Gambling information resources

Nightlife promoter and bar owner Dave Meinert provides no hard numbers to back up his claim that the state could raise an easy $1.5 billion a year by massively expanding both legalized gambling and alcohol sales in Washington state, yet in attempting to refute my opposition to his proposal, he routinely dismisses me as an “old school thinker” who “doesn’t get it,” and who throws “shit at the wall,” while basically “guessing” about the economics of gaming. So in case he tries to similarly dis me today on KUOW, I thought it best to post a few links to some of my source material:

Lancet: Alcohol “most dangerous drug”

National Gambling Impact Study

WA Lottery: GAMBLING AND PROBLEM GAMBLING IN WASHINGTON STATE: A REPLICATION STUDY, 1992 TO 1998

Evergreen Council on Problem Gambling

Bill Virgin, Seattle P-I: Gambling craze not a good bet for states

These are all sources, by the way, that I’ve cited throughout my six years extensively covering this subject here on HA, as well as my behind the scenes activism on behalf of the welfare of problem and pathological gamblers. So if Meinert wants to dismiss me as not knowing what I’m talking about, he does so at his risk.

UPDATE:
For those who listened to the show, I a couple of points I didn’t have time to make.

Meinert talked about allowing a limited number of card rooms in Seattle, but that’s not how state law works. State law gives cities the power to either allow or disallow card rooms, but not the power to limit the number, or limit where they may locate beyond normal zoning powers. Once we allow card rooms, we lose all control. It’s an all or nothing, and Seattle has chosen nothing.

I also find it amazing that Meinert would brush off the difference between a problem gambling incidence rate of one percent and five percent as mere statistics. Five percent is five times one percent. Furthermore, while problem gamblers may make up a relatively small part of the general public, they make up a huge proportion of the casinos profits, with some studies showing up to 50 percent of the revenue from slot machines coming from problem gamblers (the 1998 WA study cited above found 40 percent).

Finally, Meinert likes to talk about “starting the conversation,” but we’ve had this conversation again and again, and he’s consistently come out on the losing side, most recently with the liquor privatization initiatives, and a few years back with Tim Eyman’s odious slot machine initiative. Washington voters simply don’t want this, and it is disingenuous to attempt to exploit our current budget crisis as an opportunity for a windfall for bar owners like Meinert.

UPDATE, UPDATE:
One further point for the moment. Meinert talks about card rooms and casinos as economic engines, but this simply isn’t true. They don’t manufacture money. Rather, they pull discretionary spending from other discretionary activities, or in the case of pathological gamblers, non-discretionary spending.

His proposals won’t turn Seattle into Las Vegas. Tourists won’t flock here to come to our casinos, nor will Washingtonians cancel their trips to Vegas. Rather, casinos and card rooms and slot machines in bars will mostly compete for local business between themselves, and with other local entertainment venues. It’s a zero sum game, particularly slot machines in bars, which studies show to be the worst form of gambling if your goal is economic development.

Comments

  1. 3

    Liberal Scientist spews:

    I find myself somewhat conflicted.

    I always tend to defer to civil liberties – and this came up just the other day re:drugs, in discussion with SJ. On that topic I’m waaay to the left – toward near-total legalization.

    However, I have a harder time with this. I see the “gaming industry” as a great big fleecing operation of the stupid and the desperate and the addicted. I find it emblemeatic of a pervasive force in our culture – the get rich quick expectation. I think both the litigeousness of our society and the popularity of gambling are driven by desperation and an inability to see past present circumstances, and a willingnes to grasp any way out of a situation. The mythology of the “Microsoft Millionaire” – simply being in the right place at the right time, as another manifestation of this.

    I realize that these positions are not wholly consistent, as one could have written nearly the whole paragraph about drugs.

    I think the wise and mature use of either drugs or gambling as a pleasant (if not necessarily constructive) diversion presupposes a secure and educated and mature populace, otherwise these trivial escapes become addicting monsters.

    As such, employing either as a budget panacea is exploitative of the most vulnerable, and therfore morally reprehensible.

  2. 4

    Deathfrogg spews:

    One issue is the fact that the gambling industry is always dominated by organized crime. It is a cash cow for mafiosi and an easy method for laundering funds garnered through the black market.

