Problem of gambling supported by Gov. Strickland

Have you noticed the recent ads on Casino gambling? Ohio taxes are traveling out of state at 65 miles an hour. Poor Ohio is being left out of the profitable gambling. All of the surrounding states have accepted more crime, more violence, and more corruption all for increased profits and tax revenues. Because all other states have accepted the vice of gambling and its benefits such as increased tax revenue, ruin of families and individual lives, increased crime and corruption, Ohio should as well. Surely not all other states can be wrong!

Behind the snake in the grass is Governor Ted Strickland. He has devised a plan to expand gambling in Ohio under the auspices of the Ohio Lottery Commission, according to the Ohio Roundtable. When he first came into office, he helped fulfill the will of Ohio voters against more gambling, not anymore. Strickland’s plan would expand gambling without a vote. His plan would implement types of gambling previously rejected by voters. His plan gives the casino industry additional justification for acceptance in Ohio. Like casino gambling, Strickland’s plan also increases the problems associated with gambling.

Ohio Roundtable opposes Strickland’s plan for additional reasons. They include the following:

1) In 1973 the voters of Ohio did not pass a Lottery Amendment with the intention of giving future Governors the right to unlimited, statewide gambling expansion. Ohio voters approved a lottery drawing to help education. Seizing unlimited authority from this amendment breaks trust with the voters and violates the nature of Constitutional law.

2) Voters have three times rejected expanded gambling in Ohio, and twice specifically rejected proposals including electronic slot-type devices.

3) In 2007, the Ohio Legislature passed a bill which Governor Strickland advocated and signed to eliminate electronic gambling devices in Ohio bars and social clubs. Replacing these machines with Lottery run electronic Keno games is hypocritical.

4) The projected $73 million state budget deficit for education is based upon a refusal of the Strickland administration to cut any education funding, including the rate of growth in education spending.

5) Even if education funding were exempt from funding cuts, there is plenty of money in the state rainy day fund to make up the $73 million shortfall – without the need for expanded gambling.

Expanding Ohio gambling is just one of many other efforts of Strickland to cover budget deficits.

Let’s apply the idea behind the commercials, Gov. Strickland plan, other democrats’ support of gambling, and the gambling industry to other vices. Extending their rationale for gambling, Ohio should legalize the sale of cocaine and other illegal drugs as long as drug pushers pay taxes on their sales. Prostitution should be legal as well. It is after all a profession of long-standing. It would surely bring in lots of tax revenue. We should also eliminate regulation on gun sales because too much money is being lost to the black market. By ending gun sale regulations, thousands, if not millions, in additional tax revenue would be gained. All of the above would boost state GDP, create more legal jobs, and fill government coffers that would benefit education.

I assure you it was with great trepidation that I even suggested legalizing the above vices because some of the politicians in the General Assembly would do so if they thought they could.

The question Ohioans should be asking is why their representatives always seek the easy-money method. Why don’t they spend more time devising plans to improve the economy in ways that will generate money both necessary for government services as well as for raising people out of poverty? One reason is that one side of the political isle favors big business at the expense of everyone else while the other side of the isle favors taxing big business and everyone else for their big government services. The pretense is that wealthy individuals—corporations are regarded as individuals–care about people at the low-income side of the economy and that they will create decent paying jobs. Big government proponents base their rhetoric on the pretense that the underlings of society will actually be raised out of their lingering poverty by welfare and other programs. The fact is the majority never are because the enormous amounts of taxes fund its gargantuan government bureaucracy.

This moral dilemma is irresolvable because those overseeing the system are not moral and just. They use either moral terminology to justify perpetuating injustice and immorality. The bizarre thing is that they tend to define it as freedom, free market, liberalization, and the like. The recent commercials promoting gambling are a case in point. They promote the glitter of gold, modern hedonism or fun, and the liberty of addiction without care for all of the moral, social, economic problems gambling creates with plenty of good empirical studies providing evidence.

The same is applicable to many other social problems besides gambling.

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