Government Is Not Our Friend

-By Warner Todd Huston

Small-government conservatives have always been suspicious of government. Whether city, county, state or federal all government is looked on as a troublesome but necessary evil that must be tightly controlled and oft times opposed. This anti-government attitude, of course, is a complete mystery to socialist Democrats. They just don’t understand why conservatives mistrust government and why they eye it suspiciously. So, looking for a way to explain in real terms why conservatives loathe government is sometimes not an easy task as the ideas are often very esoteric. Thank God the corrupt governments in Barack Obama’s Illinois are always there to supply a ready example of why government is often the enemy of a free people.

In that mien, here is another perfect example of how government often does not serve the voters, how it does what ever it wants to do despite the voters, and how government often thinks it knows better than the very voters that it is supposed to serve.

In 2009 the Illinois State legislature in its Springfield-based capitol passed a video gambling law that for the first time legalized video poker machines across the state. The progress of this law was very contentious with most Republicans and some Democrats standing in opposition to this immoral legislation and a sop to the opposers was put in the bill as sweetener to assure passage. An “opt out” clause was put in the bill so that those conservative districts that were so opposed to video gambling could exclude themselves from allowing the immoral act of video gambling in their jurisdiction.

Thus far, it might seem as if this bill was very representative of the people. Those that wanted video gambling could have it, those that didn’t could opt out. What could be more responsive? If the story ended there we have no story here.

Naturally, it doesn’t end there.

The main reason this video gambling law was created in the beginning was that Democrats wanted to raise $31 billion in new taxes to fund a “capital improvements” project. Democrats wanted to payoff union buddies by hiring them to build roads, bridges, schools, and whatnot.

The problem was that the voters were adamantly against new taxes for any internal improvements. The Democrats had to figure out a stealthy way to get the money they needed to payoff their union pals. And so, the Dems lit upon the idea of raking in “fees” from video gambling. Using an iffy method of figuring money incoming from a revenue stream that had yet to even exist much less be legalized, the Dems thought they had the perfect solution to their tax problem. The fees taken in by video gambling was “calculated” before the law was even passed based, of course, on 100% compliance — no “opt outs” assumed.

So, the bill was passed and the Democrats sat greedily licking their chops awaiting the huge flow of new cash to arrive.

But Democrats were surprised that the opt outs were applied for, and not just a few. According to the figuring of Illinois Church Action 69 Illinois communities or counties have already exercised their option to opt out of allowing video gambling and this number is growing.

Suddenly the spendthrift, union coddling Democrats began to realize that their $31 billion would not be so easily raised by the fees from video gambling because too many communities were opting out. In fact, many communities already had local laws prohibiting video gambling and couldn’t implement the new video gambling law even if they wanted to. It turns out that the local communities that are closer to the people had made video gambling illegal a long time ago. Democrats just didn’t care what the local communities and municipalities had previously ruled and imagined that their new law would simply overrule the local ordinances.

So, what to do, what to do? Democrats snapped their fingers, slapped their heads and came up with a great idea. Since all these selfish communities were opting out of the new stealth tax that was being disguised as fees why not pass another tax that penalizes any community that employs the opt out clause? This way the “needed” tax money could be culled from these cash strapped communities no matter what.

One wonders why the money grubbing Illinois Democrats didn’t just pass a “capital improvements” tax in the first place and forget about trying to hide it behind video gambling fees?

But, you see, that’s just it. Democrats were trying to HIDE the tax in the first place. Further more, they passed a bill that they KNEW that a large portion of the local communities hated in the first place.

Now, let’s take stock of the actions of Illinois Democrats with this “law”:

  • Democrats lied to the voters about what the video gambling law was in the first place — it was not about gambling it was about finding a new way to tax Illinois
  • Democrats knew that many of their constituents didn’t want this video gambling law but didn’t care what the voters had to say
  • When their efforts to create a new stealth tax failed, they simply began to propose a direct tax to fill their union pals pockets.
  • Democrats didn’t care that many communities already had laws on the books that prohibited video gambling and just assumed their new law would simply beat down the local statutes

The simple fact of the matter is that Illinois Democrats are greedy, union-controlled, tax hikers that have no interest whatsoever in what the voters have to say about anything. They wanted new money to pay off their union pals and they simply did not care how they’d get it. They just didn’t care whose wants and needs they tromped upon to get their payoff cash. It’s just that simple.

Want another example? How about a school system that doubled its public debt without even giving its citizens a chance to vote on the matter? That is the case with the Palatine school chiefs that used a “back door referendum” that simply stole tens of thousands from the taxpayers via a technicality in the system.

These examples are not isolated and are being repeated over and over again in every government at every level in every state of the Union. And THIS is why conservatives fight against government more often than they support it. And this is why conservatives are right because unless this sort of corruption and arrogance is strongly opposed it will run rampant and destroy the ability of the people to enjoy life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.

Unlike America’s social Democrats a conservative relies on himself, not government.
“The only end of writing is to enable the reader better to enjoy life, or better to endure it.”
–Samuel Johnson

Warner Todd Huston is a Chicago based freelance writer, has been writing opinion editorials and social criticism since early 2001 and is featured on many websites such as Andrew Breitbart’s,,,,, Human Events Magazine,, and the New Media Journal, among many, many others. Additionally, he has been a frequent guest on talk-radio programs to discuss his opinion editorials and current events and is currently the co-host of “Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Conservatism” heard on BlogTalkRadio. Warner is also the editor of the Cook County Page for

He has also written for several history magazines and appears in the new book “Americans on Politics, Policy and Pop Culture” which can be purchased on He is also the owner and operator of Feel free to contact him with any comments or questions : EMAIL Warner Todd Huston

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One thought on “
Government Is Not Our Friend”

  1. Government is like food. You need an appropriate amount to live in harmony. If you consume too much, especially of the wrong kind, you become obese, addicted, or both. Eventually, the only thing you are able to work for is to pay for your addiction. Sooner, or later there will not be enough work to pay for the addiction. At that point, some folks are willing to steal from their neighbors. Catch my drift?

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