08.11.08 Maryland Slots and Taxes
Thanks to Eric Luedtke of Free-State Politics for his post on Thursday about the rhetoric coming from Marylanders United to Stop Slots (MUSS – the campaign to stop slot machines from being legalized in Maryland).
Eric was responding to a blast email sent out by Scott Arceneaux of MUSS to supporters of the campaign. One might expect that such blasts would be about upcoming events or fundraising appeals. But not in this case. Evidently Arceneaux has had an unrelated agenda that he decided to pursue in MUSS’s name: a demagogic, right-wing assault on taxes.
What’s wrong with that?
1. It’s irrelevant to the mission. If you hate taxes, join the myriad GOP groups that consider them the greatest evil since Satan. If you hate slots, MUSS is (was?) apparently the place for you.
2. It’s wrong. Maryland faced a huge budgetary shortfall when Gov. O’Malley convened the state legislature for a special session last fall. Without gutting government services, there was no way the gap could have been closed without tax increases.
3. It’s bassackwards. In fact, without last fall’s tax increases, the “need” for slots would be that much larger. In fact (again), if only the tax increases (on the wealthy!) had been larger, we wouldn’t have ended up with the referendum on slots at all! So, Arceneaux’s assault on taxes runs directly counter to his (supposed) purpose of stopping slots.
It appears here that we have a case of free-lancing bordering on fraud. I have written to Arceneaux and MUSS demanding an immediate refund of my contribution to them.
Of course, it’s imperative that slots be stopped: they represent a highly regressive form of taxation that steals from the poor and allows the wealthy to avoid paying their fair share. I will be looking for other ways to support this effort, now that MUSS has shown itself to be unworthy, and will keep you informed, Dear Readers!
©2008 Keith Berner