There’s gambling in Dodge City again. Our state’s leaders have been betting on gambling for nearly thirty years now. First it was lotteries, then a dog track, then a horse track. They have all been losing bets.
I grew up not far from the Woodlands dog and horse tracks. They are almost deserted. In the meantime, real businesses–restaurants and stores–have grown up in the same neighborhood. Wyandotte County has experienced real growth in the past ten years with real, family-friendly businesses. I often enjoy taking my grandchildren to T-Rex or Books-A-Million.
Now our state fathers want to put a casino in the neighborhood.
The state’s first casino opens today in Dodge. Our legislators imagine that vacationers from both coasts will spurn Las Vegas and flock to the former home of Wyatt Earp, Doc Holiday, and Miss Kitty herself to donate their money to our state’s economy.
Gambling is a tax on the poor. The rich and famous may save up and budget for a lavish vacation in Las Vegas–although that city is being hit hard by the recession–but they are not going to come to Kansas to spend their entertainment dollars.
The one political fact that has been constant for the past thirty years is that you can’t raise taxes on the people who can afford to pay taxes. It is unpatriotic to ask those who benefit most from the nations economy to contribute more. It is unpatriotic to expect those with the most assets protected by the military to contribute a larger share to the military budget. It is unpatriotic to ask those who need an educated workforce to contribute their share to the educational budget. And if we tax the benefits of the bankers who ran the economy into the ground–who will be willing to run our banks anymore?
So politicians won’t raise taxes. Instead they cut funding to education and programs for the elderly and the disabled. And they come up with scams that they think will stimulate the economy and bring in revenue. It’s time we call their bluff.