In a cold stale room smelling of old cigarette smoke, two indecent politicians sat under flickering florescent lights brainstorming on possible ways to “improve the economy” without raising taxes.
It is the problem politicians have faced since the people organized and became governing themselves. We need money to operate, but no one really wants to pay it. And who can blame them? You can’t just raise taxes a slight percentage without majority rules, which means a ballot issue that everyone votes. Where does that money come from? Did your bank account suddenly go up for a cost of living, gas, utilities and food increases? No.
Then it came to them. Invent “The Lottery”. People will pay money willingly in the unrealistic hopes that they will win this big prize. Since they don’t really know how much is collected, the government could easily dip into it, and maybe even swindle the winners out of their money. It was genius. Not only would they collect thousands if not millions of discretionary income from the middle class and the poor. They would also get the really needy to make sacrifices to buy more tickets.
The magic was that the jackpot would be so enormously big that the one or two winners would be taxed at the highest tax bracket, giving almost 40% of the jackpot to the government. The magic was so powerful that the one lottery called “Powerball” expanded to “Megamillions” and “Lucky for Life” where gamblers can willingly give their hard earned money to the government every day of the week, except Sunday.
Sure it is fun to spend $2 and play the “What if?” dream. But you should never bet your whole paycheck like some people. Simply put, the odds are never in your favor.