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Herald-Mail Forums

March 12, 2007

Last week's question:

To shore up a pending budget deficit, Senate President Mike Miller is promoting legalized gambling and a 4 percent excise tax on motor fuel. What do you think of these ideas?

Four percent on fuel? As long as he can account for the money. No new taxes until there is accountability for the money we are spending now. What happened to the $1 a pack cigarette tax? Gambling is already legal (tip jars).




Oh the irony of this ... if Cas Taylor had been pounding the gavel the last four years, your bully Bob would have had his slots and we might even be talking table games in Rocky Gap by now with Bob re-elected. But no, you Western Maryland GOP NRA members got confused and now you have bull testicles, the inmates running the prisons and no relief in sight, because Bob secretly raided all these one time funds while telling everyone the state's final future is bright.

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Some people have found positive reasons to legalize gambling, but as one who has seen it destroy lives...I caution against it. The worst thing that can happen to a gambler is to win, because it propels one to continue on in hopes of winning more, and this can eventually lead to poverty and addiction.




Kinda like drinking, right? Bet you're against that, too. Let's outlaw everything.




Gambling is fine as long as people view it as entertainment, like bingo. I worry about the people with little will power who will use their income to gamble instead of paying their rent or health care.




What will the excise tax be used for? We are subjected to a lot of taxes that the government never accounts for. Will it just be doled out as grants to rebuild crumbling building facades in Hagerstown that benefit few people?




Maybe we should get LeRoy on it.




I thought Gov. Ehrlich left a surplus of more than $900 million. He also wanted slots, but the Democrats kept blocking them so they could wait until they were in power to do it their way. Now as soon as they are in power, it's back to tax and spend. The more they get, the more they want to spend. Yes on the slots and a resounding no to new taxes.




Yes, as the son of an alcoholic father I've seen the devastating effects alcohol can have on a person. Thank God he's no longer an alcoholic, but for 25 years it caused a lot of pain. So to answer your question, yes, gambling, like drinking can become an addiction, Outlaw drinking? I don't see that happening.




Maybe not outlaw drinking, but it affects just as many lives as cigarettes, so why not put a dollar tax on that instead of gas? People need gas to get to work - they don't need alcohol.




No more taxes. Save by not educating illegal immigrants and streamlining government. Use capital punishment more often and shortly after conviction.




I'm going to have to be moving from Maryland - the free state - to a state that can manage its money a little better. No wonder people don't have a work ethic anymore, when the government takes it all, in one form of a tax or another. And the slots deal is all political smoke and mirrors. The free air tax is coming next.




Miller is at least trying to solve a problem. On the other side of the General Assembly, Del. LeRoy Myers is just wasting time rather than dealing with serious issues.




No motor fuel tax increase! Yes to legalized gambling!




While Miller thinks you should pay more on your taxes and LeRoy Myers thinks he should be the bumper sticker police, there are children dying. I want to see a solution to problems like this one in Maryland.




http://www.cnn.com/video/player/player.html?url=/video/health/2007/03/05/nurenburg.child.tooth.death.cnn Stop hurting the poorest people, Miller. And start focusing on serious issues, LeRoy.




The gambling thing is like every other legalized vice out there. Just because you can do it, doesn't mean you have to do it. Keep the money here, instead of letting it go over to the racetrack in West Virginia or to some OTB parlor in Pa. Motor fuel tax - well, the way I see it, the money's gotta come from somewhere. Now, as long as it's going where it needs to and not into some lobbyist's back pocket, I'll support it. Otherwise, pack it all in and come back when the accounting sheets start matching up.




As I see it, it would be better to tax beer. Or why not grow hemp in public lands and sell it at $5 for 20 joints. Can you see the money rolling in now? The other thing that would bring in more money is to tax the crack dealers in downtown Hagerstown. America, you gotta love it!




Uh, guys, we tried outlawing booze in this country with prohibition and it gave the Mafia a solid foothold in this country. Prohibition was repealed less than a decade later. People are going to drink, smoke and gamble, so face it. Now, do they do it here and have that money in our state's coffers? Or do we simply smile and wave as that money goes somewhere else?




These are manifestations of a deeper problem called sin.




Ah yeah, the "sin" argument. It's a "sin" to have truck toys. It's a "sin" to gamble. It's a "sin" to work on Sunday. It's a "sin" to wear clothing made of two different fabrics. It's a "sin" to commit murder. Since when did this become a theocracy instead of a Republic? Since when did the religious beliefs of some transcend the rights of others?




Since when can a few self-righteous individuals tell everyone else what they can put on their cars or what they can do with their hard-earned dollars?




Mr. Miller at one point had a three-phase solution to the budget problems; 1. Reducing expense, 2. Slots, 3. Increased taxes. When, if ever, are we going to hear any proposals to reduce state expenses?




This week's question:

This week the Washington County Commissioners heard that widening Maugans Avenue will cost nearly $3 million more than what staffers now agree was a faulty estimate. How can such mistakes be prevented?

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