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Race track aid amounts to welfare for the rich

Pamela Wood's article on the effort by the city to keep the Preakness in Baltimore brings to light yet another way that the citizens of Maryland have been lied to by our own legislators (“To save the Preakness, Baltimore officials pushed a plan behind the scenes to fund Pimlico improvements,” April 3).

When casino gambling first came to Maryland, we, the voters, were told that a big chunk of the profits would go toward education. When the casinos were going concerns, and education wasn't getting any benefit, we were told that the money was going to education, but the state was using it to offset other spending in the general fund. So we voted for the so-called lock box. Now, when it's clear that despite the urgent need to improve schools in Maryland, the education budget is still not improving, we find out that all the money hasn't actually been going to education at all. Instead, some is being siphoned off to provide welfare for The Stronach Group that owns the racetracks in Maryland.

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Horse racing has been called the sport of kings for a reason. The reason is that horse racing is so expensive that only the super rich can afford it. And yet, here we are in Maryland, giving welfare payments to the super rich so that they can make a profit from an unprofitable business. When people talk about tightening up the state budget in order to reduce taxes, welfare payments to the super rich should be the first thing cut.

Henry Farkas, Pikesville

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