Tag Archives: Corporate Welfare

Where is George Will when you need him?

I think we need to call noted Cubs fan George Will: someone wants to turn baseball into a government-run death panel.  You see, the Cubs, our local team a few stops down the Red Line, would like the government to borrow some money for them.  I don't really get public financing for sports teams, but I don't know much about it either.  I do get, however, the whining of the rich about handouts (to others) is hypocritical when those handouts are fine when given to them.  Having said that, please enjoy the following selection from a local blog, Windy City Watch on the Rickett's scheme.

Chicago Cubs owner Joe Ricketts dislikes government spending so much that he spent over a half a million dollars of his own money to fight against it. According to the Huffington Post (HuffPo) Ricketts was the “sole financier of the Ending Spending Fund” which invested nearly $600,000 into the Nevada US Senate race against Majority Leader Harry Reid.

HuffPo also points out that the fund is the political arm of a new nonprofit called Taxpayers Against Earmarks, which is "dedicated to educating and engaging American taxpayers about wasteful government spending and the misguided practice of earmarks."

In a video on the group’s website and YouTube page Joe Rickets says, “I think its a crime for our elected officials to borrow money today, to spend money today and push the repayment of that loan out into the future on people who are not even born yet.”

Its funny that Joe Ricketts is so passionate against “wasteful government spending” when his family, led by son, Cubs Chairman Tom Ricketts, has just asked the people of Illinois to borrow $300 million in a bond offering so that it can rehab Wrigley Field. This request follows a vote in Mesa, AZ which guaranteed the Cubs $84 million in public funds to build a new spring training stadium and facility.

Does Joe Ricketts think its a crime that the family business will collect $84 million from one government body, while asking for $300 million from another?

When he talks about borrowing money today and forcing that debt on the unborn he is literally talking about the very scheme that the Cubs are pushing. That plan calls for the bonds to be paid off over 35 years through amusement taxes. Many of the individuals paying those amusement taxes haven’t been conceived yet, hell some of their parents are still in elementary school.

Sometimes, folks, tu quoques–briefly: you're a hypocrite, you're argument is invalid–are not fallacious.  This is one of those times. 

Thanks Carin.