I’m not much of a gambler, personally – but I support legalizing it more broadly at a state level. I support it because it’s a tax on people other than me.
Cynical? Sure. Pass the ketchup.
Seriously? For better or worse, gambling has its place in Minnesota. For over two decades, proceeds from pull tabs – the most pointless form of gambling in history, but I digress – have gone to supporting Minnesota non-profits and charities. Everything from youth hockey to local job training programs benefit from pull tabs.
And now, Tom Bakk and Mark Dayton want to raid that pile of money to give it to Zygi Wilf, according to Gary Gross at LFR.
The clinker? Bakk’s proposal – “E-tabs”, a zippier, more IPod-enabled version of pulltabs to attract the kids – will take money from a pot that’s already dwindling; charitable gambling is already off by a huge margin in Minnesota:
There’s more reason for concern than those mentioned by Wilson. This House Research report offers a stunning opinion. The title speaks for itself:
2006-2010: Industry under Stress
That’s just the tip of the iceberg. This information is troubling:
- Since fiscal year 2004, gross receipts from lawful gambling have declined by over 20 percent
- For fiscal year 2008, the industry reported its biggest drop in state gambling taxes paid—a 12.8 percent decrease from the previous year due to the drop in gross receipts
- Total receipts have gone from $1.500 billion in 2000 to $1.032 billion in 2009, a decrease of about 31 percent
Let’s remember that Sen. Bakk, then the chairman of the Senate Tax Committee, knew this information when he proposed this ‘solution’ to the Vikings stadium situation. This information raises important questions, more than I can address in a single post. The biggest questions go to politicians like Gov. Dayton and Sen. Bakk.
The first question I’d want answered is this: why would Gov. Dayton and Sen. Bakk propose using revenues from an “industry under stress” the last 5 years?
Because gambling is a unicorn.
Not literally, like a flying horse with a horn. But DFL financing is always built on the idea that some sort of magical unicorn – “gamblers”, or “the rich” – will bring money to them for their grandest plans, and all they have to do is say “heeeeeer, unicorn!”
So Tom Bakk hears “gambling”, and thinks “money for nothing”!
Conservatives know that there is no such thing as money for nothing.
And Gary would like to point that out:
The next question I’d have for Gov. Dayton and Sen. Bakk is equally simple: Why would they put funding for charities and school sports programs at risk?
Well, Senator Bakk? Governor åDayton? What’s the answer? And there really are only two choices. And one of them is “screw the kids, if I don’t keep the Vikes here, my voters will have a cow”‘.