Wednesday, September 18, 2002

Render Unto Caesar

I've stayed away from Commercial Appeal religion writer David Waters' columns. First, because religion is a very powerful topic and one I'm not comfortable with in this blog. I also don't know that my skills are up to tackling the topic well. Also, Waters' is an insufferable morally-superior human not at all afraid to lecture his readers on their shortcomings. Mix that in with the CA party line and you get stern unreadable sermonizing.

But in this column in today's CA, he manages to conflate opposition to a State lottery with the income tax. It was too much.
The failure of tax reform is the primary argument in favor of a lottery,
of course.

The state budget is in dire straits. The jerrybuilt jalopy of a tax structure
keeps breaking down. We need more money to better educate our
children, pre-K through college.

What's wrong with a lottery?

Same thing that's wrong with the state's regressive, retrofitted, rotting
tax system.
It's the worst of all possible worlds -- an unpleasant sermon that slaps your wrist, only to follow you home and keep slapping.

It's not that the "tax structure" keeps breaking down, but that legislators keeping loading more and more onto it. Spending in this State has increased one billion dollars a year, each year for the past few years! No realistic budget could keep up with that, and any budget that could will strip-mine the wallets of citizens.

It puts children at risk.
How? Since when does a State budget reduce risks for children? This one is so vague I don't even have space to tackle it. It makes so many Socialist assuptions, while ignoring a whole host of other "risk reducing" options, as to be meaningless. (For example, five gallon plastic buckets kill more small children each year than handguns. Will Mr. Waters start the crusade against them? Thought not.)

It does little for education.
That's the fault of legislators who allow the Tenn. Department of Transportation to keep a billion dollar kitty, and who continue to build golf courses and luxury hotels on public parklands. It's not a problem of money, but of priorities.

It's bad for the economy.
Nope. Taxes are bad for the economy. Always.

It hurts the poor.
And since when is it the job of taxes to "help" the poor. Again, more Socialism.

Gambling and God. Always a bad mix.

Until next time.

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