With six zeros and two commas, nine equals ten

I’m not affected by Canadian lottery tax questions, but I’m strangely comforted to know that America isn’t the only nation obsessed soaking the rich for no better reason than they have more money.

Each week Ontarians spend hundreds of millions of dollars for a chance at quick riches and early retirements; while each week more stories surface about infrastructure costs skyrocketing and hospitals and schools crumbling. Reports of water and sewer systems needing upgrades abound, and the cost to even barely maintain roads puts ever-increasing tax burdens on residents.

Every Wednesday and Saturday night people young and old hope they are the holders of the next multi-million dollar ticket while the Ontario Lottery Gaming Commission awards prizes ranging from $1 or $2 to mega-millions. And unlike our neighbours to the south who pay a full 38 percent on all lottery and casino winnings, Ontarians receive 100 percent of their winnings and are exempt from any taxation on those winnings.

Fine so far, since taxing lottery winnings seems reasonable under the given assumptions that winnings are income and income should be taxed. That doesn’t have to imply any notion of progressive taxation, although that 38% figure jumps out. If there should be a lottery, tax it. Whatever. But as we’re conditioned to expect, this is the fun part:

It’s time municipalities start pushing the province to tax lottery winnings in an effort to raise the necessary funds to ensure future financial viability.

Would a 10 percent flat tax on all winnings in excess of $50,000 really impact the winner that much, or deter them from playing lotteries?

Does someone really need all $10 million in lottery winnings, or would $9 million be equally life-changing?

That’s not a justification for taxation. That merely exposes a belief that one person wants something and another person has the means to acquire that something. Since those two aren’t the same person, the first person decides it’s reasonable to take what he needs, by force of government. There’s nothing wrong with that, since he who has $9 million remaining should not worry about the extra million. The winner’s concern for the remaining million demonstrates how much he hates roads, hospitals, clean water, and children. Mostly the children.

The logic throughout is classic big government socialism, but that’s just telling the story. The last paragraph of the editorial shows it:

The costs to maintain what infrastructure we have are only going to increase. Municipalities need to start pushing now for more ways to generate funds that will be distributed among them in a non-competitive manner.

Or the municipalities could prioritize expenditures in a competitive manner and determine what’s most needed. It’s just a thought.