It seems that every time I turn around it seems that I am being proven correct. Today, it seems that noted liberals are ceding my rightness:
“All of the critics of the lottery, way back when, all of their predictions appear to be coming true,” said Gerrick Brenner with Progress NC. “They said it was a bait and switch. It is a bait and switch.”
Brenner is both a parent, and the head of the liberal Progress NC. Looking through both those lenses, he sees problems with the senate’s changes in how lottery money is allocated.
“If the politicians plan to keep their promise of using lottery money for education then why do they want to change the law,” asked Brenner. “Clearly they want to break the promise.”
Now, I don’t know if Mr. Brenner meant that to be taken literally or not. But I’m still going to count that as ceding my rightness.
Let us note that I have always been opposed to the North Carolina Lottery. I thought it was bad policy then, and I still think it’s bad policy now. Let’s just call it what it is, it’s a gambling operation. The Government has no business running a gambling operation to raise revenue. It is horrible public policy. It’s even worse that gambling is illegal in North Carolina. So, not only has the state created its own gambling operation, but all competition is illegal. It is hypocritical to say the very least.
Well, it’s been 5 years, but WRAL is reporting that I was right.
Me, 5 Years Ago:
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).
When state lawmakers passed the lottery in 2005, they promised that the money would not replace tax dollars meant for education, but analysis of the numbers shows that is exactly what has been happening.
“I don’t think we’ve ever seen the lottery as a game changer. We’ve seen it as: this is a nice addition to our portfolio,” said Wake County Debt Manager Nicole Kreiser.
Kreiser says Wake County’s annual construction allotment, about $10 million this year, covers less than half of the cost of an elementary school. Lottery money helped build the new Herbert Akins Elementary in Fuquay-Varina.
The problem, she says, is that state leaders pulled back corporate tax receipts that were also going to build schools.
“It’s essentially gone and we’ve been left with the lottery, so that may be a supplant issue,” Kreiser said.
It’s the same issue for lottery money directed to reduce class size. About $100 million pays for approximately 2,000 teachers. That allotment helps maintain student-to-teacher ratios in kindergarten through third grade based on state statute, but not reduce class size. Plus, budget cuts elsewhere are increasing class sizes in higher grades.
Now, the question is, what do we do about it?
It seems that House Speaker Jim Black wants to bring a lottery proposal to a vote by April 11. A lottery is an atrocious idea for North Carolina.
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.
The most amusing argument I hear for the Lottery is “North Carolinians are spending X number of dollars in the (VA, SC, TN, GA) lottery” Which goes to show what? That stupid people will travel a long way to waste their money? That these people would prefer a North Carolina lottery? Just think, North Carolina has the highest gas taxes in the region. Think of all the money the government would forego by not making these folks drive out of state.
I’m sure that the lottery money wouldn’t just wind up in some government slush fund. Likewise, I’m sure that all the schools systems need more money. After all, the quality of education a student receives is directly proportional to how green the grass on the football field is. Why, without the lottery, some poor child might have to go to a school where there are *gasp* dandelions on the pitchers mound!
But, the best part about a lottery would be how the parasitic mass that is the government would be allowed to grow. The government is like kudzu. You can’t get rid of it, but you let it loose and pretty soon, there won’t be anything else for miles around. It’s time to start spraying some herbicide instead of fertilizer on the ambitions of these two bit tyrants.