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Budget plan about selfish political ambitions

The budget plan announced by Gov. Ted Strickland and legislative leaders Friday, in which Strickland will authorize video slot machines at the state’s seven horse racetracks and the legislature will give the move a statutory underpinning, puts the selfish political ambitions of the state’s elected leaders ahead of the good of the state and its residents.

The move will postpone the spending and tax adjustments that are needed to put the budget on a stable foundation …

The budget plan also will carry a strong likelihood of failure, given the continued erosion of state revenue and the inability of the Office of Budget and Management to project revenues with any credibility. Nor will it be a surprise if slots revenue falls far short of the governor’s rosy projection of $933 million … in the first year. …

By handing a gambling monopoly to racetrack owners, legislators will create another well-heeled special interest that will use its vast new wealth to elect the best lawmakers that money can buy to look out for the owners’ interests.

This budget plan is an abdication of responsibility by those whose primary duty is to ensure the long-term welfare of the state.

The Columbus Dispatch