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Letters to the Editor

Reaping what you gamble

Mike Brake March 20th, 2013

Losing bet” (News, C.G. Niebank, March 13, Oklahoma Gazette), which laments the presence of 100,000 gambling addicts in Oklahoma and the lack of taxpayer dollars to treat them, is a perfect example of an old conservative truth: Boneheaded actions by government often have costly unintended consequences.

When the Democratic-controlled Legislature effectively handed the tribes a monopoly on casino gambling in 2004, some skeptics suggested that we might pay a price. (Some also wondered why those same legislative leaders and Gov. Brad Henry were raking in so many hundreds of thousands in tribal campaign dollars at the same time, but never mind.)

Those who questioned the wisdom of opening the gambling floodgates back then were often derided as mossback Baptists or worse when they wondered if a casino on every corner might increase crime, traffic and alcohol problems and addictive behaviors.

Not to worry, we were told. Well, here we are, with 100,000 addicted gamblers and nowhere to put them.

Government policy sometimes plants seeds that grow into nice flowers, but just as often, you get a patch of weeds. One is reminded of the “compassionate” welfare policies that essentially rewarded and subsidized sloth and illegitimacy for decades, contributing mightily to a great deal of social dysfunction.

I am just enough of a libertarian conservative to say to the gambler, if you want to piddle away your paycheck at the craps table, that’s on you. And I am just enough of a libertarian conservative to add, don’t expect the taxpayers to fix you. We are reaping what we sowed almost a decade ago under some badly misguided weak leadership.

—Mike Brake
Oklahoma City

Opinions expressed on the commentary page, in letters to the editor and elsewhere in this newspaper are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of ownership or management.

Hey! Read This:
Losing bet: Oklahoma’s casino gaming has exploded, but funding of gambling addiction programs hasn’t kept pace    

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03.20.2013 at 12:42 Reply

It's always those damn democrats, isn't it Mike?  The boogie man is a Democrat, The devil is a democrat, the fraking tooth fairy is a democrat; after all she keeps giving away money.

I bet there has never been a conservative who has ever done anything wrong.  Of course when I make that statement, I have to ignore things like bathroom-footsey senators and pedophile priests.  Oh wait, were those secret Democrats?  You've tought me so much Mike, thank you sir.  I'm going to vote for the church-going closeted pervert liar, instead of the honest church-going pervert.

BTW, Libertarians are awesome (just looks at Ron Swanson), you are not a libertarian, just a conservative.  You'd do well to not claim otherwise.