The Maryland General Assembly is being led like sheep to the slaughterhouse of gambling ("Internet gambling enters debate," Aug. 3).

Do lawmakers ever ask themselves why Virginia is enjoying another state budget surplus for the third year in a row? If they opened their eyes they would see that Virginia doesn't have casinos, it relies instead on fiscal restraint and the encouragement of new business development to spur growth.

Rushing into a special session about gambling is fool's gold.

Gov.Martin O'Malley, House SpeakerMichael E. Buschand Senate President Thomas V. Mike Miller need a lesson in basic economics to learn how to spur growth in Maryland. Taxing and spending at current levels will continue to drive employers out of Maryland.

Jay Johnstone, Baltimore