Privatizing the special tax on poor people?

That would be the Virginia Lottery by the way. Richmond Times-Dispatch:

The odds of winning the Virginia Lottery may be better than chances that the state turns it over to private business.

But that’s not stopping some politicians, policymakers and plutocrats from discussing the idea, particularly when the declining economy has Virginia scrounging for dollars.

“If we’re not going to raise taxes and we’re not going to cut expenses, then we have to find a third way,” says Del. David E. Poisson, D-Loudoun, a proponent of a privately run lottery.

Poisson’s legislation to put the 20-year-old lottery in private hands was ignored by the 2008 General Assembly. It went no further than a House committee, where it died without a public hearing or vote.

Poisson’s bill did not specifically mandate the sale or lease of the lottery; rather, it required the five-member board that oversees the game to study options for privatization by July 2010 and make a recommendation to the General Assembly.

Such a shift would be of particular interest to the lottery’s primary beneficiaries, the state’s public schools, which last year shared $437 million in game profits on sales of $1.3 billion. Educators and their allies in the legislature would likely demand guarantees that privatization does not threaten profitability.

So, only 33.62% of the money goes to education? I thought all the money was supposed to go to schools. I guess like any government agency 60% of the money goes to “administration”.

[…]

Paula I. Otto, the new director of the Virginia Lottery, says the reluctance of American lotteries to privatize may be rooted in an important selling point for players: that the games are public.

“Because lotteries have been operated by government, at least modern lotteries, there is a trust factor, there is an integrity factor that for the public feels right,” says Otto.

Yes, sure, we trust the government.

[…]

Virginia law prohibits the lottery from using promotions that could be seen as inducing people to play. Instead, radio and television commercials, bus and highway billboards and point-of-purchase displays can be only informational.

Um…yeah, sure, I’m buying that. Those Bacardi advertisements on your television are for “informational” purposes only too. Ditto for the Marlboro and Newport ads in magazines.

While we’re talking about privatizing stuff, why don’t we privatize Alcoholic Beverage Control (ABC)? Why is the government in the business of selling booze in the first place?

And don’t give me the story about how the government is better able to stop underage persons from buying booze. I see just as many ABC employees getting arrested for underage sells as private employees when ABC does their sting operations.

Here’s my solution: Privatize the sells/business portion of ABC and move the enforcement portion into the Virginia State Police (VSP).

Of course, I’m sure the ABC agents would love that since they get along so well with VSP.

Tell ’em to “suck it up”.

2 Comments

  1. Tom James says:

    If you do a close look the schools have no net gain.

    It’s a shell game.

    They reduce the school budget so the lottery makes up the difference.

  2. Exactly, just like the “pay for ride” program for fire/EMS in Caroline County.

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