The (D) after his name suggests there are cases where Rep. Barney Frank has voted against the principle he states here about the anti-gambling bill, but for now, it’s useful to point out that at least one Representative in Congress has a clue about his role:
“If an adult in this country, with his or her own money, wants to engage in an activity that harms no one, how dare we prohibit it because it doesn’t add to the GDP or it has no macroeconomic benefit. Are we all to take home calculators and, until we have satisfied the gentleman from Iowa that we are being socially useful, we abstain from recreational activities that we choose?… People have said, What is the value of gambling ? Here is the value. Some human beings enjoy doing it. Shouldn’t that be our principle? If individuals like doing something and they harm no one, we will allow them to do it, even if other people disapprove of what they do.
That’s 89% fantastic. I’d change only the last sentence, to something like this:
If individuals like doing something and they harm no one, we do not have the power to prohibit it, even if other people disapprove of what they do.
That gets to the true principle, based on the liberty guaranteed in the Declaration of Independence and the U.S. Constitution. Congress gets its powers from us. It does not grant us our rights. Kudos to Rep. Frank for stating what needs to be said.
Hat tip: Hit and Run