The headline on this morning's Wall Street Journal front page indicates how the paper has departed from it's origins as a financial daily. Or maybe not. Obama enters Olympic Race. The article is followed by the question of the day - Is it appropriate for Obama to push for the 2016 Olympics to be in Chicago?
My initial reaction is an absolute no. Even though it's said the President of Brazil is going to personally lobby for Rio, I think it's inappropriate for our President to do so. With our economic climate such as it is, it's a precarious road to be sure. I don't know what the economic status of either Chicago nor the state of Illinois is at the moment, but nationally it's in the tank. Will it recover by 2016? Irrelevant. All the infrastructure needs to begin the moment the games are awarded. Talk about a stimulus package! The problem is it's for the President's home town!
It's said that during the G20 and the opening of the UN session, Obama spent time wooing several African nations in hopes of obtaining their votes for the old home town. Excuse me? Here's where my downfall from reason begins. What did he promise those nations to secure their votes?
Mayor Daly has said no taxpayer money would be used to pay for the games. Other than for security and infrastructure! Security and infrastructure? And just how many millions of taxpayer dollars would this entail?
He went on to say funding would come from the private sector! What companies, what's less individuals, have that kind of money? The feds are buying up huge chunks of what once were private corporations under the guise of being a bailout. So would that be private sector money or taxpayer dollars? Those who are under the shroud of government bailouts are under the threat of having their salaries and bonuses fixed. These poor folks will have a tough time paying the mortgages on their summer homes across the world what's more ponying up for the Olympics.
How about those corporations who have been forced to give up sponsorships of various events because of the appearance of extravagance? Will it suddenly be okay to shell out for the Olympics?
He talks of the financial windfall for the city and the state. Remember how disappointing attendance was in Beijing? Who in their right mind will want to go through the security hassles that are bound to be procedure to thwart possible terrorist attacks? Our stringent travel requirements and visa requirements make vacationing elsewhere much more attractive. So what if Chicago throws a party and no one comes? Any financial shortfalls will be covered - by you know who. The taxpayer!
So far health care legislation is no where near the break even point. The war in Afghanistan will continue to cost us billions no matter what the new strategy might be. There are a myriad of other proposals in the working stages that are going to do little more than add to the national debt.
Where's the President on all of this? Leavin', on a jet plane - again. Beats having to sit at his desk and do his job. After all, he has another fellow from Chicago handling that for him. Actually Mr. Emanuel might have been the better choice to lobby the IOC. With a Chicago accent Rahm might sound pretty close to ram!