    Right now I am reading a biography of John Henry “Doc” Holliday, by John M Meyers. It is very well written, if in the lexicon of the times. One thing that I have taken from this book is the fact that the social costs of gambling as a legal institution creates conflict by merely existing. Violent conflict was rampant in gambling houses back then, and back in the 1880s gambling was almost completely unregulated. This violence led directly to alcohol prohibition and gambling laws all over the country only 30 years later. Gambling leads directly to such things as embezzlement, fraud, child neglect, and spousal abuse. This has been shown repeatedly in every study done on the subject.

    The social consequences are far too great. The overall social costs far outweigh any economic benefit, all you do is increase the costs of government, with negative net return in the long run.

    Moral hazards indeed.

  3. 5

    Zotz sez: This space available! Previous wingnut tenant leaves to spend more time with his goat(s)! spews:

    Having spent some serious time in casinos (Squaxin and Suquamish) following my wife around to keep an eye on her — she drinks and plays the nickel slots, I don’t drink or gamble.

    It’s a really depressing place — you can’t help but notice the blank looks on the faces of people who obviously don’t have a lot of money. It’s just really sad.

    My wife plays with $20 on her player card which is a good way to control things. She always walks away pretty much blotto and with more money than she started with — sometimes a lot more.

    I’m not sure how they’re making money based on my wife’s experience and some people I know who do well at blackjack.

    Having said that, I think letting the Indians fleece white people is perfectly OK since it sort of makes up for stealing their land and giving them small pox infected blankets, etc., etc.

  4. 6

    spews:

    Some of that 1.5 billion dollars would help children. And some of those childen would be blind. And some of those blind kids would be black. And some of those black children would be homeless. So my question is, why does Goldy hate blind, black, homeless children?

  5. 7

    Deathfrogg spews:

    The only gambling I’ve ever done in a Casino was the Roulette table. I’m not a good gambler, when I play cards with my friends I never win much over the period of the game. I play for the fun of it. Poker, Blackjack and Faro are games for the house, and the banker.

    My first real experience in a Casino was at the one in Marysville. When I saw they had an “instant” home mortgage office right there inside the place I knew it was hell on Earth.

    I’ve never been to Las Vegas, except to drive through or around the place. I stopped in Reno once, and the blank stares and obvious malnutrition by the slot players was pretty horrifying to see. ciggy in the face, drink close to hand, quarter in, pull handle. Lather, rinse repeat ad infinitum. Outside the town proper on the east side is a gigantic trailer park with about 2000 doublewides in it, full of kids who never seem to have any adults around.

    Makes me sick.

  6. 8

    Deathfrogg spews:

    @ 6

    And how much of that social service money will be going to kids whose parents are leaving them alone for days at a time to spend in the Casinos?

    Always, negative net gain. All you are doing with legalized gambling is increasing the need for the services the industry is supposed to be supporting.

  7. 9

    Michael spews:

    “His proposals won’t turn Seattle into Las Vegas. Tourists won’t flock here to come to our casinos, nor will Washingtonians cancel their trips to Vegas. ”

    Vegas is doing a lot worse than Seattle right now.

  8. 10

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    What difference does it make whether the state takes $1.5 billion from citizens from gambling or taxes? It’s money out of pocket either way.

    $1.5 billion amounts to roughly $238 a year per Washington resident — men, women, children, kindergartners and nursing home residents alike. That’s nearly $1,000 for a family of four.

    If Meinert is in favor of taking another $1.5 billion a year from citizens for public purposes, why not just take it with taxes, and avoid the ills of expanded gambling?

  9. 11

    Deathfrogg spews:

    @ 9

    But the Casinos are making a killing. Las Vegas is mostly a one-industry town, and the systems for running the casinos are becoming so automated they don’t need the same level of personnel they did just 15 years ago. Everything is controlled by a central location, in an office that might not even be in the same building.

  10. 12

    spews:

    Like LS I am conflicted on this.

    I am very libertarian on opposing the right of the state to regulate behavior between consenting adults.

    Here at HA, where hear paeans of glory about the evils of regulating marijuana. How is that issue any different than having the state regulate sex, gambling , or cock fighting?

    On the other hand, it seems to me that taxation directed at “sins” is the antithesis of freedom. If we do not want to outlaw something, why should we punish it by taxes?

    I am also conflicted by my belief in socialism, Swedish/German style. Government should only be in business when doing so increases opportunity for all.

