Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Minnesota Democrats and Republicans Working Day and Night and Leaving No Stone Unturned to Find Money to Pay for Vikings Football Stadium for Billionaire Owner

Why Not Just Divert More Money from Education and Public Safety?

This past summer the citizens of Minnesota endured a government shutdown because Republicans said absolutely no way to any tax increase and preferred to cut spending on education and other vital public services.  The Republicans won the showdown and spending was cut.  In fact, the crisis was so severe that the government had to put off the most critical fiscal issue facing the state, raising taxes to help fund a stadium for the Minnesota Viking pro football team.

Well they have finally gotten around to the issue, and the state legislature, to the surprise of everyone will not approve new taxes to pay for a luxury football stadium that would be used about 20 days out of the year for a team worth close to $1 billion.

The statement, signed by the governor and all four leaders of the legislative caucuses, added a new wrinkle to the stadium debate. It essentially said what has been widely known within the halls of the State Capitol: there is little or no support to raise a local tax unless it has voter approval.
This is almost unheard of.  At a time when public finance are bleeding a state will actually not enact a sales tax increase to pay for a football stadium.  Incredible.  Of course this does not mean the state has given up on trying to come up with about $350 million to give to the team.  Oh, and this is on top of the $300 million the state has also promised to help fund the stadium.  The Governor, Democrat Mark

Dayton has repeatedly said that the state would not kick in more than $300 million for the stadium. But he suggested on Tuesday that the state would have to kick in more money. He said other financing options, among them a ticket tax, a sports memorabilia fee, an expansion of gambling and tapping the Legacy Fund are all being considered.

Mr. Dayton is the very wealthy Governor who last summer caved to the Republicans, and certainly must feel badly that the state cannot give an enormous handout to one of its wealthiest denizens.  The site location is an issue, Minneapolis wants the stadium but

Ramsey County Commissioner Tony Bennett also argued that his county's plan is the better option.

"For those who haven't been on it and seen it, it's 260 acres," Bennett said. "We can put seven of the Minneapolis sites on that site. We're going to truly give the people of Minnesota the chance to enjoy football like most of the other new stadiums around the country."

Notice the error in the statement, the part about “we’re going to truly give the people of Minnesota the chance to enjoy football .. .”.  No Mr. Bennett, the taxpayers are going to give you and the other politicians that chance.  After paying for the stadium and seeing the almost certain increases in ticket prices that take place every year, your citizen will not really be able to afford to attend the games in the stadium they financed. 

Yes, this is called welfare, but it is welfare for the wealthy, and in America that is the right kind of welfare.  Help for the elderly, the poor, the young and the unemployed, well that will just encourage them to be elderly, poor, young and unemployed.  And nobody wants that.

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