When I last addressed the topic of the lottery, over a month ago, the NC State Senate was one vote short of passage (apparently, the NC House had already approved the lottery). We thought it was dead for this session.
Well, like a phoenix, the lottery rose from the ashes. Here’s my understanding of events (all of which took place near the end of August). NC Senate leader (a Democrat) tells the Senate its business is over, nothing to see here, move along, may as well go home. Senate goes home. At this point, one lottery opponent ends up in the hospital, and another goes on his honeymoon (I’m assuming his honeymoon had been delayed, because I don’t think he got married immediately upon heading home from the Senate). Lo and behold, the NC Senate leader decides that maybe there’s some business the Senate can do after all.
Guess what? Yep. The Senate takes up the lottery issue, which ends up in a tie vote (guess they were originally two votes shy). The Lt. Gov. of the state (another Democrat) breaks the tie (the LG has essentially the same role in the NC Senate that the VP has in the US Senate). And a lottery is born!
It’ll take several months before the state can start bilking the numerically challenged out of their hard-earned money. As a state employee, I guess I should be happy. This may well free up some state money to pay me my hard-earned raise (yeah, right!). As a citizen of the state of North Carolina, I’m not nearly so excited. This simply gives the mismanagers in Raleigh more money to screw up with, a reward they hardly deserve.
I’ll go ahead and make the unsupported observation that the lottery is essentially a regressive tax, preying on the poor and uneducated. But even if it’s not, it’s a tacky enterprise, and one that no governmental entity should be directly involved in (I’m not fond of casinos, either, but at least the government ain’t running ‘em). And I certainly don’t appreciate the sleazy approach that was used to get the lottery bill passed.
Meanwhile, the state completely ignored my own idea for raising money, which has the virtue of being original, unique, and potentially more revenue-producing.
Sigh. I guess I shouldn’t complain. After all, they did it for the children.
I originally referred to the two Democrats as “unDemocrats,” since I felt the whole lottery vote was handled in a very undemocratic manner. I decided that my use of the term would be interpreted as “mean-spirited and partisan.” While I do venture into politics on this website, I try to stay above the fray when possible. So I reverted to referring to the two individuals by their party affiliation and will leave it at that.