With clocks ticking and windows closing, the Ds are fighting over how far to the center they can be pulled, the Rs over how tough-guy they should be, and poker players have turned screaming pissy because Harry Reid’s online poker bill doesn’t say anything about 4 color decks nor include a provision to declare the Durrrr challenge a federal holiday.
That’s what they’ve been arguing about in Capitol Hill, Twitter, and 2+2, right?
One can only hope the most compelling arguments on behalf of federally regulated and legally mainstreamed online poker aren’t getting lost in the political muck. Fortunately, the simple matter at hand got spelled out super-clearly in Forbes magazine today by Michelle Minton, a political independent capable of speaking to a conservative audience:
Exactly. That’s it. Try to convince me otherwise. I voted for both Barack Obama and Ross Perot. Oops? Based on net tax revenues alone, online poker really probably should be like number 8 on the lame-duck agenda to argue about. Not saying it’s unimportant; on the contrary … have our Congresspeople heard of the concept of low-hanging fruit?
Once upon a time I woulda believed this kinda thing could be knocked off quickly … OK, most people like, a few don’t, did we count all the absentee ballots … Boom. Quick $6 billion or so per year added to America’s coffers. No point in wasting our time (and money) … let’s move on.
For conservatives, this single issue alone can prove the ultimate litmus test for whether or not someone they elected really embraces the principles they espoused to win office. For everyone else it’s a question of whether or not you believe in sensible government, or are more comfortable spending money while denying the role of internet “tubes” and other technology in a changing world economy.
Forget the Barack Obama mantra … with or without him, times changed dramatically when you could pass virtual currency across international borders with a single button click. I mean Jeezus, who woulda believed less than 10 years ago that anyone with access to a computer could translate just about any document in any language in less time than it takes to find a TV remote control?
In the end, regardless of party affiliation or disputes over nuances in the first of what will surely be many iPoker and/or internet commerce bills in the future, it’s all so simple: do we want to spend money in an effort to let the rest of the world build up an advantage over us (not just in poker, but in technology integral to 21st Century banking) … or would we rather give the people what they want while leaving the American economy in better condition than we found it?
There really is only one sensible answer.