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October 27, 2008

A quick thought about slots

Usually I'm in favor of having stupid people pay taxes instead of me, as if having slots in Maryland would actually reduce taxes for the rest of us, which of course is not the case in this high-tax dystopia. But this slots issue in Maryland leaves me with one sickening thought:

After the subprime mortgage fiasco, haven't we learned what happens when the government encourages people to spend money they can't afford to spend?

Seriously. And the thing is, the proponents of slots don't even follow through on their own logic. If slots and gambling more generally can save us taxes -- I've received two mailings making such claims -- why not try the Pillage Idiot Plan (PIP) instead?

Under PIP, you abolish the individual state income tax and instead sell $100 tickets for a chance at winning huge payouts from an expected pool of $1 billion. The first prize payout would be $500 million, with four $100 million prizes, four $20 million prizes, three $5 million prizes, and five $1 million prizes. (I think that adds up.)

Even the working poor could afford those tickets, especially if they didn't have to pay state income taxes. Wouldn't you buy one -- or ten -- or even more? I never play the lottery, but even I would have to think about it if I didn't have to pay state income taxes.

The beauty part is that this would raise a huge amount of money for the legislature to blow on its usual moronic spending programs. (All you need is 10 million tickets -- tickets, not people -- to break even, and once people aren't paying thousands in state income taxes, they'd surely be willing to buy a whole bunch of tickets) It would also encourage businesses to relocate to Maryland, because there would be no income tax and its employees could play the PIP lottery.

On the other hand, who knows? Maybe the justifications for my proposal are just as foolish as the arguments for slots.