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Wednesday, September 28, 2005

Louisiana has the wrong priorities

Perhaps, instead of subsidizing sports stadiums, Louisiana and New Orleans ought to spend money instead on protecting their citizens.

Oh, wait, sorry I forgot - they expect the rest of the country to do that for them. Silly me. It says right there in the Constitution that the Federal Government's purpose is to bail people out of their own irresponsibility:

"Just five months ago, Saints owner Tom Benson cut off negotiations with the state of Louisiana for a long-term Superdome lease that was predicated on an extensive building renovation. What's really sad in light of recent events is that Louisiana was paying Benson up to $15 million a season just so he would keep the Saints in New Orleans. What's worse, the state was forced to borrow $8 million last year just to make Benson's outrageous subsidy, mostly because a major New Orleans revenue source - tourism - had declined after 9-11."
"Louisiana Governor Kathleen Blanco, a Democrat, sits on one side of the table aiming for a new contract with the Saints that would lessen the state’s financial obligations to the team. Blanco inherited the obligation from her Republican predecessor, Mike Foster, in the state’s current contract with the team, which guarantees the Saints $186.5 million in state subsidies through 2010.

The state had to borrow money last year for the team’s annual subsidies payment, and unless the contract is renegotiated before July 5, the state will have to borrow $8.25 million again to make this year’s payment."
So how far, Governor Blano and Mayor Nagin, would $186.5M have gone to helping protect the citizens of New Orleans? Seems to me that would have paid for a fair bit of levee upgrades. Or perhaps a consultant to come up with a competent disaster plan, since Blanco and Nagin apparently need all the help they can get. Especially in setting fiscal priorities.

Of course Nagin - who is rich - doesn't really care one way or the other, since he bought a house in Dallas while the hurricane was still blowing.

Louisiana - where the purpose of government is to subsidize their sports teams buddies, and run away at the first sign of trouble.


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