    I really do not see much difference between the stock market and casinos. Selling booze, renting prostitutes, or taking bets should all be legal, regulated businesses. On the other hand, if the UW huskies are really a business, then then they should be privatized!

  11. 13

    Michael spews:

    printemaillinkSHARE THIS:twitterfacebookMOREcomment[undefined]TEXT SIZE:
    AAA
    Nevada’s Tax Structure Could Delay Recovery
    Posted: 10:36 am PST January 6, 2011

    Nevada’s tax structure is an obstacle to economic recovery and shortfalls in the budget cannot be addressed with spending cuts alone, according to a new study released Wednesday.
    http://www.foxreno.com/11at11/26390430/detail.html

  12. 14

    Luigi Giovanni spews:

    Dave Meinert opposed the liquor initiatives. David, you need to double check your “facts.”

  13. 15

    Deathfrogg spews:

    @ 12

    On the other hand, it seems to me that taxation directed at “sins” is the antithesis of freedom. If we do not want to outlaw something, why should we punish it by taxes?

    Because that mitigates the costs of the vice to the State . Thats why legalized gambling is so odious. The system continually loses money. Gambling creates more problems, requiring a greater share of social services to mitigate, requiring a greater liberalization of the system to fund itself, that causes more problems, etc etc etc. Better to keep a super tight leash on it, and tax the mother lovin shit out of it.

  14. 16

    Michael spews:

    I am very libertarian on opposing the right of the state to regulate behavior between consenting adults.

    This is about regulating corporate behavior and protecting people from exploitation.

  15. 17

    spews:

    15. Deathfrogg spews:

    “Because that mitigates the costs of the vice to the State . Thats why legalized gambling is so odious. The system continually loses money. Gambling creates more problems, requiring a greater share of social services to mitigate, requiring a greater liberalization of the system to fund itself, that causes more problems, etc etc etc. Better to keep a super tight leash on it, and tax the mother lovin shit out of it.”

    I do not see this. If we want to tax activities because of the costs they create for the state, the I suspect we should have LOTS higher tolls on all the road and a progressive fuel tax.

    The same goes for ski slopes, cigarettes, and lake front property.

    I am all for outlawing things that hurt people, but I think we should use taxes to raise the money we need tor run government, charge fees for those things the government does for any of us specifically, and leave punishment to the cops.

  16. 18

    spews:

    Michael

    I am very libertarian on opposing the right of the state to regulate behavior between consenting adults.

    This is about regulating corporate behavior and protecting people from exploitation.

    The EXACT same thing can be said about laws against marijuana and prostitution.

    my bottom line is simple, I believe the go0vernment should do things that only it can do and should NOT do those things a na way of making profits. If there is something that is profit making .. the the government can regulate, charge fees for the costs of that regulation, but should otherwise stay the hell out./

  17. 19

    Politically Incorrect spews:

    @16,

    So, as long evil “corporations” aren’t involved, gambling would be OK? Somehow a lot of the folks on the left got it in their heads that all corporations are evil. The corporate form came about to protect the owners of businesses from having absolute liability. It was a protective measure to help people grow wealth, which is good for all. All this “evil corporations” shit, from Thom Hartmann and the rest of the “swells” in the “progressive” media, is just plain nutty.

    If there’s to be gambling – here or anywhere else – corporations are gonna be involved! Get used to it! As far as “protecting people from exploitation” goes, people need to look after themselves. If they gamble away their incomes, it’s their own damn fault! Jeesh! Enough of this nanny-state regulation for Pete’s sake!

  18. 20

    Michael spews:

    @18

    It’s about having a sensible level of regulation. In the case of hookers and spliffs they should be legalized and tightly regulated. Hookers should only work for themselves, no boss’s.

    In the case of gambling, if you and your buddies want to have a poker night or bet on the super bowl that should be fine, but there shouldn’t be any corporate gambling. Gambling, hookers & weed should all be kept small & at the margins of society.

  19. 21

    Deathfrogg spews:

    @ 19

    So who is going to feed, clothe and house their kids after they run themselves out of money? How are you going to fund that? How are you going to fund the system that makes the judgements about who has a problem, how bad that problem is, and the solutions to it? Is that solution going to include rehabilitation? Psychological treatments? Prisons for debtors? Where are you going to put the kids? In factories and whorehouses?

    Hell, lets lower the drinking age to 10. That’ll increase sales. Lets let anyone with a few bucks drink, gamble and starve themselves into a coma, and leave their kids to run in the streets. It’ll be a completely self-perpetuating system, only limited by the growth of the population.

