Sport betting

Well, now, that's a surprising idea - but not a good one - that New York's governor has for drumming up more money for his state in the enlightened '80s: Make it legal to bet on sports. It's the biggest revenue-raising proposal in his new budget.

There's nothing new about government's trying to horn in on the profits of questionable activities, like gambling. Several states now have lotteries, and some communities have or are considering gambling casinos. In several states liquor is sold from state-run stores that sometimes try to lure out-of-state purchasers - while state officials inveigh against drunken driving.

Enough, in the New York case, is already too much. No state should try to legalize additional betting, whether on sports or anything else, on the specious argument that since many people do it anyway the state might as well get some of the profits. Americans have a right to stronger moral leadership than this.

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