“Would you like to be the governor when HOPE dies?”

Unlike some of you, I firmly believe that casino gambling in Georgia is a question of when, not if.  There’s simply too much money to brush aside forever.  Not just for state government, either — those integrity fees are gonna look mighty attractive to the folks at Butts-Mehre.

Bonus consideration:  “Unlike other companies that require heaps of taxpayer-funded incentives, he added, casino magnates aren’t asking for major tax breaks.”  Talk about your win-win!

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41 Comments

Filed under Bet On It, Political Wankery

41 responses to ““Would you like to be the governor when HOPE dies?”

  1. The HOPE program raised the bar in higher education and has made our state an attractive place to live and do business. It had a big hand in turning UGA into one of our country’s great public universities. If casino gambling is what it takes to keep the program financially viable, do it. I understand the risks of casino gambling, but I think the downside risk associated with the end or the restructuring of the HOPE program is worth the cost.

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    • stoopnagle

      The power of grant aid in higher education. You wonder why we persist with the loan orientation at all.

      Oh, right, yeah, the banks get to keep all the money. I almost forgot.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Anonymous

        As successful as HOPE has been, it is still the wrong model. Thankfully, Jere Morehead is doing what we should have done with our schools and hospitals 100 years ago. One of the University’s highest priorities is to grow the endowment to the point that it can fund 100% of unmet financial need for all students. Looking at the budget for 2019, an endowment of $30.8B could fund 100% of student instruction (including Graduate students) in perpetuity with a 4% increase in spending each year. $9.9B could completely eliminate student tuition. Had we spent the last 100 years focused on building endowment for our education and heathcare institutions, education and healthcare in this country would be 100% free. They would be funded with $0 of tax money, and education and healthcare would have been 100% removed from the political realm. We have the same opportunity ahead, but it would have been a lot easier before people voted to give themselves $2.5T per year in gibs.

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    • Anonymous

      Casinos should be legal anyway, but they are not needed to keep the HOPE program solvent. All they had to do was not raid the HOPE funds to pay for things like computer labs and Head Start Pre-K. Every dollar spent on Pre-K has been 100% wasted as the benefits are no longer measurable after 3rd grade. HOPE, on the other hand, has been more successful than its original supporters dreamed it would be.

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  2. Jared S.

    Growing up in Mississippi in the 80s and 90s I can remember all the talk and promises from elected officials talking about how much casino gambling was going to bless the Magnolia State. Specifically its public schools.

    Over 20 years later now, after legalization, ask the folks there whether they’ve seen any improvement.

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  3. Hogbody Spradlin

    Does lottery money go for anything other than scholarships? Any buildings, faculty positions, etc.?
    I’m speculating and reading between the lines, but it sounds like lottery revenues have reached a flat spot in their growth curve, while the number of students qualifying keeps growing. Casino revenues won’t grow forever either.

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  4. mwo

    The lottery gave the Board of Regents a blank check to raise tuition without justification.

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    • Wut.

      The legislature withdrawing financial support steadily over the years for secondary education is what’s driven tuition hikes.

      Liked by 2 people

      • Hogbody Spradlin

        Granted, the legislature has restrained the rate of growth of education appropriations or maybe even reduced appropriations, but you’re gonna have to prove that’s the biggest cause of tuition increases. Blaming the legislature (in any state) cannot fully explain the freakish increase of college budgets, especially when you factor in private schools that don’t depend on state funding.
        There’s a school of thought out there, and I don’t know how valid but it makes sense, that college budgets grow to absorb the available sources of revenue, and tuition grows to match financial aid. Essentially the theory blames readily available loans and financial aid.
        However, I still can’t place all blame on the legislature.

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        • 81Dog

          You mean like coaches salaries and capital improvements budgets grew to absorb tv money? You give an entity a seemingly unlimited budget, funded by a pain free mechanism providing zero incentive to manage the money, it doesn’t take long to exceed the budget. Followed by predictable wailing about the need for more money. Lather, rinse, repeat.

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        • stoopnagle

          “The Revenue Theory of Costs” by Howard R. Bowen. There’s some truth to it. But it’s also fact that: states have been withdrawing institutional support for 20 years now and over that time the price of higher education has risen accordingly; higher education is a high human resource economy and rising health care costs over the same period of time factor into rising costs; students and their families expect more in the sense of resources and facilities; the aid orientation has shifted from need-based grant aid to a non-need-based loan orientation. We can go on and on…

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      • Anonymous

        The legislature withdrawing financial support steadily over the years for secondary education is what’s driven tuition hikes.

