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Archive for the ‘Government Operations’ Category

Considering that the subject of this dispatch is government funding by way of casino tax revenue, that joke was so bad it almost doesn’t read as a joke. Sorry. It’s early yet. But let’s move along:

The Governor of Hawaii is considering bringing gambling to the state, one of only two in the US that doesn’t allow some form of wagering. Linda Lingle was quoted by the Associated Press as saying nothing should be excluded from discussion of how to address the state”s budget problems.

[…]

Economic projections are that Hawaii will receive as much as $1.8 billion less over the next two years than its current budget requires. While cost-cutting measures may improve things slightly, a large new revenue stream such as could be derived from gaming would make sense.

State politicians have said legalized gambling might be explored before considering tax raises. Casinos combined with Hawaii’s natural beauty and beach resorts seem like a natural draw to increase tourism.

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Years ago Fred and I coined a term, Bitchivism, that means complaining about a problem (or someone else’s solution) without offering a solution of your own. Newt Gingrich has been chastising the GOP lately for exhibiting some signs of bitchivism:

From now until the inaugural, Republicans should be offering to help the president-elect prepare to take office. Furthermore, once President Obama takes office, Republicans should be eager to work with him when he is right, and, when he is wrong, offer a better solution, instead of just opposing him.

[Source]

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As this Newsweek piece reminds us, there are still 21 of them. I’m really not in the mood to talk about Bobby Jindal right now, since for the first time in my life a key figure in the Republican Party is younger than me, and I’m still stinging from the blow. (They don’t call in the Grand Old Party for nothing.)

It’s worth a read. The party has a great deal to figure out, in terms of policy and, as Mike Huckabee reminds us, process.

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(You guys go easy on me today, alright? I’m still outgrabed by the battering De La Hoya took last night.)

After decades of [state] legislators “fixing” the property tax system only to see it backslide years later, supporters of permanent property tax caps want those caps enshrined in the Indiana Constitution.

…Lawmakers took the first step in the amendment process – passing a joint resolution in the 2008 legislative session to add the caps to the Indiana Constitution.

…“As a general rule, putting limiting numbers in a Constitution can be very dangerous in the long run. It’s high risk,” said Rep. Win Moses, D-Fort Wayne. “It is my very strong opinion that we need to let the effects percolate.”

…But Gov. Mitch Daniels doesn’t buy the argument, using strong language last week to point out that Democrats passed the resolution in 2008, an election year.

“Every taxpayer ought to worry about a double-cross,” he said. “The legislature should simply live up to what it did just a few months ago and take the second step.”

Read it all here. I’m certainly no scholar of all state procedural matters, but tax hikes and cuts sound like matters for the state code, not constitution. Even so, one can certainly understand the ends, if not the means. Property tax rates are becoming abusive in some regions, especially considering the collapse in real estate prices and the economic downturn.

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States are heading for budget difficulties that may compel the governors to swallow hard and either propose or accept tax increases.

And there is no better way to alienate the base of the Republican Party than to push for, or acquiesce to, tax increases.

Yeah? So?

The problem is particularly sensitive for a group of governors who are looked upon as potential leaders of their party in the wake of Sen. John McCain’s loss in the presidential campaign, including Charlie Crist of Florida, Tim Pawlenty of Minnesota, Bobby Jindal of Louisiana and Mark Sanford of South Carolina.

Oh. Gotcha.

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