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Yes, the lottery is a tax on the mathematically challenged.
People still play it. And sometimes, they win.
Except in the state of Illinois, the winners don't get paid.
Danny Chasteen and his girlfriend, Susan Rick, thought they had gotten their big break last month when Chasteen won $250,000 from the Illinois Lottery. Instead, they got an IOU.
The Chicago Tribune reported that disbursements of Illinois Lottery winnings of more than $25,000 have been halted because the state doesn't have a budget.
Under state law, checks for such winnings must be cut by the state comptroller's office and, since lawmakers have yet to approve a budget, the office cannot release those funds, the newspaper said.
But you can bet your bottom dollar the state is still collecting money, budget or no budget. Just try telling them you can't pay your taxes because you haven't adopted a household budget yet. I'm sure they'll be extra sympathetic.
And here's another sure bet. Illinois is still paying government workers' salaries. And retired public employees' pension checks aren't being held either. Bureaucrats protect their own. It's you and me who they don't give a shit about.
So, why play the lottery if you're not gonna get paid? That's the big question!
... if the delays stretch on indefinitely, Smith said, word will spread — especially if it affects people who play regularly.
"If that news just continues to go viral, and it goes back to their neighborhoods and people are talking about it, I think it could have an impact," Smith said. "And even if it affects sales by a percent or two, that's bad for the lottery."
How bad? Total collapse of the whole blue-state social model bad.
Now, about the Illinois fiscal follies, this is only going to get worse, friends. Not only is Illinois a high-tax-and-even-higher-spending state, but its public employee pension obligations are completely unmanagable and the state is headed for either a default, a bankruptcy or a desperate plea for some sort of bailout. The slow budgeting process is part of the problem here too. It's not only lack of money. But it's not that hard to pass a budget when you know what you have to spend and you're willing to stick to it. Here in Michigan, Gov. Rick Snyder and the Republican legislature regularly pass budgets not just months ahead of time, but years ahead of time. Why can't they do that in Illinois? Because Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner is trying to bring fiscal sanity to the state and the Democrat legislature is resisting with all its might.
How many other states are sitting on budgetary time bombs? California. New York. And of course, New Jersey, just to name 3.
Can you imagine how people here will take it if the NJ lottery stops paying winners because Steve Sweeney decides to write a $5 billion dollar check to the teachers union pension fund?
Stiffing lottery winners is like eating your seed corn. Once word gets out the state won't pay, the players will find other outlets for their gambling fix. Perhaps ones where making sure they pay taxes on their winnings isn't exactly a high priority, if you know what I mean. Add that drop in tax revenue to the drop in lottery sales, and the pain at the state treasury just got a lot bigger.
Ergo, if Illinois thinks they have problems now, just wait a few more months.
At some point they're gonna stop paying guys who matter, and then the jig
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