    Welcome to Brazil.

  20. 22

    Politically Incorrect spews:

    @21,

    So total government control is the answer? No personal responsibility? Government, government, government – no personal choice or responsibility?

    Having personal choice means accepting personal responsibility. Some people may not be able to handle that, so they will eliminate themselves from the gene pool. I’m sick of hearing about the people who can’t control themselves. Exercise personal responsibility for your life, dammit!

  21. 23

    Michael spews:

    So, as long evil “corporations” aren’t involved, gambling would be OK?

    See # 20.

    It’s about having sensible levels of regulations. I don’t see anything wrong with regulating people and corporations differently.

    there’s to be gambling – here or anywhere else – corporations are gonna be involved! Get used to it

    Really? Seems to me we had them, for the most part, regulated out of the gambling scene in America for a mighty long time.

  22. 24

    Michael spews:

    @22

    So total government control is the answer? No personal responsibility? Government, government, government – no personal choice or responsibility?

    The only person saying that is you.

  23. 25

    spews:

    Deathfrogg @21:

    Hell, lets lower the drinking age to 10. That’ll increase sales. Lets let anyone with a few bucks drink, gamble and starve themselves into a coma, and leave their kids to run in the streets. It’ll be a completely self-perpetuating system, only limited by the growth of the population.

    Why have any drinking age at all? It’s not in the Constitution, so there can be no justification for it, right?

    Age is mentioned in the US Constitution with regard to eligibility to serve in the House (Art. I, Sec. 2), the Senate (Art. I, Sec. 3), and as President (Art. II, Sec. 1). It’s also mentioned in terms of person-counts for apportionment (14th Amendment) and eligibility to vote (26th Amendment). Period, nowhere else.

    In the Washington State Constitution, age is discussed with respect to retirement of Supreme Court Justices and Superior Court judges (Art. IV, Sec. 3), eligibility to vote (Art. VI, Sec. 1), military service (Art. X, Sec. 1), and implementation of the document when Washington became a state (Art. XXVII, Sec. 17). That’s it, nothing more.

    On both the federal and state levels, then, drinking ages are unconstitutional.

    Party on, toddlers!

  24. 26

    Xar spews:

    @19: Corporations aren’t evil–they’re amoral. They can’t have any morality. Any publicly traded company has one purpose: to maximize profit. If a corporation behaves in a moral way that reduces profits or the company value, they’re subject to shareholder derivative lawsuits.

    This is the fundamental fallacy of the myth of the free market–the market cannot control whether or not a company acts morally, unless everyone has access to all information. A company like Exxon can maximize its profits by raping and pillaging (not literally the former, but literally the latter) in Western Africa regardless of the human or environmental cost. Therefore, it does so.

    Similarly, a gambling company can maximize its profits by preying on the poor, the vulnerable, and the weak. It absolutely is the role of government to shape the greed curve to protect citizens.

  25. 27

    Wunderlick spews:

    What I want to see is the WA state ban on online poker repealed. Why the hell should poker players not be allowed to gamble online in the privacy of their own homes? This law was sponsored by none other than Sen. Margarita Prentice (D-Renton), who by the way takes money from the Indian tribes and the payday loan industry. I used to live in the Renton Highlands, and Sunset Blvd is littered with these blight inducing loan shark outfits.

  26. 28

    your wife's pimp spews:

    so let me get this straight: the HA faithful want pot(and most other illegal drugs) made legal, but dont want to legalize gambling because it “might hurt society”?

    huh?

    I will tell you what, the indians sure seem to making a pretty penny off of gambling.

    maybe they are smarter than the average liberal whitee….

  27. 29

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    @19 Corporations are amoral. They would sell children to medical labs if it was legal and made a profit for their shareholders. The debate about corporations concerns what constraints we, as citizens, should impose on them for our own protection. The question is whether corporations should be allowed to run wide open gambling in Washington and the progressive sentiment expressed on this blog is no. And you are truly naive if you think problem gambling only hurts the gambler.

  28. 30

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    @19 (continued) The attitude expressed by PI, and conservatives everywhere, is they should be free to exploit anyone they can take advantage of — in the name of “freedom” — and government has no role in protecting the weaker and more vulnerablemembers of society from those devoid of conscience.

