Most politicians do not actually care about increasing Liberty (shocking I know) so when they vote for a pro-Liberty measure they usually have an ulterior motive. Oftentimes it is in response to grassroots pressure. Sometimes politicians will vote to end prohibition in order to tax the activity and thus increase government revenue.
For example, one reason President Franklin Roosevelt ended prohibition was to increase tax revenue. Similarly, one argument made for ending marijuana prohibition is so government can tax and regulate it. It is pathetic that the only reason some politicians want to increase liberty is to squeeze more money out of taxpayers, but paying taxes is better than being thrown in jail. And, of course, once something is legalized and taxed we should work to lower taxes.
An example of this can be seen in the debate over legalizing online gaming in Pennsylvania. Some state legislators are supporting legalizing online gambling to deal with the state’s fiscal crisis, which has resulted in a downgrade of Pennsylvania’s credit rating. The Pennsylvania legislature has adjourned without dealing with the crisis, and the State Senate President went on to a conference in Paris instead of staying home to fix his budget.
Legalizing online gaming could bring at least $225 million into the state’s coffers, which would certainly help with the budget crisis. More importantly, it would increase liberty in the Keystone state. If I still lived in Pennsylvania, I would be calling my state reps asking that they support legalizing online gaming. I find it odd that some Pennsylvania Representatives want to impose a federal ban on online gaming, thus denying their state the ability to even consider legalizing it.
Tags: online gaming