        Uh, no. The huge hikes in tuition have been from the emergence of the student loan industry (or Student-Loan Industrial Complex, as it should be called). This decoupled pricing from decision making.
        https://www.marketwatch.com/story/a-surprising-reason-for-rising-college-tuition-2015-07-07
        The fact that we will load an 18 year old kid $250K to get a college degree in Queer Theory should give us pause especially since it is subsidized by taxpayers.

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    • stoopnagle

      Yeah, no, that’s not how that works.

      Like

  5. W Cobb Dawg

    The question is where do we locate the casino(s). There’s no room left in ATL after Amazon HQ2 comes to town. Should it be along our riverfront property in Rossville? Overlooking the grand canyon of GA? My personal preference is at the beach in Hahira.

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  6. SSB Charley

    Couple of thoughts. First, lottery revenue flattening was predicted at the time the lottery started. I remember one of my graduate professors in the MPA program at UGA talking about how the revenue from the lottery wasn’t going to continue its upward trajectory because every other lottery’s revenue flattened out over the years. Here we are.

    Second, for casinos to say that they don’t need tax incentives is crap. The costs they impose on your state generally wash out the revenue benefits you get, and in time they ask for tax relief because there’s just no way they can make money at whatever tax rate they are taxed at. I have two casinos within a half hour drive of me here in Indianapolis. Every few years it seems there’s a new proposal for either tax relief or expanded gambling because they just can’t make money otherwise.

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    • DoubleDawg1318

      Hello to a fellow MPA grad. I finished this past May. Who was your professor?

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      • SSB Charley

        Tom Lauth. Great man, great professor. Was department chair when I was a student, and I believe he was the first dean of the SPIA (or SPEA?).

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        • stoopnagle

          Tom Lauth is one if the finest people I’ve ever known. He was, indeed, our founding dean. SPIA.

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          • SSB Charley

            One of my two favorite professors from grad school, Hal Rainey being the other. Very thoughtful, very dedicated to his students. Took as many classes from him as I could, including an independent study.

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            • DoubleDawg1318

              Hal Rainey is one of my favorites. Dean Lauth was out of the classroom by the time I was there. I don’t want to compromise anyone’s identity but I would love to know what you’ve done with the MPA.

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              • SSB Charley

                I worked in local government in the Midwest for a couple of years and then moved back to UGA to get my law degree. I used to do a lot of work representing municipalities early in my legal career, but now, my MPA gets most of its use in arguing with people about politics.

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  7. Snoop Dawgy Dawg

    It will be a sad, sad day when casinos are brought to this fine state. Nothing good comes from the ready access to the seedy underbelly of the gambling world. And I am speaking entirely to the operators and people behind the scenes influencing people in power.

    I couldn’t care less if people, rich or poor, care to play games of chance and give 30% of the play to the casino owners. It’s dumb, but I have my own vices that are dumb.(trying to convince readers of this blog that Cam Newton was not recruited as a Tight End at UGA is the hill I WILL DIE ON).

    The corruption that is part and parcel with these casinos with limited licenses to build is something that I hope we are able to avoid. Every single one of these people was guilty as sin: http://blog.al.com/spotnews/2010/04/fbi_conducting_corruption_prob.html I know in intimate detail their actions. This is what would be invited to our state.

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    • where there is a lot of $$$$$ to be made, there is greed. Corruption then rolls along with it.

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    • 81Dog

      Edwin Edwards scoffs at your fears. 😉

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    • I get the corruption … it’s an awful side effect of gambling. My point is that I hope (ain’t gonna happen) lottery proceeds can support the HOPE program as Governor Miller’s legacy. Since it likely can’t, I don’t want HOPE to become the program requiring massive taxes across the board (I don’t think Gov. Miller would want that either). I would rather take my chances with casinos before restructuring the program.

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      • Snoop Dawgy Dawg

        pretty sure the lack of funding is do to the re-direction of funds to the Pre-K initiative rather than actual lack of funds, which is politics as usual. As I recall, HOPE was sold as college funding, only. Then they grabbed the cash from there to fund Pre-K, so they could give something for free without having to raise taxes to pay for it.

        All for a program that doesn’t show any long lasting positive impacts in scholastic achievement versus a null group that doesn’t have state funded pre-k

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  8. ChiliDawg

    I’d vote for Abrams just based on her practical approach to the casino bid alone. Without even taking into account Kemp’s groveling allegiance to the party leader.

    Gonna be a real hoot to watch that election.

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