Monday, March 07, 2005

Is it Spending or Funding

The ole Right Wing adage is, we don't have a revenue problem, we have a spending problem. The Governor continues to look for more creative financing mechanisms to fund his budget while attempting to remain inside the fine line of his No New Tax pledge. His latest gimmick is getting into the casino business:
"You could call it courageous, or you could call it reckless," said Sen. Sandy Pappas, the St. Paul DFLer who originally proposed the state-tribal casino partnership three years ago and will carry the legislation in the Senate. Under his plan, the state would get a $200 million upfront licensing fee from the tribes and an estimated $143 million a year in casino revenue after that.

"Pawlenty is taking a risk with his base in the hope of creating a major policy accomplishment for his governorship," said Carleton College political science professor Steven Schier. "I think that's a pretty savvy political calculation.

"Who's going to challenge him for the nomination? Is his base going to bolt? Where the heck would they go?"
I've always liked the idea of a Casino in the Metro. The Milwaukee Road (mini-update: I should have used this link for the Depot) proposal was a great idea, until it got lost in the Legislative shuffle and has now become an ice rink.

So, much to the chagrin of my Left leaning counterparts, I am fine with a casino, and sharing in the funds which leave the city everyday to surrounding venues. But I am concerned with the implication the Right is showing, that we indeed have a revenue problem, and if that is the case, ALL options should be on the table and not just pet projects that will allow someone to keep their faux pledge intact.


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