Back to the Lottery

Will Mike E. get his boondoggle lottery this time? From the way things are going, I would have to give the odds at 2-1 that it passes this time. People are coming out for and against it. Ogre says:

Enter Jim Black (D). He really, really, really wants a lottery because he is the primary person who gets to determine where all the general slush fund money will go since he is speaker of the house for life. He knows the lottery will give him literally untold millions of dollars for him to spend as he sees fit (I’m honestly not making this up, heck, I’m not even exaggerating!).

The Flannel Avenger:

It seems very painfully obvious to me that what little money the government gets to keep will be used for more pork barrel politicking (The money will “go” for education, but that doesn’t mean that the education money is going to stay where it is). It also seems to me that in a State where the Governor has proposed a budget of almost $17 billion that they really expect for an extra $500 million (I think that’s the number being floated, seems right anyway, not 100% sure on that) is going to make all the difference in the world of education.

Now, as someone who, for the most part, grew up with a lottery in New Jersey, I can take it or leave it. It makes no difference to me. I tend to buy tickets if I stop in a state that has them, and usually get a few when visiting the parental units who still haven’t gone over the wall from NJ. (Hold on, I’m going somewhere with this.)

That said, I have an issue with the NC plan for the lottery. Like most states, it is essentially a way of adding money to the State coffers in the name of "education," so that money can be diverted from the General funds that otherwise have gone to education. Way back in August 2004 I did a survey of what most of the states that have lotteries do with the money, and it wasn’t pretty. Rather then regurgitate the information, check that post. Or, check this Yahoo link, and investigate each states lotteries.

Essentially what you get is a program in most states where the money really doesn’t go to eduction, and, in many cases, for any particular program at all. When I think "education" for the money, I think grades K-12. Vocational, community college, prison programs, and other college related programs are not what I consider a wise use of the money, nor are they what the law-making critters imply the money will be used for. However, that is typically where the money goes. Colorado is rather upfront in that up to $35 million goes to specific environmental programs. No misrepresentation there.

If the NC elected critters can guarantee that the money from a lottery will be used to supplement the already allocated money for K-12 education, I would support it. Heck, if they said it was going to go to specific, worthwhile programs, such as clean water, roads, State Parks, etc, I might throw my support to it. However, we all know that it is just a way to add more discretionary funds, read Blacks discretionary funds.

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One Response to “Back to the Lottery”

  1. JulieB says:

    This is a quote directly from information on the State of California site. “Although the public still perceives the lottery as making a significant difference in the funds available for education, the lottery actually provides about 1.5 percent of the total K–12 funding. While the lottery revenue is appreciated, it is a minor source that cannot be expected to provide major improvements in K–12 education.”


    I rarely buy a ticket, however, there is an office pool and our contributions bought 90 numbers for a pot that is $60 million. I was dismayed to discover that my “take” would be $666,666.67 less taxes so make that somewhere around $300,000. None the less that would pay off my house, allow me to get rid of the POS Toyota and buy an electric/gas Toyota, buy several cases of very good Scotch. Not bad. Not bad at all.

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