Monday, February 06, 2012

Oh When Will They Complain About This Waste of Tax Money?

The thing about conservative politicians is that they're hypocrites. Well, I guess pretty much all elected officials are hypocrites, but big-time conservative politicians seem to have a special claim to the throne of hypocrisy.

For instance, a major rallying cry of modern American conservatism is that the government spends way too much money, and most of it foolishly. And given that foolish government spending has already been thoroughly documented, it's hard to argue with that basic premise. But alas, these folks are not opposed to all government spending, they're opposed to government spending on things they don't like. Now granted, we pretty much all feel that way, but it doesn't make for a very principled stance.

Take, for instance, professional sports stadiums. While these would seem to be a horrible waste of money (almost all are completely or majority publicly funded, they don't bring in much business nor do any of the profits from this public money go back to the public, etc.), conservatives seem to generally support new sports stadiums. The cynic in me would say this is because teams and the few businesses that benefit from new stadiums tend to be owned by conservatives, but that's another post for another day.

Yet what's more amazing about this whole scenario is that when people try to get some form of public good out of these major public expenditures, it's rarely supported. For example, Florida law says that any sports stadium built with public money has to offer shelter to the homeless on non-event nights. As you may have guessed, this never actually happens. But given that Florida leans pretty far to the right politically, you'd think there would be conservatives out in the streets demanding these public expenditures be met with some return on the investment, at least in the form of services since we've already established monetary rewards are not forthcoming.

But surprisingly, I've yet to see any conservatives taking to the streets demanding less money spent on stadiums or that these stadiums fill their legal duties. It's almost as if the cries of government waste are really just political expedience and not an actual ideal, but again, that may just be too cynical of me...

1 comment:

John said...

Another interesting thing is that the players are unionized! Government expenditure for unionized workers. Oh the horror.