Saturday, August 29, 2015

Life’s losers didn’t win the Lottery after all? They have to wait for prizes

At a time when Illinois government is being run largely by court-order mandating that certain things be paid regardless of the lack of a balanced budget in place, it seems at least one entity is being left out in the cold because of the Illinois Constitution.

Illinois Lottery winners!

THE CHICAGO TRIBUNE reported Friday about how people who win the large prizes that are the whole purpose of the lottery games are merely being given written statements confirming that they are owed the money.

But not actually being given the money; until the day comes that Gov. Bruce Rauner and Illinois House Speaker Michael Madigan, D-Chicago, can learn to act like adults and put together the spending plan that will allow all of Illinois government to function normally.

Well, maybe not normally (because much of our state’s ‘normal’ is rather bizarre), but at least legally.

The Tribune, then WBBM-TV, found Illinois Lottery winners who are downright peeved at the fact that their ‘pot of gold’ at the end of the rainbow is on hold.

THE ASSOCIATED PRESS picked up on those reports, and is now spreading the story across the nation – Illinois is the state that is killing people’s dreams while acting in a cold, callous manner.

The Tribune literally found one person who said that anybody who owed state government money wouldn’t be allowed to claim that their finances were too out-of-order as an excuse to get out of having to pay the money.

Which is true. Although not the best of points.

Because I’m going to have to concede that I’m not all too sympathetic to these people – who were winners of prizes of more than $25,000. It seems that anybody who won an amount less than that can still get their money.

DO WE REALLY want to take up the cause of those people who blow their bucks on large sums of lottery tickets, in hopes the prize will be worthwhile financially?

I want to scream at all of these people who are now complaining to “Get a Job!” and work for a living. Anybody who thinks that Lottery games is the key to their financial success deserves whatever abuse they wind up getting.

Besides, I happen to comprehend the reason why the Illinois Constitution requires that a budget be in place before funds can be spent. Do we really think it is appropriate that money can be spent, willy-nilly, without something in writing dictating how much can go toward any individual program.

My biggest fear these days is that when a budget for the Fiscal Year 2016 (which began July 1) does finally get done, so much money will already have been spent that everybody will not have enough to make it to June 30, 2016,

AFTER ALL, THIS was the year that there were either going to have to be billions in cuts or a significant increase in revenues for things to balance out.

The fact that somebody might have to wait on the prize they think they’re entitled to because they either scratched off the proper sequence of figures on a ticket (or got lucky enough to get the right numbers on a “quick pick”) doesn’t really bother me much.

It is one of the occupational hazards of doing business with state government – sometimes payments get delayed, although there is the guarantee that you will be paid in full eventually.

Unlike some private companies that can get out of paying their debts altogether.

MAYBE MY THOUGHTS are harshened because my father once owned his own construction company that got contracts for work on government-owned buildings.

Past political disputes and shortfalls by the state caused so many delays that it was a factor in him eventually having to shut down.

Excuse me for thinking that he, and others like him, are the real victims – not somebody who’s upset that their “Million Dollar Jackpot” hasn’t paid out yet.


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