security and Medicare Trust Funds will go bankrupt even earlier than predicted.

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