October 20, 2005
The United States military is promoting gambling among the troops overseas, undermining families and contributing to addiction in some of the soldiers.
How dumb is this?
The New York Times carried a story Wednesday that detailed how $2 billion flows through slot machines owned by the military.
Six percent of the earnings stay with the house, about the same rate as in Las Vegas.
The military defends the need for millions in gambling revenue as a way to pay for recreation activities for soldiers.
But if it undermines families and contributes to gambling addiction, the military is hurting the very soldiers who are supposed to be defending our nation.
If the military needs funds for recreation, let it either be appropriated by Congress, or let the US appeal for private donations, as they used to.
Ramstein Air Force base has one of the biggest slot machine locations.
When soldiers spend the rent and food money for their wives and children, this is a lousy idea and the policy should be changed.
I’m Cal Thomas in Washington.
Cal Thomas is a nationally syndicated columnist based in Washington, D.C.