...by betting on your betting.
The spending blueprint Crist is sending to the Legislature is propped up with $405-million in new money from various forms of gambling. But most of the new money, $248-million, comes from what Crist calls "enhancements" to the Florida Lottery. These include instant-ticket lottery vending machines in high-traffic areas - low-income neighborhoods where desperate people try to bet their way out of poverty; a new $30 scratchoff ticket, and two-a-day Cash 3 and Play 4 drawings.
Crist promised as a candidate in 2006 that he would not expand gambling, and on a plane trip on Oct. 18, 2006, said he would not rely on gambling money to pay the state's bills.
"The numbers work without it," Crist said then.
Not any more, they don't.
Why not just say that you expect $405 million in revenue from seagulls flying down from heaven with bags of money? I'm from Atlantic City, NJ; I've heard this story before. You folks who still live in Jersey will testify about how the state treasury is overflowing in cash because of casino gambling, whoops - I mean "gaming" and that AC is a paradise on earth.
We have all been in the convenience store checkout line. Donald Trump and Marvin Glazer aren't buying these lotto tix. Why tax the rich when the poor give it up easier than Paris Hilton?
Crist is one of the reasons I left the GOP six months ago. In 2006, Charlie flashed religious conservatives enough leg to tease us into the voting booth. He supported the Defense of Marriage Amendment - now he's running away from it. Obviously he broke his promise concerning gambling and the budget. And he is a self-identified McCainkisser.
After I cast my vote in 2006 I felt like a whore. Now that I am no longer a Republican I don't have to carry water for these clowns anymore.