Tuesday, October 20, 2009

But it's for a good cause!

Lottery Tickets Set to Help Veterans

My policy on the lottery is that it's a stupid tax.

I don't think that we shouldn't have a lottery. I don't have much of an opinion on gambling in general (I honestly don't care one way or another about legalization, though I do think if it's left a crime it should be one of those we just don't bother prosecuting).

This, however, rubs me the wrong way.

It's not that I think we shouldn't have it per se, it's just...Well, here's the money quote:

After the usual deduction for prizes and other costs, 23 percent of ticket proceeds will go to the Permanent Fund for Veterans' Assistance for such services as transportation to veterans hospitals, counseling and housing for homeless veterans.
It's a $2 ticket. So 46¢ from each ticket will go into this fund. It will, I have no doubt, work exactly as advertised. They may even be correct to say that it will inject $9M into the fund. And that's a good thing. But, well, I'd much rather give my $2 to them directly...and so I think I'll skip the scratch-off tickets (that, well, I wouldn't buy anyway) and do what I can locally.

ETA: Huh, found a good answer further down: Toy Drive to Benefit Military Families. Here's Operation Homefront's Texas chapter. Of course, there are beaucoup other opportunities; Blackfive has a good run-down. Any of these, I think, would be better than paying the stupid tax.

1 comment:

TBeck said...

It's really just a tax on people who are bad at math. I buy a ticket or two a week for the fun of imagining what winning would be like. I agree that lotteries and taxes on alcohol and tobacco sales are an excellent way of getting the untaxed to actually contribute to the general welfare in some small degree.