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letters | the uses of the lottery

US taxpayer, not government, is ultimate lottery winner

I fail to understand what Jeff Jacoby was getting at with his column on the Powerball winners and the taxes that the winners had to pay to the US government (“Biggest lottery winner? That’d be the Treasury,” Op-ed, Dec. 9). He understands that no one is going to feel sorry if the winners have to pay $67 million out of their nearly $200 million prize. Jacoby concluded his column with the statement, “Lotteries are designed to enrich the government. The really big winner is always the tax collector.” He neglected to finish that thought with who the ultimate winner is: the US taxpayer.

This is the thing that conservatives don’t get. They believe that any money the government gets disappears into a black hole. The people benefit from money raised by the federal government, and the more of it that comes from a voluntary tax such as lotteries and from taxes on alcohol and cigarettes means less that the rest of us have to pay out of our incomes.

Dal Coger

Medford

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