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Online Gambling, State Budgets, and Teachers

Daily Update

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Online Gambling, State Budgets, and Teachers

Today in the News

Online Gambling

Advocates of legalizing online gambling testified before the House this week to convince Members of Congress to liberalize U.S. laws regulating the activity.

Research Associate David Bier comments.

"In the end, the political reality is that legalization of Internet gambling will probably involve heavy federal regulatory oversight including identity verification and bans on unlimited play (two requests of the Poker Players Alliance among others). Why the federal government needs to determine how people spend their extra time and money is, nonetheless, still unclear."

 

State Budgets

State Budget Solutions estimates that states are collectively in debt for $4 trillion.

Warren Brookes Fellow Matt Patterson comments.

"Reuters points out that other estimates of state liabilities are lower: The American Enterprise Institute (AEI) puts public pension shortfalls at $2.8 trillion; the Pew Center on the States pegs pension liabilities at about $700 billion. And so on. But that is the truly frightening aspect of this whole debt crisis – no one seems to know how much is really owed. To put it in personal terms, if you knew you were in debt by $4 trillion, you’d be screwed, but at least you’d know how screwed you were. But if you owed so much money that a dozen different accountants couldn’t even agree on the amount, well, that’s a whole different kind of screwed, isn’t it?"

 

Teachers

Two lobbyists for the Illinois Federation of Teachers managed to qualify for teachers' pensions by working as substitutes for a day.

Fellow in Regulatory Studies Ryan Young comments.

"Nationwide spending on K-12 education is around $13,000 per child per year. Not all of that spending is actually for the children, contrary to popular rhetoric. Fortunately, it appears only two people took advantage of this scheme. But the real kicker is that one of the two actually helped write the legislation that made it possible."