    That’s bullshit.

  29. 31

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    @22 “So total government control is the answer?”

    Nobody is advocating “total government control,” asswipe.

  30. 32

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    @24 It’s wingnut bullshit, a mantra they spew, one of those falsehoods they think the gullible camp followers on the right will swallow if they keep repeating it; you know, the wingnut notion that telling a lie 10,000 times makes it true.

  31. 33

    Meinert spews:

    Goldy – Nevada taxes on gambling are low. Very low. Their economic base is shallow.

    Pennsylvania brought in $1.1 billion from gambling excise taxes this year. Does that solve all of their problems? No way. We need lots more money than that. Can we get that by raising taxes? Yes. Can we raise taxes? No.

    So, how do we make up for the $6 billion we cut from the State budget? We create more business activity. How do we do that in a recession? Look at where there is pent up demand. One place it look at is foreign markets. Gregoire just returned from a trade mission to Asia. I applaud that effort. It’s exactly what we need to be doing – trying to find ways to expand economic activity so we can employ more people and get more revenue for the State. But that won’t fix it all. Pot should also be legal for the many reasons that have been talked about at length on this blog.

    But pot and trade missions won’t fix everything. We need more. One additional thing is to expand the legitimate businesses we limit. Gambling, retail alcohol sales, alcohol bar sales time limits, alcohol in strip bars.

    If Pennsylvania can get $1.1 billion from 10 slot licenses, I think Washington can do the same.

    Will people travel to Washington to gamble? They’re traveling to Pennsylvania. So yes. Do I want Seattle to be Vegas? No. I hate Vegas for the record. If we are smart and look at adult entertainment as just a piece of the puzzle, we can plan a way to make it fit in with the rest of what we do here. Seattle is a great city – music, art, waterfront, nature, tech, etc, etc. Washington has a broad tax base. We can smartly add adult entertainment to it.

    Goldy – this is a conversation we should have. It’s not one we’ve had over and over and it’s not one I’ve lost. I was against both liquor initiatives. They both failed. I am for reforming the WSLCB in many ways. I’d be making more more right now if I-1100 passed, but I was still against it because I think it would have had many bad side effects. This isn’t about money for me. I am seriously thinking about ways this State and City can raise more revenues.

    I also do have philosophical issues around State control of adult entertainment. I’m a liberal, a business owner, and pretty independent. I wouldn’t say libertarian, but have some leanings there. I think the State plays a role in protecting people. But we can only go so far with that. So I don’t take what I’m saying lightly. But I think we can scale up the amount of adult entertainment, make some more revenue from it, and keep it under control.

    Banning card rooms in Seattle won’t last long. There’s one in White Center and as soon as we incorporate White Center into Seattle we’ll have to find a way to incorporate card rooms.

    Banning drinking in strip clubs is boring. Portland has 49 clubs with alcohol and the town isn’t crumbling. Same with Vancouver, London, Austin, Chicago, etc, etc, etc.

    Tribal Gaming compacts can be renegotiated. I’ve been told this from the Tribes themselves.

    I think we’re smart enough to find a way to do this without ruining our society.

  32. 34

    Deathfrogg spews:

    Tribal Gaming compacts can be renegotiated. I’ve been told this from the Tribes themselves.

    Except that the tribes do not pay taxes to the State Governments, and no business activity conducted on tribal lands under tribal authority can be taxed by the State. They are under Federal authority.

    We have enough gambling activity in this State. We can do a little more with alcohol and other “sin” taxes. But what this state needs is a stable, predictable (within reason) tax structure that is immune for the most part from these mostly artificially constructed boom and bust periods that Boeing and the big banks keep putting us though. The only real answer is an income tax. It doesn’t have to be very high. It should apply to more folks than would have been affected by the last effort at creating it and scaled for varying incomes. It should be enough to handle the rough spots that the economy hits without itself falling apart.

    I don’t understand what issue people had with the soda/candy tax. All that did was wreck the baseline, and resulted in the current financial situation the State is in. It should be reinstated.

    And I Shoulda known Mary would have turned out to be a tax nazi. She always was a selfish, narcissistic bitch. Even in middle school. The tax on her already overpriced, luxury product was only something like $.17 a bar. But she blamed the tax on the poor sales instead of looking at what the product was. Luxury. Unnecessary. Overpriced.

    It was candy by every definition of the word.

