Larry Keeling’s latest post on KYKrumudgeon talks about politics and casinos.
“I support legalization of casinos in Kentucky, and I've done so since the armada of floating gambling halls started appearing on the Ohio River in 1990s”
I just can’t be as enthusiastic as Larry about casinos in Kentucky. To me it smells a lot like the lottery, another get rich quick scheme for government instead of doing the hard work of fairly revising the tax structure of the Commonwealth.
“Casino gambling will be an issue in next year's governor's race, particularly since Attorney General Greg Stumbo now has suggested pairing approval of casinos with repeal of the property tax on vehicles.”
Sounds like the same old shell game to me. Why doesn’t Stumbo want to raise tobacco taxes and do away with the property tax on vehicles? Even with the last increase in tobacco tax Kentucky still ranks 45th in the country in taxing cigarettes. Looking at the demographics, he would be reaching the same general group of taxpayers.
I guess adding a new vice is preferable to limiting an existing one. Perhaps we should legalize prostitution and meth at the same time; we could have a trifecta of new vices. But wait, I digress, that’s a rant for another time.
Lets just say I don’t like the idea of casino’s, but you might be able to convince me of their value, if they were part of a real comprehensive tax plan. However, given the weak knees in the House leadership that isn’t going to happen.
I think Warren Buffett was right with this comment:
"It's a tax on ignorance. . . . I don't like the idea of the government depending, for certain portions of its revenue, on hoodwinking citizens."
I've always thought the lottery was a tax on people that can't do math.
There is one part of the equation that Larry didn’t talk about. The horse industry and the money they funnel into the election process.
The question of where you stand on casinos has already surfaced in political planning sessions and not only in the governor’s race.
I agree with Larry the chances are pretty slim of casinos being legalized by the legislature. I am reasonably sure that any legislation legalizing casinos will have a local voter referendum as a prerequisite for building a casino.
That would provide the legislators with plausible deniability for responsibility for creating the monster. It would also place the question squarely in the laps of local elected officials.
So those folks running for Mayor and Council in Lexington, including the group running this year, had better be prepared with the correct answer if they expect Brereton Jones and his buddies to pony up a contribution.
Jones and his pals are no fools. They saw what stacking the council did for Kentucky American Water and these people didn’t get rich by being idiots. Ok, there may be a few exceptions; some of them inherited the money. But none of them are going put their money on a candidate that goes directly against their personal interests.
It's often said that all politics is local, that will certainly be the case with casinos.