I'm breaking my fast for an impassioned statement:
My governor just approved the installation of 61,000 slot machines in PA. If all goes well, one third of the taxes from the slot machines will be enough to cut each individual home-owner's property taxes by several hundred dollars!
What's going on here? This is insane! Tax cuts are one thing -- in the short term, I wouldn't mind if my friends paid fewer taxes. But where is this money coming from?
The people I know at the factory down the street, people who rent, who try hard just to survive, who buy lottery tickets every day, hoping to make it big because they are barely making do. The two, three-hundred dollars they already spend on Pennsylvania Lottery tickets could help pay those medical bills, start pulling them out of debt, or go toward retirement.
Instead, it's lining the pockets of people who already have enough cash to buy a house.
It takes a lot for politics to make me upset, but this idea is evil.
If you think torturing prisoners in Iraq is wrong, you're right. But do the math. Try to figure out how much pain, sorrow, heartache, and death the slot machines will cause? You can only torture so many people inside prison walls. Put a slot machine out there, and the effect ripples like an insipid poison, infecting whole families through the involvement of one person.
Gambling causes unthinkable collateral damage.
Gambling is a great way to trample the necks of our fellow humans, keep them suppressed. Do we tell them to aspire to education, to responsibility, or to hard work? Of course not! We tell them to blow their paycheck at the corner store or down at the racetrack.
In order to secure the comfort of affluent homeowners, we tell the poor that the best way to get financial comfort is through chance.
Then we turn around and say that alll this positive because property owners need tax relief!?!?!?!
"A little gambling never hurt anyone. It's fun!"
Yeah. For you. Maybe you don't think you're rich. Maybe you cringe when you see your Internet bill. But you don't have to cringe when you see the grocery bill, do you?
If gambling is fun, so is debt. So is addiction. So is a life of constantly crushed hopes, a life of learned paralysis. So is looking at your small daughter shivering in the cold for lack of proper clothing, and playing the odds because you love her -- not realizing that a gambling-free life might have bought her the coat she needs.
You can say all you want about politics. You can talk to me about tax cuts, about funding for programs and the budget crisis. Talk. Not a lot of people will disagree with you. The people claiming to be the voice of the poor have just stabbed them in the back. Watch. The blood has already stained their teeth.
Fine. Make the poor pay for the frivolities of complacent, wasteful middle class suburban Pennsylvanians -- for whom the latest movie is more important than their brothers and sisters in poverty. Give them a break. They deserve one. After all, gas is expensive for the SUV and the '89 mustang. They need some backup for their 401k.
Who needs terrorists when we're happy to destroy the lives of our own people for a few more bucks?