    Fact, when unemployment rates go up, the need for State services related to unemployment go up as well. Food stamps, AFDC, local community colleges etc, all see increased usage when times get tough. The tax structure needs to be stabilized and not so reliant on peoples spending habits. Because when things go kaplooey, people stop spending their money on pretty shit, toys and candy.

  33. 35

    Michael spews:

    The tax structure needs to be stabilized and not so reliant on peoples spending habits

    Amen, on that brother Deathfrogg. The tax structures, local, state and federal, need to be restructured to encourage saving money. But, that’s a discussion for another time.

  34. 36

    spews:

    so let me get this straight: the HA faithful want pot(and most other illegal drugs) made legal, but dont want to legalize gambling because it “might hurt society”?

    Heh. 40-grit tehchickenshit is too dumb for words.

    Nowhere does Goldy or anyone else here advocate prohibition of gambling.

    Look up “regulation” in the dictionary dumbass.

  35. 37

    Meinert spews:

    “Except that the tribes do not pay taxes to the State Governments, and no business activity conducted on tribal lands under tribal authority can be taxed by the State. They are under Federal authority.”

    I’m not saying “tax Tribes”. I’m saying renegotiate the compacts to get revenue sharing. It’s totally legal and happens in several other states.

    And I agree about the soda/candy tax. That was a tax we shouldn’t have done away with.

    And I voted to raise the King County sales tax.

    And I also agree we shouldn’t just rely on spending for revenue, taxing income and wealth should be part of the mix.

  36. 38

    Proud to be an Ass spews:

    LET US ALL NOW BOW DOWN AND WORSHIP THE FREEDOM OF SO-CALLED CONSERVATISM:

    Freedom’s just a shitty word for nothing left to steal.

    If I have it, all is well. If you don’t have it, well, that is irrelevant.

    If others have it, and I only have some of it, there will be hell to pay.

    If my freedom isn’t better than yours, then you are robbing me of my freedom.

    My freedom ends at your nose….unless I decide otherwise…because then you are restricting my freedom.

    If it can’t be bought and sold, it is not freedom.

    Freedom cannot be measured or weighed, but it can be, nay, should be, bought and sold (see above).

    If you can’t afford to buy freedom, then you simply do not deserve to have any.

    Freedom is whatever I say it is.

    Thus endeth tonight’s lesson in political economy.

  37. 40

    Proud to be an Ass spews:

    I’m all for expanded gambling. 50% of the revenues created thereby should go to the Tribes.

    If we want to tax gambling, let us tax financial transactions such as the sale/purchase of stocks, options, and futures. If you want to open a casino in this state, you should pay a hefty fee and ongoing taxes on revenues. If you want to open a bank, insurance company, or bucket shop brokerage firm…you should pay twice as much.

    No. I take that back. Four times as much.

  38. 41

    Meinert spews:

    Here’s some other interesting Tribal gaming info.

    The Muckleshoots bought the land Longacres is on. They soon put it in trust, making it reservation land and they’ll have slots there. This means the State and county Longacres is in will lose all the tax revenues from that land. And all the tax revenues from Longacres. I am sure that is a lot of money. If we would have allowed slots there, we’d still be getting that money. Now slots will be there anyhow and we’ll get nothing from it. Brilliant.

    The Snoqualmies were trying to buy Salish lodge so they could have a hotel with their casino. The Muckleshoots outbid them to keep competition for their very profitable casino down.

    The Duwamish Tribe’s attempt to be federally recognized is being opposed by all the other Washington Tribes because they don’t want the Duwamish to have a casino in Seattle.

    Seems to me this has much to do about business.

  39. 43

    Proud to be an Ass spews:

    Meinert makes a good case for opening up opportunities for the deviants(I simplify here)among us to invest more heavily in their deviancy (more simplification)….

    For the gamblers, prostitute seekers and drug users among us that’s about 10% or so of the population.

    However, I for one, have a certain dis-ease about the state taking advantage of that “deviancy” to enhance revenues, and furthmore, it strikes me as a conscious strategy to take the easy way out when it comes to growing public revenues and it distracts from the real beneficiaries of public policy whose incomes are inordinately enhanced–i.e., rent seekers.

    But fighting that battle is hard…it’s much easier to tax sicko slot players.

  40. 44

    Proud to be an Ass spews:

    “The Muckleshoots bought the land Longacres is on…”

    Really? That might come as news to the Boeing Co.

