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Massachusetts Liberal

Observations on politics, the media and life in Massachusetts and beyond from the left side of the road.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Day late, dollar short

Looks like the casino gambling debate is about to heat up again.

House Speaker Robert DeLeo is doing a 180 on the firm opposition offered by his predecessor, Sal DiMasi, meaning the issue of resort casinos will dominate the legislative final months after 2009 (after they finally deal with the interim senator issue).

It's not surprising given the reality that state revenues continue to tank and the 2010 state ballot may be filled with questions to repeal the sales tax.

But the problem is that two years down the road from where this debate started is the fact the picture is far grimmer for advocates who think there is a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow.

The New York Times recently laid out the lagging revenue picture nationwide. Closer to home, the Globe took a look at the social dysfunction cased by overbuilding and overdreaming.

I guess our legislative leaders are no different than the folks looking to end their own problems with the quick strike at the slots or at the poker table. DeLeo, Senate President Therese Murray and Gov. Deval Patrick should enroll in Gamblers Anonymous too.

Anyone want to take odds on that happening?

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Blogger Chris Rich said...

Oh boy the Chump Tax enhancement plan is roaring back.

And I find it hilarious that the same people who complain the most about taxes often line up at Prospect Liquors to blow a hundred bucks on impossibly arcane scratch ticket purchase formulas that usually just cheat them out of their hard earned dough.

Hey, there's an idea, just repackage all taxes as wagers and people will come out of the woodwork to fill state coffers.

Your property taxes can be remade to be a 1 in 1 billion chance for a big score of your own resort in Aruba.

Your incremental sales taxes can be tracked and applied to powerball drawings twice a year.

Income tax can get a makeover as Uber Roulette where if your lucky social security number is drawn on April 15th, you get to own the afflicted crooked backwater municipality of your choice.

"Look Honey, we just won Methuen!"

This is a desperate dumb move that makes utter fools of all of its proponents.

September 19, 2009 2:50 PM  
Blogger Chris Rich said...

Oh and the only real winers in this bet will be the utterly disgusting, overpriced and frequently incompetent construction lobby, the folks who brought us such wonders as the Big Drag..I mean Dig.

Back in Seattle I worked with gifted and impeccable trades people who would do gorgeous work for about 35 bucks an hour.

Here, I have to protect an old lady in her eighties from scoundrels who bill her 250 bucks to spend a few hours fixing a door.

September 19, 2009 2:58 PM  
Blogger Chris Rich said...

And finally, why not get creative and begin a tax policy that actually allocates hidden cost aspects toward final reveals.

1. Immediately levy a 25 percent tax on all stupid non food crap such as soft drinks and Cheetos that undermines health and apply it to Mittcare.Call it the Hapless Slob Tax.

2. Immediately apply a 35 percent tax on all stupid toys childish grownups buy that make a hell of environmental quiet, motorcycles with loud pipes, jet skis, snow mobiles and all that other stupid putt putt stuff. Call it the Moron Tax.

And while we are at it, toss a fat levy on all grandiose Mc Mansion construction projects of particle board palazzos that aren't about to be LEED compliant.Call it the Builder Hog Tax.

Then, of course, hit every idiot gas guzzler sale with another fat levy and call it the Hummer Bummer Offset.

September 19, 2009 3:08 PM  
Anonymous Bill Manzi said...


Crooked Backwater? Why don't you make your point without resorting to juvenile insults directed at cities that you know nothing about. Intriguing idea in your last post relative to tax proposal # 2. Think you can support expanding that to include a tax on silly blog postings by "big city sophisticates"? Seems to fit.

Bill Manzi
City of Methuen

September 19, 2009 5:57 PM  
Blogger Chris Rich said...

Actually, I've spent all but 12 of my 54 years in New England and know Methuen very well and know most other city and town structures.

My sense is you probably don't view various local scams as crooked as Mass has such a low bar.

My own town of Reading was wildly crooked and probably still is. If some clod goes to a town meeting rooting for athletic fields when he is a contractor and anyone takes him seriously, that is crooked.

When someone gets money for sidewalk pours because his cousin knows somebody, that is crooked.

The cities and towns of Mass, especially eastern Mass, especially Minga Valley are gloriously crooked but may be innocent because they don't know what 'honest' really looks like.

September 24, 2009 11:15 PM  

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