Reaping what you gamble 

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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