Sometimes a politician says something that is very revealing about their true character.
When asked by a caller on a radio show why he supports slots after having called them “morally bankrupt” while serving as mayor of Baltimore, Mr. O’Malley said that he is ready to compromise and that state lawmakers should be too.
My curiosity was picqued so I looked for the source, the Q document if you will, for this quote. I found it.
O’Malley said his position on the issue has not changed: He remains open to “a reasonable compromise” that would place slots at race tracks but not make the state dependent on the revenue generated by the machines.
O’Malley said he considers slots “a pretty morally bankrupt way” to fund education, which bills pending in both chambers of the Maryland General Assembly call for.
Now one has to ask why someone would actively support a “morally bankrupt” means of raising revenue at all, but one really has to question the basic integrity of someone who not only would advocate such a thing but would do so without the original caveat.
If slots are introduced Maryland will become dependent on that revenue. It happens with any new tax or fee or lottery or whatever. The revenue source is developed because of the perceived need for the money and in a short period of time the revenue source becomes indispensable absent raising other revenues or cutting spending. You simply can’t create a scenario where slots are introduced and the state doesn’t become dependent upon them.
Pragmatism isn’t necessarily a virtue. Pragmatism divorced from any moral compass is definitely not a good thing.