Cross-posted from Right Wing News.
The 2010 elections are now history. If there was any lesson from this Republican tidal wave that swept across the country it is that the vast majority of Americans are furious at the overspending and flawed leadership of our politicians. Voters are no longer so easily fooled by claims that wild spending sprees are beneficial. California was spared the GOP tidal wave but California voters of all stripes voted in droves to impose a high threshold on imposing any new taxes (what was LA turnout). In the City of Los Angeles real pain is being felt as libraries are shut down due to budgetary cuts with police and firefighters next on the chopping block. Yet even with all these cuts in services, politicians in the City of Los Angeles are still considering a multi-million dollar subsidy — using taxpayer dollars – for the problematic Staples NFL Stadium project.
Across the country voters are starting to veer away from supporting public money going to fund stadiums and other such entertainment projects. Recently the Wall Street Journal reported that, “taxpayers are opposing agreements to fund baseball projects after a decades long boom in publicly financed ballparks.” It appears that L.A. has not learned its lesson from November 2nd.
L.A.’s budget is deeply in the red. In mid-September, the city announced that it was shutting down libraries on Mondays to save money. The Los Angeles Police Dept. similarly announced deep cuts that will affect its SWAT teams, its K9 program and other special units all due to the city’s budget morass. L.A.’s firefighters have said that budget cuts will hamper their efforts to fight brush fires and puts other emergency services at risk. Even L.A.’s celebrated Neighborhood Prosecutor Program has been slashed in half.
L.A. has continued to teeter on the brink of bankruptcy, yet Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa still announced new wild schemes for global warming prevention programs that he wanted to pay for by a massive raise in Department of Water and Power (DWP) rates. And then there is this stadium deal.
The media and the city are all happily selling citizens on the claim that the new Staples stadium is being funded privately. But the whole truth is not being revealed. For one thing not much notice was given to AEG’s Tim Leiweke’s not so subtle hints that the city might have to pony up about one billion for the project. But even if that ends up somehow going away, the city is already on the hook for millions and millions in previous obligations.