Thursday, December 22, 2011

Buck You

The Journal Sentinel continues their advertising campaign periodic reporting for the Bradley Center. Don Walker writes, Operating Income Up, But Challenges Remain. (From fiscal year June 2010 to June 2011 operating income for the Bradley Center increased from $14.7 million to $16.3 million. A 10.9 percent increase.)

The thing that really irritates me about this whole stadium subsidization situation: these captains of industry, these entrepreneurs, these businessmen whom always complain about entitlements, aid to the poor, and workers wages (to name a few of their complaints), these same people have no problem putting their hand out and demanding taxpayer money for their private playgrounds and projects. They're so smart  and innovative, except when it comes to paying the costs of their own business.

Exemplified by Marc Marotta, the chairman of the Bradley Center board, "The next five to seven years, there has to be a public-private effort." Strange how the private sector believes the public sector exists to service them specifically. Yet, when these private players are asked to pay their fair share of taxes, excuses for why they shouldn't have to pay more could fill all the seats at the Bradley Center.

Workers need to sacrifice. They should pay for their own retirement and health care; employers should no longer bear any responsibility. Social Security, Medicare, and unemployment insurance should all be diminished...we just can't afford it.

But...we need a private-public effort when tax dollars are being redistributed upward. When unemployment is at double-digits, people are losing their homes, and others are going without needed medical care, we can't use those same tax dollars to help out. No, in that case, we're broke. But when you can afford a boardroom full of attorneys, we will find the money to help build your stadium. We can raise taxes to pay for Miller Park, but we can't do the same for our park system or public transportation.

And, it's odd that even though the NBA season started late this year, the City of Milwaukee didn't collapse without the Bucks playing their basketball games. According to all the blather being whipped up, one would have thought that the, roughly, 20 cancelled games would have left Milwaukee resembling Thunderdome.

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