Incredible: Democrat mayor rejects Olympics because of costs to taxpayer

It sounds impossible, but it's true.  The Democrat mayor of Boston has ended his application for the Olympics because...of concerns that taxpayers would have to foot too high a bill for it.

The mayor of Boston, Martin J. Walsh ... distanced himself from the bid completely. At a dramatic, hastily arranged news conference, he announced that if the U.S.O.C. demanded that he sign a host city contract by the end of the day Monday, he would not do so, acknowledging that this would kill Boston’s bid for the Games. He said he had wanted more time to conduct his due diligence on the guarantees required and a full review of a risk and mitigation package proposed last week.

“I cannot commit to putting the taxpayers at risk,” the mayor declared. “If committing to signing a guarantee today is what’s required to move forward, then Boston is no longer pursuing the 2024 Olympic and Paralympic Games.”

In a statement after the U.S.O.C. withdrew, the mayor said he believed that bringing the Games here would have brought long-term benefits, but added that “no benefit is so great that it is worth handing over the financial future of our City, and our citizens were rightly hesitant to be supportive as a result.”

As spending by some Olympics host cities has soared in recent years — costs surrounding last year’s Games in Sochi surpassed $50 billion — many countries have pulled themselves out of contention. 

Just think of all the public works projects – trains, stadiums, buildings, all funded by governments with no thought of the total cost to taxpayers.  Imagine  if they treated those projects as Mayor Walsh treated this one.  A real cost-benefit analysis, where the cost to the taxpayer was actually considered!  Now, I don't know how sincere Mayor Walsh was – it seemed Boston had little chance of getting picked.  Perhaps this was his way of saving face.  But still, his rhetoric, rarely heard from any politician except when it comes to the cost of a border fence, is quite refreshing.

In reality, it is hard to justify spending taxpayer money on Olympics.  The benefits of it come for only a few weeks.  Zero long-term jobs are created.  During that short period, it is mostly hotels and restaurants that make a killing.  Most other businesses are unaffected.  Given that, it makes little sense for taxpayer money to be spent on such projects.  Why should taxpayers be forced to pay for some people's enjoyment of watching swimmers and runners?  That doesn't benefit the public good – only the specific subgroups who enjoy this sort of thing.  If a group of private citizens like the Olympics, let them raise the money and pay for it.

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