It is a well-documented fact that the lottery is a racket, playing on both lack of education and despair to fleece the poor out of millions. Some states have even targeted impoverished communities with ads suggesting that a lottery ticket, “could be your ticket out.”
Therefore I was stunned to read Paul Rosa’s comments in last week’s Spirit of Jefferson, proudly identifying himself an “investor” in the West Virginia Lottery and calling the state-sponsored sweepstakes, “an affordable dream.” Rosa was referring to HB 4505, a bill passed this year allowing lottery winners to remain anonymous.
In the same breath Rosa praises Delegate Stephen Skinner (D-67), the sole sponsor of the bill, for passing legislation that “affects the man on the street,” while decrying the Legislature for wasting time on “fringe issues.”
Come again? In mid-February the Senate passed the “Middle Mile” broadband expansion bill 29 to 5, but the House of Delegates couldn’t be bothered to even take it up in committee – let alone bring it to a vote. The House of Delegates failed to pass any cigarette tax increase; sticking public employees with a 12% rate increase in their health insurance plans. And just last week the WV Legislature left town for the first time this century without passing a budget.
But I’m sure glad we found the time to protect the identities of our many would-be millionaires, lest the sudden windfall ruin their lives. Can we please get our priorities straight?
This appeared as a letter to the editor in the Spirit of Jefferson on March 23rd
Image Credit - Robert Donovan (CC BY-NC 2.0)