  41. 46

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    @28 If you were halfway open-minded, which you’re not, and took the cotton out of your ears, which you won’t, I might be willing to sit down with you over a beer and explain what Indian gambling is all about.

    In a nutshell: We (meaning the white, dominant, majority culture) fucked these people over bigtime for two centuries, and their federally-bestowed and federally-protected gambling franchise is the first good thing that has come along for them.

    If you want to go back to making taxpayers support communities with 60% unemployment and 60% alcoholism, then take away their gambling franchise. As for all the white-eyes drooling to horn in on the Indian gambling franchise, I think the tribes would probably say, sure you can have it, if you give us our land back and get the hell off our land. Meaning go back to Europe where you came from because North America belongs to us.

    As a rabbit, I personally would go with the Indians on that deal, because they took better care of this land than you bleached-skin types ever did.

  42. 47

    your wife's pimp spews:

    @43

    WTF is the difference between taxing slot players from taxing cig smokers? same goes for those who tout the taxes from legalized pot as the state’s savior..

  43. 48

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    Why Gregoire Is A Lousy Governor

    She’s not a leader. She provides no leadership. She’s not anchored to any guiding principles. She doesn’t fight for anything. She doesn’t make anything happen. All she does is go along with the tide of retrenchment and gives up hard-won progressive programs without a fight.

    Teddy Roosevelt was a leader. He was America’s great progressive president. He didn’t have a tide of public opinion behind his legislative initiatives — the trust-busting, the pro-worker laws, and so on. He made those things happen by campaigning for them. He want out into the towns and cities and drummed up public support for his ideas.

    All Gregoire does is sit in her office decorating an overstuffed chair and signing death warrants for public services while the world crumbles around her. That isn’t governing, it’s time-serving, and I can hardly wait until her time is up and Inslee takes over that office.

  44. 49

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    @40 What??? You want to tax stock trading and confiscate the fruits of financial speculation??? That would ruin my gravy train!!! Next thing you know, you’re gonna demand that capitalists pay the same tax rates as the janitors who empty their wastebaskets!!! What’s next, making Republicans get jobs???!!!

  45. 50

    Deathfrogg spews:

    If we want to tax gambling, let us tax financial transactions such as the sale/purchase of stocks, options, and futures. If you want to open a casino in this state, you should pay a hefty fee and ongoing taxes on revenues. If you want to open a bank, insurance company, or bucket shop brokerage firm…you should pay twice as much.

    THIS is what the original Federal
    income tax was supposed to be about. Securities, stocks, non-productive income sources were the target of the income tax. Bucket shops, while technically illegal, were basically legalized by the Clinton administration in 1999. The entirety of the derivatives market is essentially a massive series of interconnected bucket shop operations.

    The original intent of the income tax laws were to limit the ability of banks and securities operations to gather wealth by manipulating the market. People who already had massive wealth were engaged in stock manipulations, price fixing, insider trading etc. Just like they are now.

    So why are we letting these same people, these same companies to do this now? We know what the end result is. Always, without exception. Those motherfuckers need to be paying a 90% income tax rate, and be subjected to yearly audits to make sure their shit don’t stink.

    People with the economic wherewithal to manipulate stock and bond prices need to be constantly held under a microscope, if only to keep the Republic alive. The REPUBLIC comes first, not your fucking stock portfolio.

    Because the way things are now, is just institutionalized corruption that goes all the way to the top. They can buy any politician, any legislation, and create the propaganda and put it in all the newspapers and TV ads. They can afford to pay Rush fucking Limpdick or Glenn Beck to say what they want them to, in exactly the correct tone of voice. Those men are expert actors, and expert propagandists. They’re paid as well as they are for a reason.

    THEY are the parasites, not the working man trying to break even on $30 – $40 thou a year. The people that all you goddamn teabaggers call lazy, stupid and undeserving of the rule of law when it is in their favor. This is our country too goddammit.

    The top 30,000 of income earners make as much as the rest of the entire workforce combined. Then they call us lazy, as if if we weren’t lazy, we’d all be just as rich as they are.

    Assholes.

  46. 51

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    @41 What tax revenues from Longacres? Longacres isn’t there anymore, dimwit. It moved to Emerald Downs.

  47. 52

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    @50 I’d give the top 30,000 earners a choice between paying taxes on the income they shelter offshore or not living in this country until they do. If they want to pay Aruba taxes then they should have to live in Aruba.

