Beaver County Blue

Progressive Democrats of America – PA 12th CD Chapter

Turn the Tables on a Rigged Game

Posted by carldavidson on July 21, 2011

By Carl Davidson

Beaver County Blue

Our local conservative newspaper, the Pittsburgh Business Times, carries an instructive story this morning, July 21, 2011, about how to solve our revenue problems, only it fails to make the critical point. So I’ll lend a hand. It says:

“Pennsylvania casinos brought in $81.4 million in tax revenue from table games during the fiscal year that ended last month, according to the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board. Of that, about $71.3 million went to the state’s general fund and another $10 million went to local municipalities and counties that host the state’s 10 table game casinos.

“The Rivers Casino on the North Shore was responsible for $8 million in state tax revenue and $1.2 million in local payments through its table games operations during the past fiscal year.”

It goes on to break the numbers down even more.

Now I can enjoy a day at the Casino. I recently took my Mom and stepfather, a retired J&L worker, to the Rivers for his 84th birthday. I hit the nickel slot for $1.50 on my first try, but ended up leaving $5 in the hole.

But here’s my point. There’s a much larger casino in this country that has global reach. It’s called Wall Street, and enormous sums are bet there every second, with the biggest bets being placed by hedge fund managers gambling with other people’s money.

But where’s the ‘house take,’ like the tax revenues reported above? If they can get these amounts from the working class, what about the Wall Street class?

That’s what a financial transaction tax would do, and it could pay a great deal of our country’s social needs budget with plenty left over. What’s more, it wouldn’t even put a burden on productive capital, such as a new green manufacturing startups.

For now, we have big-time gamblers in derivatives demanding us taxpayers cover their losses. That would be like me going to the Pittsburgh treasurer and asking for a tax deal to get my $5 back that I lost the other day, but I still get to keep the  $1.50 I won on my first bet.

The bottom line is that we live in a class society with the wrong class on top. The boss press can easily report on the gaming taxes taken mainly from the working class, but the notion of taking a ‘house cut’ from the truly high rollers of finance capital, well, that’s ‘off the table.’

It’s time to turn this rigged game upside down.

Advertisements

4 Responses to “Turn the Tables on a Rigged Game”

  1. randyshannon said

    Exactly.

    HR 870, the Full Employment Act would use a 0.25% financial transaction tax to put everyone, yes everyone, back to work. Let’s turn the heat up on these Congressmen to tax the gamblers and support the savers and spenders.

  2. Frank said

    Very well put Carl; but how do common working folk force fairness in the tax revenue department when the wall street players and wealthy influence the governing to see things their way and not what is moral and the right thing to do in a Democracy?

    • carldavidson said

      Organization is our main weapon. To oversimplify, you could round up all these fat cats and put them in one football stadium. There are several hundred million of us. We have to organize, educate, then encircle them and make them an offer they can’t refuse. It’s long and hard, but there’s no easier, softer way.

  3. Cindy Grundy said

    Great analogy Carl. I think alot of folks can relate to that.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

 
%d bloggers like this: