Gambling On Budget – What If We Lose?

The headline article in Sunday’s San Jose Mercury News: A winning bet on lottery money for Schwarzenegger?

The article discusses ways to increase lottery sales so the Governor can borrow from future revenue to pay today’s bills. (And we get to pay huge investment bank fees for the privilege of borrowing our money from our future.)
The article does not discuss the consequences of the possible failure of this wild plan to base the state’s financial future on gambling revenue. If it fails we will still owe a huge amount of money to the big Wall Street firms, but will have even less revenue coming in to pay the additional interest and principal. We’re talking about the possibility of bankruptcy here, folks.
The article does not discuss the consequences of using marketing methods to push gambling to California’s low income citizens. We already know there is a gambling problem just from the amount of advertising that is being done today. Now lottery-pushers are talking about online betting, allowing use of credit cards so people can go into debt, and increased advertising. This can only lead to terrible victimization of people who are susceptible to gambling addiction.
Mostly, though, this Sunday headline article does not discuss realistic ideas for raising revenue to pay for the state’s schools, roads, police, firefighters, courts, health care facilities, DMV workers, environmental oversight and the rest of the absolutely necessary things that our state government does for us. These ideas include asking the wealthy to pay the same sales taxes when they buy yachts and jets that the rest of us pay when we buy clothing and cars and necessities, or asking the big corporations to pay realistic property taxes on commercial real estate, or asking the oil companies to pay something when they pump our oil out of the ground and sell it back to us, or closing some of the loopholes that allow big corporations and wealthy to escape paying their share of taxes.
Nope, instead of looking at realistic revenue ideas we’re all being distracted by this silly lottery scheme.