  48. 53

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    @37 “And I voted to raise the King County sales tax.”

    In that case, you voted to make our regressive state/local tax system even more regressive. A vote to raise the sales tax is a vote to tax the poor. This is a liberal blog and taxing the poor won’t earn you cred here. If you voted for the high-earner income tax, they would get you respect.

  49. 54

    Deathfrogg spews:

    @ 52 RR

    So long as they aren’t allowed to do business in the United States. Or contribute in any way, shape or form to any elective process.

    In Australia, if you bring money into the country, invest in stocks or bonds or a business, then make a profit on that, you are not allowed to take that money out of the country. You can only take out what you bring in.

    Seems to me we need a similar law here. After all, the Supreme Court just legalized foreign money in our elections at all levels. A Chinese company can now underwrite a local non-profit to sell advertising for a political campaign.

    Perfectly legal.

  50. 55

    Proud to be an Ass spews:

    @47: WTF is the difference between taxing slot players from taxing cig smokers….

    You could say the same about alcoholics. As part of the generic “deviant” (I simplify) part of the general population (i.e., drug users) I view them the same. Has taxing booze and tobacco saved us? I think not.

  51. 56

    Proud to be an Ass spews:

    What’s next, making Republicans get jobs???!!

    I thought it was illegal for Republicans to be gainfully employed.

  52. 59

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    @35 “But, that’s a discussion for another time.”

    No, that’s a discussion for right now. There will never be a better time to discuss our dysfunctional tax system than when it’s at its most dysfunctional status. You should know by now that politics is driven by emotion, not rationality, and that rhetoric and how you frame the discussion and arguments is everything. People under financial stress are fearful of ANY tax increases. That’s why so many people who will never be in the top 2% voted against an income tax on the top 2%, a group that is unfairly undertaxed compared to the rest of us. You can’t separate a campaign from a tax on high incomes or a tax on unhealthy food products from the impact on the unemployed and overtaxed poor of dismantling public services. What this state needs, and doesn’t have, is a leader to get out front and lead people through these issues. We’ve got to find a leader somewhere.

  53. 60

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    @57 Give it up. That remark flew completely over your pinhead. Don’t even try to comment on it. You’ll only embarrass yourself even worse.

  54. 61

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    @58 In that case, you voted to make our tax system less regressive. Good on you. One out of two isn’t terrible. But it isn’t great, either.

  55. 62

    Daddy Love spews:

    There’s nothing healthier and less exploitative than putting slot machines where a bunch of working-class drunks hang out.

  56. 63

    Deathfrogg spews:

    @ 62

    Exactly right. I worked for a while in a shop on 4th ave that had a tavern right across the street. Every afternoon after work, the guys I worked with would be there.

    Two pitchers each. Cheeseburger. Maybe a couple dozen pull tabs. Every single night. While these dudes sit around the table and piss and moan about how their wives are all bitching at them for not bringing home enough money. Bitching about Bill Clinton. Bitching about taxes. Bitching about how fucked up the country is because theres so many Queers and Jews and Mexicans in it.

    I had to sign a paper before I took the job, stating that I would never discuss unions or any other form of worker organization with any fellow employee.

  57. 64

    Puddybud identifying rujax liberal scientist deathfrog and zotz as fools! spews:

    The DeadToad once farted…

    I stopped in Reno once, and the blank stares and obvious malnutrition by the slot players was pretty horrifying to see. ciggy in the face, drink close to hand, quarter in, pull handle. Lather, rinse repeat ad infinitum. Outside the town proper on the east side is a gigantic trailer park with about 2000 doublewides in it, full of kids who never seem to have any adults around.

    Makes me sick.

    Well looking at who lives and votes in the Reno area… It’s very clear who has the blank stares, looking malnourished, ciggy in the face, drink close to hand, living in a gigantic trailer park with about 2000 doublewides in it, full of kids who never seem to have any adults around. DUMBOCRATS.

    Once again DeadToad does the yeoman work for Puddy!

  58. 65

    Puddybud identifying rujax liberal scientist deathfrog and zotz as fools! spews:

    Everything is controlled by a central location, in an office that might not even be in the same building.

    Ya know DeadToad, you are almost right. As one of the peeps who helped install some of those networked systems in the 90s you are pretty close to the truth but not exactly right.