Lottery Numbers Are Changing, And Will Continue To Change, To Justify Sale

Posted in Privatization, The Budget, 80th Legislature, Around The State at 11:49 am by wcnews

Kuff points us to this article from the DMN, Numbers may not hold up in Perry’s lottery plan, about the shaky numbers in Gov. Perry’s plan to sell the lottery. Check out this back-and-forth at the beginning of the article:

Without additional state money, “there’s a high probability that they would run out of money in 20 or 30 years,” said Philip Cooley, a professor at Trinity University in San Antonio. Aides to Mr. Perry said their numbers were solid.

At the same time, a lottery run by a private company could be more efficient and easier to police than the state-operated system, some analysts and one lottery watchdog said.

Mr. Perry has suggested the state could get $14 billion from the sale of the lottery, and experts interviewed Tuesday said the sale price could be even higher.

“It ought to be a bigger number,” said Jerry Love, chairman of the Texas Society of Certified Public Accountants, after performing a rough valuation of the lottery based on public data.

As if on cue, today, the Perry’s mouthpiece at the AAS tells us that the asking price for the lottery could go up, Perry touts lottery sale, gets mixed reviews.

Gov. Rick Perry, hunting support for selling the Texas Lottery, told a Capitol crowd Thursday that the state might get more than $20 billion for selling a 40-year concession — with the option of buying back the lottery after that.

The figure is $6 billion more than what Perry pitched as his conservative estimate for selling the lottery in his State of the State speech on Tuesday.

[…]“Look, the numbers work on this,” Perry told members of the Texas Public Policy Foundation, a conservative think tank.

The original numbers in his plan were so solid that from Tuesday to Thursday that number has grown by $6 billion, or by my estimation about 43%. Who knows what it’ll be by the end of May. The point in all of this is that this is just like any other privatization scheme Republicans run. They will promise anything on the front end to get the scheme in place. Look for the numbers, the rationale and even more promises of money to long budget starved causes, so this scam can go forward. And like with the Accenture deal there will be no accountability for those responsible when this turns into a disaster, and it will if passed.

The initial DMN article linked above should be read in full because it does and excellent job of shining a light on the disaster this and all GOP schemes to privatize public resources are. This paragraph is one example:

Texas is one of several states vying to be the first to privatize its lottery. It’s a trend that experts say stems from lawmakers’ love of the lump-sum payment, as well as the “toll road concept” of trying to milk more money from existing assets instead of increasing taxes.

They’re selling off “the commons” - the people’s property - to the highest bidder and shirking they’re duty. Yes it’s costs money to research cancer. If that’s not a valid reason to tax people than nothing is and that’s the point. There is no cause, in the current GOP’s eyes, worthy of raising taxes. But they’ll sell anything the people of Texas own to keep from doing it. As with all of these privatization schemes we must remember what our parents told us about deals that are too good to be true, they are. I’m sure this is a good deal for some people. But like all privatization scams it’ll be years before we see the true terms of this contract (See the TTC) and find out who really benefits. By then those involved will be long gone from public office or, at the least, will have no need to run again. This is a scam, plain and simple, and should not go forward.


  1. Amerloc said,

    February 9, 2007 at 6:05 pm

    Without mentioning my agreement that they’re selling the commons. or that I feel I get a helluva lot of bang for my buck with my (federally deductible) property taxes, this line troubles me:

    “the state might get more than $20 billion for selling a 40-year concession — with the option of buying back the lottery after that.”

    At least with the toll-road proposal, they’re not (at least technically) SELLING out stuff off: they’re leasing it out. At the end of the lease, the arrangement can be either renewed or terminated. But if they sell the lottery, the only way we buy it back for what we sold it for is if it goes belly-up, in which case we don’t really want it back. If the privateers actually make money, we’re doubly screwed.

  2. wcnews said,

    February 9, 2007 at 11:48 pm

    Thanks for making the distinction that the toll roads are not actually being sold. Although that land for the TTC is gone and all those family farms no matter who owns it.

    I’m sure if we wanted to buy it back, if it wasn’t “teets-up”, they’d want to make a tidy profit then too.

  3. Eye on Williamson » Perry’s PR Machine Cranks Up Over Lottery Privatization Scheme said,

    February 13, 2007 at 11:54 pm

    […] It’s been nothing but a series of bad stories on the lottery sale since Gov. Perry announced the scheme. (Sale price now $20 million, Phil Gramm enters, his son’s new job). To try and limit the damage Perry’s PR machine has cranked up, Governor’s deputy chief talks about selling the Lottery, to inform us that it’s all innocent and happened by chance. The first mention of selling the state lottery came six months ago during a phone conversation between two old friends talking about a reunion. […]

  4. Eye on Williamson » Perry Is Not Selling The Lottery But The States Monopoly On Gambling said,

    February 17, 2007 at 11:35 am

    […] Now we know why a corporation would pay so much for the lottery. Because they would not be buying just the lotteryonly but access to Texas and all it’s gambling possibilities. Video Lottery Terminals (VLT’s) were very close to passing the Senate a couple of years ago. Now with the long-term budget mess that was created last year with the Perry, Craddick, Dewhurst Tax Swap, Perry wants to play a shell game with the lottery. Sell it to pay for schools, a weak health care plan, and cancer research. What Gov. Perry is selling is the state’s monopoly on gambling in Texas. This privatization scheme like all others will, almost certainly, include a non-compete agreement. Meaning this will be the only game in town, or state, as the case may be. As EOW has said before, Gov. Perry, whatever his reason, is dead set on selling the lottery and will tell any story of festivus miracles he can to get this done. His numbers are bad and there are many skeptics as the plan stands now: Where would it leave Texas? The lottery earns about $1 billion a year for schools, a sizeable part of the $13.2 billion the state annually provides for education. Under Perry’s proposal, the trust established for education would provide $800 million a year, $200 million less than the lottery gives now. […]

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