Democrats should see that casinos will increase state poverty

Whatever happened to the Democrats who actually wanted to end poverty?

Modern-day liberals seem absolutely fixated on doing everything they can to make poverty a permanent part of society — or more specific to their intent, a permanent supply of votes.

Democrats used to view social programs and government involvement as a way to help the truly misfortunate — not a way to perpetuate poverty through the guise of general welfare. Unfortunately, the latter is all that liberal Democrats have to offer us these days.

Turn your attention to the debate over casino gambling if you’re doubtful that Democrats are making efforts to keep poverty around to garner more votes. The proposal to allow the licensing of casinos in Kentucky, championed by Democratic Gov. Steve Beshear, and staunchly opposed by state Republicans, magnifies the difference in what liberals say, and what they do.

Beshear tells us that expanded gambling will increase state funds, allowing us to recover from problematic deficits and more easily pay for state-run programs such as health care and education.

While grandiose pictures of better health care for low-income families sounds great, are we really expected to believe that expanded gambling is the way to fund such a thing?

No one expects the millions of dollars to be generated by these casinos to be done on the backs of the extraordinarily wealthy, do they? How often do you hear of the very richest in society taking a gamble to “hit it big”? It simply defies common sense to suggest that those who already have tremendous amounts of money will be pouring large amounts of their income into a casino on the off-chance they might turn a profit.

The real funds from casinos will be coming from those who probably don’t have the money to waste at a slot machine. It seems much more reasonable to suggest that those who find themselves in need of money are going to be much more willing to take a chance at winning big, not those who are sitting comfortably in financial peace.

By enticing those without much money to the casinos, this plan would effectively keep lower-class families in a perpetual state of poverty while mommy-government buys them everything they need.

Maybe liberals are the elitists that talk radio paints them as. What other explanation could we give for a group that openly believes it’s better for the poor if the government spends their money for them?

While I don’t oppose expanded gaming in Kentucky, I also don’t pretend that paying for improved health care and education off the backs of the middle- and lower-class is something we should be proud of.

Why can’t Democrats call expanded gambling for what it is? A tax on the ignorant.

Whether or not casinos will bless Kentucky with untold riches is irrelevant. Promises of ending poverty through gambling are patently dishonest, and Democrats should be ash­­amed of themselves for pushing this as a way that will benefit the least well off.

Ending poverty doesn’t start with subsidized social programs — and that’s especially true when the funding is coming from the pockets of those who need it most.

The myth behind casino gambling being the road toward to social benefits isn’t one of a kind for the Democratic Party. Public housing projects, welfare programs requiring no accountability and other such methods of “fighting poverty” rarely succeed at their intended goal.

Instead, we create a permanent lower class, willing to vote for anyone who says that they have the solution to ending poverty.

Sadly, that vote usually turns out to be nothing more than another gamble.

Brett Nolan is a philosophy and political science sophomore. E-mail [email protected]