I checked out Cahill's state website. There's some interesting stuff on there. I wonder if his slot machine is part of his Saving Makes Sense program, whereupon he teaches kids how to use basic monetary skills, such as opening a savings account -- and playing the cards right.
Then there's SMART Retirement & Beyond. In that program, there's a seminar that teaches state employees about getting ready for retirement. One of the available classes is "How to Get Free Watered Down Drinks (Just go to Mohegan Sun)."
What a lousy plan. For someone using state dollars to fund programs to teach kids how to manage their day-to-day finances, or people to save for retirement, this is just hypocritical. And stupid. We may as well light that money on fire, if this is the sort of teacher providing these lessons to kids. What good do those things do if we pass legislation that doubles the gambling addiction rate of this state - to the point that more than 5% of this state has a gambling problem? Do we really need that?
Governor Patrick's openly criticizing Cahill's plan, for good reason -not that the Gov's all that better on the subject. However, at the very least Governor Patrick is willing to admit the consequences of slot machines, something Cahill continually ignores. The fact remains that slot parlors have all the negative consequences of resort casinos - and none of the (rare) high points. They're just bad ideas - even worse ideas than resort casinos.
It's high time for some good ideas. Dump the slots - let's talk progressive income tax, at least for the top 1%. It may just bring in more revenue - and definitely with less downside. Why don't we have a single state-wide official talking about that in these disastrous times? Why not talk policy that will help the average citizen of the Commonwealth, instead of hurt them? It may take a while to pass such a measure, but this recession's only getting worse and will continue for the foreseeable future.