We’re surprised we actually have so many Big Government Conservatives in the Legislature since the state lottery passed last Tuesday is, in effect, an inefficient, regressive and exploitative tax on the poor.

We seem to remember that maybe that’s why we quit paying attention to the Legislature almost eight years ago because it’s going to be their way or the highway — no pun intended.

And when you do stick your neck out for the Leadership, as this page did on the controversial state flag issue, your head gets cut off when they retreat.

A lottery is a “get rich quick” scheme that preys on the poorest among us. While we’re not vehemently opposed to a lottery, we will not pretend as if it’s some ingenious solution to fixing our already broken down education system that has little to no downside.

And with state GDP hovering at 0% for nearly a decade, you’d think the Legislature would be creating some jobs instead of taxing the poor. It’s on them.

The Scottish lawyer, writer, professor and historian Alexander Fraser Tytler (1747-1813) once wrote:

“A democracy cannot exist as a permanent form of government. It can only exist until the voters discover that they can vote themselves largesse from the public treasury. From that moment on, the majority always votes for the candidates promising the most benefits from the public treasury with the result that a democracy always collapses over loose fiscal policy, always followed by a dictatorship. The average age of the world's greatest civilizations has been 200 years. These nations have progressed through this sequence: From bondage to spiritual faith; From spiritual faith to great courage; From courage to liberty; From liberty to abundance; From abundance to selfishness; From selfishness to apathy; From apathy to dependence; From dependence back into bondage.”

Nobody wants to talk about the GOP jobs lie and the real state of the economy outside of, say, Madison County. And that doesn’t mean we want to elect Democrats. But somebody in the GOP leadership needs to lay out a workable plan to jumpstart the state’s economy. We’re in reverse on Highway 80 with a lottery.