[LMB] OT: Bridge collapse

Richard Macdonald don_iain at verizon.net
Thu Aug 9 00:20:15 BST 2007


PAT MATHEWS wrote:
> 
> >From an article in Reason Magazine.
> 
> "Whatever Minnesota's spending constraints, the state can apparently afford
> to spend hundreds of millions for corporate welfare to Carl Pohlad, the
> owner of the Minnesota Twins, for a new baseball stadium. Hennepin County,
> where the bridge is located, recently passed a new .15 percent sales tax
> solely to pay for Pohlad's new stadium.
> 
> Pohlad basically blackmailed Minnesota. Unless they bilked taxpayers for his
> personal benefit, Pohlad threatened to take his baseball team elsewhere.
> When voters in North Carolina rejected an attempt to fund a baseball park
> for Pohlad there, he shuffled back to Minneapolis, where he was rewarded
> with the corporate handout.
> 
> In addition to the baseball franchise, Pohlad owns Marquette Financial
> Companies and United Properties. Next to PepsiCo Inc., his family is the
> largest shareholder in PepsiAmericas. Pohlad is a billionaire, several times
> over. Yet the state of Minnesota, which apparently is too poor to properly
> maintain its bridges, was willing to hand him a few hundred million more.
> And Pohlad's subsidy was just one part of a massive $1 billion package the
> legislature put together, which also included funding for a new stadium for
> the University of Minnesota football team.
> 
> The bridge didn't collapse because Minnesota couldn't afford to maintain it.
> The bridge collapsed because the state had other priorities"

And its even worse than all that, there was plenty
of state revenues to have rebuilt the bridge:

http://minnesota.publicradio.org/display/web/2006/11/28/budget/

State predicts $2 billion budget surplus over next three years
by Tim Pugmire, Minnesota Public Radio,
Tom Scheck, Minnesota Public Radio
November 29, 2006

State finance officials say Minnesota will have a budget surplus
that should top $2 billion over the next two-year budget cycle.
The economic forecast released on Wednesday also says lawmakers
will have a financial cushion of more than $1 billion for the
current biennium. The surplus means lawmakers are likely to face
a parade of proposals for spending the money in the 2007 session.
Gov. Pawlenty also has proposed a plan that would give some of
the money back to taxpayers.

So it's not like there was no money available, just no political
points to be made just fixing what needs to be fixed. Not many
politicians of any stripe vote for something they can't put their
name on.
--
Richard A. Macdonald. CPA/EA
SSG (Ret), USA, ADA 16P34
--
There are 10 kinds of people, those who
understand binary and those who don't.



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