James Leroy Wilson's blog

Saturday, July 08, 2006

The Party of Limited Government Strikes Again

Radley Balko tells us that Congressional Republicans will vote for a ban on Internet gambling next month:

Just spoke with an aide to a Republican congressman who, as far as congressmen go, is about as libertarian as it gets, save for Ron Paul. The aide told me that much to his chagrin, said congressman will be backing the ban on Internet gambling. What's more, the aide says the congressman actually understands the economics of prohibitions, he just thinks that this will be the one time they don't apply.

The aide said when a constituent wrote a letter about the issue, he himself wrote a reply with boilerplate language about the futility of prohibitions. The congressman sent the letter back with a stark red line through the boilerplate verbiage, with instructiosn to take it out.

"For some reason, he thinks this is one instance where government can actually pull it off," the aide said.

Unbelievable.

Internet gambling is of course already illegal. That's why gaming sites set up and operate offshore (several are actually traded on the London Stock Exchange). Yet it's still a $12 billion industry in the U.S.

But golly. If we just try harder, and give government more power, maybe this will be the one vice we can stamp out for good. Because gambling prohibitions have worked so well in the past.

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