Friday, May 20, 2005

Stand back everyone, I'm a musician!

ICT [2005/05/20]��McCain calls for IGRA review, revisions:

Senator John McCain is calling for revision of the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act, stating ''I strongly agree it's time we reviewed a 17-year-old piece of legislation and profited from the experiences we've undergone, and make whatever necessary changes in order to deal [with] an $18.5 billion - and continuing to grow - industry that none of us ever anticipated would reach this size when we passed the act in 1988.''

That's right folks, if everyone knew that Indians would make so much money, the paternalistic folks in our beloved federal government never would have opened up this box of Pandoras in the first place.

This part slays me: "Former Crosby, Stills and Nash member David Crosby, who is battling land-to-trust for gaming in California, argued that problems are caused by tribes' exemption from compliance with local zoning and other regulations, and from paying state and local taxes.

''It's unfair to all the other people who live there. I think that's blatantly obvious,'' Crosby said."

Well, it's a relief to have a singer step in and finally resolve the centuries of racism, paternalism, and legal issues associated with tribal relations and IGRA in particular with one pithy sentence.

Allow me to capitalize for a moment.


Citizens pay taxes in exchange for the government providing us with certain services, like building schools and roads, protecting us from criminals who are not elected officials, and invading smaller countries on flimsy pretexts. State and local governments do not provide services on trust lands, those services are provided by the federal or tribal governments. Crosby is saying it's not fair that Indians do not pay taxes for services they do not receive. More to the point, Indians are paying taxes, although they're not called taxes; since states are not allowed to tax tribes (being sovereign entities) it's euphemistically referred to as "revenue sharing." California tribes are right now committed to "sharing" twenty-five percent of gaming revenues, which I believe is the highest of any state in the nation.

I strongly recommend sticking with singing and sperm donation, those seemed to work pretty well.