A brief history of past lotteries shows our 13 colonies used lotteries to build roads, libraries, churches and public buildings such as schools and courthouses. The Continental Congress voted to raise money for the War of Independence but was never used.
In 1868, Congress outlawed mail for lottery advertising. In 1878, the Supreme Court found lotteries had a “demonizing influence.” President Benjamin Harrison indicated that lotteries were “demoralizing agencies,” and Congress banned sending lottery tickets by mail or using them across state lines.
As of today, we have many state lotteries. Just to name two: Mega Millions and Powerball. So what about a U.S. National Lottery for funding now and the future of Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid?
Here is a unique proposal: Consider taking Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid out of the U.S. budget. Let all three organizations be set aside from the U.S. budget and let it stand alone away from Congress. It will still need oversight, perhaps by a special U.S. National Lottery Organization or Administration. The National Lottery would be used for funding all thee of these very important organizations. Congress can still be involved to determine as to how the funding would be set for each organization as needed going forward. The way these organizations are being funded now will continue as we have now.
What is really important is that Congress cannot and will not be able to use or borrow these funds for any other use. All these National Lottery Funds must be held in savings for ongoing and future benefits. These funds need to be protected, so therefore Congress nor the president cannot have access to them. The best place for these funds is completely away from Congress, perhaps forever.
Since this is a concept idea, it should be reviewed thoroughly and completely. Work out all the details and how to implement the National Lottery Program nationwide. Any type of corruption will not be tolerated, and stiff laws must be necessary and enforced.
Payout to winners needs to be set up with possible multiple winners. The jackpot drawing will need to be identified at a particular date and time. Income from the lottery to the three organizations will need to be decided ad as to what percentage of the funds goes to the winners.
If this idea could ever be considered by Congress and followed through to a possible National Lottery, it will take a lot of work and perhaps a lot of time for it to get started. Since Congress is elected by the American people, and if we the voters by a majority believe that this National Lottery is needed, “our Congress” must proceed on this project.
The way I see it is this: The money would be available through this National Lottery idea. People who participate will understand that their purchase of a lottery ticket or tickets will make sure that or Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid will be able to continue with proper funding.
Thomas E. Carter
Rio Rancho