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Opening Arguments

Vice upon vice

One of the benefits of federalism is that states can act as "laboratories of democracy" and the things that are found to work in one or a few of them can then be adopted by many or all of them. Of course, there is the danger that states might copy each other's bad ideas, too. Kentucky proves the point by following possibly the worst example ever provided by Indiana:

Gov. Steve Beshear set out a plan on Tuesday to allow slot machines at eight existing Kentucky racetracks, sweetening the deal with tax breaks.

Under Beshear's plan to use video lottery terminals to bring in more money for racing purses and state revenue, the two Lexington tracks — Keeneland and The Red Mile — would share a gambling facility. A VLT facility for one other track would be approved later by the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission.

[. . .]

Beshear anticipates that his plan would generate about $796.7 million from wagering. About $298 million of that would go to the state's General Fund, which pays for most state programs, in its first year of operation.

Save one form of gambling with another form and get your hooks even deeper into the addicts' pockets, and if you get called on it,  just blather away about "saving jobs" until the opposition gives up. Oh, wait, here's a preemptive strike:

"I believe my proposal will help level the playing field for Kentucky's horse industry and help retain the 100,000 jobs and $4 billion economic impact that Kentucky enjoys as a result of horse racing," he said in a statement.

They learned real good, huh?