Speaker Timmy clearly is looking for a legacy that does not include the terms “group sex” or “Biscuitville.” He and his partner-in-crime, Uncle Phil, are super-eager to bless our beautiful state with all the “gifts” — labor unions, organized crime, et. al. — that Vegas, Reno and Atlantic City have been blessed with for decades. Apparently, there is a scheme afoot to quiet down and calm all of us who are questioning their sweetheart deal:
Before the end of August, the Republican-controlled North Carolina legislature and Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper appear to be looking to wear down conservative opposition to expanded gambling in the state and get it on the books.Gambling interests are pitching North Carolina conservatives a deal: “Give us more gambling, and we will cut your taxes.”
They are really offering small potatoes, compared to how more gambling affects the state’s most vulnerable.
The draft legislation would permit wagering in locations chosen explicitly by lobbyists who wrote the bill in the back rooms of Raleigh. Specifically, there will be four “entertainment districts,” which would include hotels, dining, and housing. These districts would be located in Nash, Anson, and Rockingham counties and territory that is part of the Lumbee tribal lands.[…]
Wait a minute. There is no Lumbee reservation — YET. Have these goons accidentally spilled the beans a wee bit early? Is that something Ted and Thom have waiting in the wings in DC? Could this have anything to do with all the cash that has flooding into GOP legislative campaign coffers from the vicinity of Pembroke – the Lumbee home base?
[…] The lobbyists have paid off the legislators, so they must figure the conservatives defending families and vulnerable individuals from more intrusive gambling will roll over if they get their payoff.
Here’s their deal: with the projected $1 billion in revenue from new casinos and video gaming machines and another $400 million from so-called iGaming, online gambling licensed by the state, the flat income tax goes from 4.75 percent to 3 percent.
Of course, the individual tax rate is scheduled to go to 4 percent by 2027 anyway.
Now, put the generosity of the gambling coalition in the context of the actual budget. In math-easy terms, the state spends $30 billion annually, and in 2023 revenues have jumped to $34 billion.
Take a moment to let that sink in. Right now, the legislators could cut taxes by $4 billion and still balance the budget—so why are they so desperate to gin up another $1.4 billion?[…]
*Lotsa new folks need to get “paid,” man! Why d’ya think?*
[…] Seriously, $1.4 billion is a rounding error.
Much is made of conservatives standing in the way of more gambling in North Carolina and how they have no appreciation of a tax cut, which is not really a cut at all because all that changes is the source of the revenue—the money is still pulled from the economy.
The truth is conservatives are opposed to more gambling for the same reason people have always opposed gambling. It is a vicious destroyer of lives and, by extension, families.[…]
This author is not wrong. We all saw it some 25 years ago with SC’s flirtation with video poker. The folks who could least afford to gamble were scooting over the border — with their mortgage, rent, baby food, and / or grocery money in hand. Most of the time they returned in the hole. You saw a jump in domestic violence, family break-ups, and new enrollees onto the social welfare “safety net.”
In 2000, the NC Senate banned video poker out of fears that SC’s pending ban would send a flood of gamblers north across the border. And HERE we now are.
[…] Some states have enacted responsible gambling, recognizing the entertainment value and the rights of adults to conduct their own affairs, by engaging in years of thoughtful debate and implementing strict safety measures—this is not that.
All that money that pours into casinos, video gaming machines, and iGaming websites comes from people expecting a fantastic payoff. It begins as entertainment, and sadly for millions of Americans, it becomes an expensive addiction.
Profiting off addicts is never a conservative value.
A coalition of conservative and faith leaders signed a letter pleading with the lawmakers in Raleigh to consider the costs to the people on the losing side of all those bets. It was signed by
Chad Connelly, founder and CEO of Faith Wins; Pastor Tim Cruse, North Carolina director of Awake America; Kimberly Fletcher, founder and president of Moms for America; David H. Safavian, CPAC senior vice president and general counsel and Terry Schilling, executive director of American Principles Project.
Here is a key excerpt:
We are strongly against haphazardly promoting new streams of revenue that could adversely affect North Carolina voters, especially those in poorer communities where these casinos and video lottery terminals are being proposed without the proper risk assessment.
Finally, we object to the lobbyists holding tax cuts hostage to gambling expansion. Conservatives understand that we can cut taxes without raising revenue elsewhere. Give the people back their money, allow them to spend it, and watch your economy grow.
There is no way now to calculate what it will cost to repair the damage expanded gambling will inflict on the people who rely on the legislators to protect them.
Sure, people sing the praises of how gambling gooses the economy and the government coffers—no one has ever dared to describe the impact on the children of gambling addicts.
Everyone, you, me, and every legislator—and every lobbyist—know the new billions are coming off the kitchen tables of the most vulnerable amongst us. And for what?
Do the math. They are forecasting a bump in revenues less than the state’s surplus—and a tax cut, they could do today and still balance the budget.
I’m still waiting on the rest of those tax cuts the “conservative revolution” promised us when they took power in Raleigh in 2010. I’m also waiting on the cut in our gas tax — one of the highest in the nation. And that food tax. Been to the grocery store or gas station lately, folks?
They can’t seem to find votes to codify the belief parents overrule bureaucrats when it comes to raising children. Apparently, they’re struggling to override Gov. Doofus’s vetoes of bills meant to protect children from grooming and mutilation. But there’s plenty of
Tim time for gambling.
I remember Timmy trying to force an Indian casino on the folks in his home county. He got it done, but it cost his dad – Timmy, Sr. — his seat on the Kings Mountain City Council.
Did Timmy and Phil learn ANYTHING from Jim Black and his entanglements with gambling lobbyists?
“Honorables” on Jones Street have loved to poo-poo tax cuts. We can’t “afford” them, we’re told. But the tune mystically changes when thick-walled slicksters promising Vegas-style prosperity and big profits roll into town.