The Ghost of Snapped Shot

Or, welcome to my low-maintenance heck.

Welcome to Federal Accounting!

I heard this on the radio earlier, but until Dan reminded me, I had forgotten about the story.

It would seem that a bank in California has, after accepting assistance from the Federal government, decided to host a corporate party that included some rather extravagant entertainment—The band Chicago being the biggest one that I remember offhand. Congress, of course, is morally outraged at this insult, and is demanding that the bank return the funds used to pay for the party back to the Government's coffers.

Can you guess what said Bank did next?

Yep, you guessed it—They told the Congress that the money did not come from bailout funds, and that the government could go screw.

And you know what? It makes perfect sense.

Think about it:—For at least the past 40 years, our government has treated accounting as an elaborate shell game. For example, we here in Virginia went through the moral angst of creating a State lottery system, with the intent that the funds that went into the system would go "to the schools." This was, in fact, the only way that it would be passed at all, much like in other states. The lottery was hailed by legislators and weeping commercials alike as being "the" solution to education funding problems; as being "the" way that we can help... the children.

When the first year of funds was transferred from the Lottery system into the State budget, you can probably guess what happened next:—The lottery provided millions of dollars to the State, and immediately afterwards, the General Assembly proceeded to reduce the Education budget by the same general amount. (See here.)

Thus, the funds which were intended to go "to education" did exactly that, even though they didn't do that at all.

It was once said that people get the government they deserve.

If that's even remotely true, then what does that say about us?



#1 captainfish 25-Feb-2009
"Critics cite examples such as Florida. In 1988, the first year of the lottery in that state, Florida spent 60% of its budget on education. In 1993, with lottery revenues earmarked for education, education's share had declined to 51% despite the apparent windfall. Given variables such as inflation, the annual fluctuations in expenditures, etc., such figures in themselves are not conclusive, but neither do they support the contention that the lottery has improved funding for education. A recent study of the impact of lotteries on education funding concluded that "regardless of when or where the lottery operated, education spending declined once a state put a lottery into effect." "

Yeah, from what I have gathered over the years and the various states I have lived in, the lottery has never generated the revenue it claimed prior to its institution. Its kind of hard to benefit education when the revenue does not increase because of Lottery revenues.
#2 captainfish 25-Feb-2009
dang it.. hate bbcode
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