Istook’s Insights: Memorial Day, and Tribal gaming

Over 1.3-million Americans have died serving our country.

Veterans Day honors everyone who has worn the uniform of the United States military. Memorial Day honors those who lost their lives in the service. 

Since 1776, that is over 1.3-million Americans. Almost half were Civil War casualties, including both the North and the South.

Right now, less than ½ of 1 percent of Americans serve in our military. It’s the lowest proportion since World War II. Most Americans honor them at every opportunity, grateful for their willingness to protect our nation.

And even when protecting other nations, like Afghanistan and Iraq, American soldiers show greater training, cohesion, discipline and courage than even those fighting for their own country.

It is impossible for any of us to show too much appreciation and gratitude for those who serve, and have given their lives, in America’s military.

Elsewhere in current events, Federal law since 1988 has allowed Indian tribes to open casinos even where others could not. 
Now their hundreds of casinos rake-in almost $30 Billion a year, nearly as much as commercial casinos.

None of that 30 billion has been used by tribes to pay for their own programs instead of using our tax dollars. Federal spending on Indian programs has also increased.

President Obama wants to give them more. His administration liberalized the ability of tribes to open casinos even miles away from their reservations. Plus Obama has liberalized the policy of recognizing more new tribes, which each get the potential of creating even more casinos.

Tribes provide major support to Obama. So is expanding their gambling take just another form of crony capitalism?

We should be fair to Native Americans — but also fair to everyone else.