Editorial: More gambling for Oklahomans

Do you want to help public education?

Gamble more.

Do you want teachers to make more money?

Gamble more.

Do you want ACT scores to rise in Oklahoma?

Gamble more.

That’s the conclusion of Gov. Mary Fallin and a majority of senators and representatives. They have modified the “state lottery for education,” stripping away the requirement that 35 percent of the proceeds must go to education.

Lottery officials are betting that without having to pay such a large percentage to schools, they can offer bigger jackpots that in turn will prompt Oklahomans to run to buy lottery tickets.

When ex-Gov. Brad Henry convinced state voters to approve a lottery, he projected a $300,000,000.00 annual payout for education. (Voters thought he meant common education but the money also goes to higher ed, early childhood education, vo-tech and others).

The lottery payout is around one-fourth of what Henry promised.

U.S. Sen. James Lankford once said, “We tell students that the only way to improve education in Oklahoma is for their parents to gamble more.”

And here is a dirty little secret you don’t hear or read from the liberal media – more poor people play the lottery than rich people. It’s been called a “voluntary tax for poor people.”

The odds of winning the lottery are astronomical. And the poorer you are, the more desperately you want to win.

And the lottery, liquor by the drink, bingo, tribal casinos and other questionable activities never produce as much tax as they promise and that money never seems to impact public teacher salary.