Opinion

David Cay Johnston

Politicians keep placing bets

David Cay Johnston
Mar 30, 2012 21:05 UTC

Politicians in both parties are betting that allowing more gambling will make them winners at the polls by raising revenue without appearing to raise taxes.

Governors Andrew Cuomo of New York and Steve Beshear of Kentucky, both Democrats, each want seven casinos.

In Kansas, where the state owns casinos, Governor Sam Brownback, a Republican, wants more gambling money to pay down state debts.

In Minnesota, Governor Mark Dayton of the Democratic-Farmer-Labor party wants more gambling to finance a new stadium for the privately owned Vikings football team.

Florida legislators are mulling three casinos, one in Miami. Illinois lawmakers may allow a casino in Chicago.

The siren call of austerity

David Cay Johnston
Jan 27, 2012 21:28 UTC

The World Economic Forum opened in Davos amid choruses of central bankers and economists calling for governments to cut spending.

This message of austerity is like the call of the ancient Sirens, whose music lured sailors to shipwreck.

We should take a lesson from Odysseus, who poured wax into the ears of his crew and had himself lashed to the mast of his ship to resist the Siren call.

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