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Tenn. wants to limit winnings

Topic closed. 16 replies. Last post 8 years ago by PrisonerSix.

Page 2 of 2

United States
Member #73221
April 8, 2009
15 Posts
Posted: April 8, 2009, 8:52 pm - IP Logged

This bill includes a couple of good points from the view of the politicians:


1)  It lets them strike a blow against the mythical lifetime welfare parasites (since the Welfare Reform Act in 1996, welfare benefits are limited to no more than 5 years over a person's lifetime) and tell the voters how tough they are being on those wastrels.

2)  It lets them cater to conservative religious elements (and there are a lot of those in Tennessee) by saying they are striking a blow against gambling.

Of course, it will cost the state money, since it will reduce lottery income.  But for many extremely anti-government politicians, that's a good thing too!

I'm not too sympathetic to the measure, but I have to admit that it does have a good point....I'm sure many people on assistance play the lottery with the idea that they will win big and strike it rich....So there's no need to do anything difficult or uncomfortable to improve their lot in life in a more traditional way.

I haven't been on government assistance since getting unemployment payments for a few months in the 1980s, plus I don't live in Tennessee.  Based on what I've read here, I doubt I'd play the Tennessee lottery even while passing through the state, so the bill really doesn't affect me much, whether it passes or not.

    Baton Rouge, LA
    United States
    Member #4602
    May 7, 2004
    700 Posts
    Posted: April 10, 2009, 8:27 pm - IP Logged

    I once worked in a welfare office, before the reform took place, and it was quite educational.  I thought most of the people who were getting food stamps were actually employed, but many had children and with most of the jobs in the area I lived in being low paying tourism jobs, it was hard to make it.  During the slow season, we'd get an onslaught of hotel and restaurant workers who were having their hours cut back because of the lack of tourists to spend money in their workplaces.  It was a case of learning "how the other half lives."

    The people getting welfare though, many of them were a learning experience.  Some of these people had been on it for years, and many had an entitlement mentality, had seldom or some had never worked and had no desire to.  Sometimes I'd see people who were living in subsidized housing paying $30/month for rent and they had a $60/month cable bill.  In my last apartment, I did without cable for 5 years because I simply couldn't afford it.  Many also had every optional service on their phone bills. 

    Job training was offered to them and they were mandated to go or they'd get their benefits cut, many of them would quit going to classes because they didn't want to.  One case I remember, and we did go after this woman for fraud, the state was paying for daycare for the child of a welfare recipient who was getting job training.  She quit going to the training, yet kept taking the child to daycare.  It was several thousand dollars worth, and I don't know if it was ever paid back.  It's just a lifestyle where they don't have obligations and can do what they want, unlike the rest of us who work.

    If they did win the lottery, they'd be cut off from their benefits once the department found out, but I think in time, they'd be right back where they started again.  Most of them would probably blow all the money anyway.

    As far as I'm concerned, let them win the money.

    Prisoner Six

    "I am not a number, I am a free man!"