The proposal to link a cut in Maryland's personal income-tax rate with a plan to put slot machines in the state's horse tracks is a mistake that will prevent either idea from being considered on its merits. Because they're both so complicated, each deserves a separate look.
First, the gambling issue: Gov. Parris Glendening has vowed to veto any bill permitting casino-type gambling. Writing in the Jan. 19 Washington Post, he said that "Maryland's economic future is about science and technology, not one-armed bandits and spinning roulette wheels." He concluded the piece by saying, "No casinos! No slots! No exceptions!"
Faced with such resolve, pro-grambling lawmakers decided to link the tax cut to proposals to help horse racing with slot machine revenues. The new idea would be to use a portion of the slot money to finance the tax cut. Those backing this idea are apparently cynical enough to believe that citizens are so eager for a tax cut, they'll swallow anything to get it. We believe citizens are smarter than that.