Tag Archives: David E. Smith

Letter: Gambling won’t help state’s problems

News reports suggest that state lawmakers are considering an expansion of gambling–including a casino for Chicago. The state of Illinois has a serious revenue shortfall, thanks to out-of-control spending habits. Gambling will not alleviate this problem.

In order for the state to realize additional gambling revenue, the gambling industry must profit by creating thousands of losers. It is morally indefensible for the state to approve, license and promote an industry that thrives on the exploitation of the citizens it’s sworn to serve. Creating thousands of citizen losers to increase an ill-gotten revenue stream is terrible public policy.

It is also short-sighted. Professor John Kindt, of the University of Illinois, estimates that it will cost citizens $3 in social costs for every $1 that the state takes in on gambling taxes. Kindt also points out that legalized gambling is the leading cause of bankruptcy.

Gambling addictions, which increase dramatically with the creation of each new casino, would contribute to homeless problems, increases in crime, unemployment, suicide, domestic abuse, substance abuse and broken families.

Lawmakers must consider the bigger picture as they debate these proposals. I pray they understand that the costs of gambling far outweigh the perceived financial benefits.

David E. Smith
Executive Director
Illinois Family Institute

Letter: Illinois legislators unwilling to listen

With unemployment near 10 percent and no end in sight for home foreclosures, many Illinois lawmakers seem to be disconnected with reality.

Calls, e-mails, faxes and letters in opposition to an income tax increase flooded their offices for weeks, to no avail. During the final hours of the past legislative session, lawmakers decided to place a much heavier tax burden on Illinois families.

In lieu of cutting pork spending, Springfield lawmakers opted to continue to increase the insatiable demands of our growing state government.

Here are a few examples: $1 million to provide cable TV to prisoners; $6 million for the Museum of Broadcast Communications; $100 million to create an airport in Peotone; over $78 million for horseracing interests; almost half million for programs for homosexual and transgender senior citizens; $3 million to Easter Seals (Chicago/Joliet regions,); tens of thousands of our tax dollars to out-of-state universities; and the list goes on.

They are essentially taking much-needed resources away from family budgets instead of governing responsibly.

Too many legislators are unresponsive to the will of the people—the very people they represent. Illinois voters would do well to remember this lame duck session in the next election cycle.

David E. Smith
Executive Director
Illinois Family Institute