Obama's monument to himself covertly grabbing $244 million of Illinois taxpayers' money for 'privately funded' project

Barack Obama announced that he would not have a federally funded presidential library, but instead would rely on private money paid to the Obama Foundation to build a "presidential center" that may or may not have any books (we still don't know, but there definitely will be basketball courts).  That's what Obama wants, so that's what Obama gets.

The entire project would be all his to control, a monument created by the person being honored.  Normally, that is the practice of dictators like Saddam Hussein, but Barack Hussein Obama was a president like no other.


Source: Obama.org.

And oddly enough, the building style chosen by the Obamas resembles nothing so much as a cenotaph, even though Obama is alive and kicking.

Three cenotaphs:


Hong Kong.


New Zealand.


London.

Source.

Of course, the usual claque applauded.  Politico Magazine gushed that it would be:

... a new model for a privately run presidential museum that can be laudatory in its exhibits and partisan in its programming, but not while under the troubling imprimatur of the federal government – and without the taxpayers footing the bill. 

Unfortunately, the notion that taxpayers would be unmolested is fake news.  Start with the acres of city-owned park land on the shore of Lake Michigan that Chicago handed over as a gift, in apparent violation of law.  The group Protect Our Parks has sued to prevent the giveaway and cites this Illinois State Law.  (The group has also cited my writings, which gratifies me no end.)

But the taxpayer-owned parkland is but one aspect of the rape of the taxpayers.  The new Illinois state budget artfully obscures the estimated $244 million that Land of Lincoln Obama taxpayers will be giving to make the project happen.  The Illinois Policy Institute writes:

Projects relevant to the forthcoming Obama Presidential Center in Chicago's Jackson Park will cost taxpayers $224 million, according to the Washington Examiner.

This includes $174 million for roadwork in and around Jackson Park and $50 million for renovations to the Garfield Green Line station, two miles from the presidential center.  Illinois taxpayers will be on the hook for $199 million of the total cost, with $25 million of the Garfield station renovations funded through a federal grant, according to the Washington Examiner.

Fifty million dollars for renovating one El station that is two miles from the project?  Are we supposed to believe that tourists would walk that far though Chicago's notoriously dangerous Southside to visit the library?  And how can it take that much money to spiff up a station that already is in operation?  Paint and ceramic tiles aren't that expensive.  Elevators and escalators don't cost ten million dollars each.  

Unfortunately, Illinois taxpayers would have no way of knowing this money was flowing to the presidential project from looking at the state's 1,245-page budget, which makes no mention of the Obama Presidential Center.  That spending is hidden, but has been confirmed by political figures such as Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel

Taxpayers aren't the only ones kept in the dark:

The negotiating process in drafting of the budget took place outside of public view and state senators were given five hours to read the massive document before taking a vote.

But rest assured that diversity will be foremost in the minds of those selecting contractors to build unusually expensive projects for the library.  As the Obama Foundation promises:

In our first year, we announced our plans to hire a diversity consultant to prioritize the hiring of local, diverse residents for construction and subcontracting.

Barack Obama announced that he would not have a federally funded presidential library, but instead would rely on private money paid to the Obama Foundation to build a "presidential center" that may or may not have any books (we still don't know, but there definitely will be basketball courts).  That's what Obama wants, so that's what Obama gets.

The entire project would be all his to control, a monument created by the person being honored.  Normally, that is the practice of dictators like Saddam Hussein, but Barack Hussein Obama was a president like no other.


Source: Obama.org.

And oddly enough, the building style chosen by the Obamas resembles nothing so much as a cenotaph, even though Obama is alive and kicking.

Three cenotaphs:


Hong Kong.


New Zealand.


London.

Source.

Of course, the usual claque applauded.  Politico Magazine gushed that it would be:

... a new model for a privately run presidential museum that can be laudatory in its exhibits and partisan in its programming, but not while under the troubling imprimatur of the federal government – and without the taxpayers footing the bill. 

Unfortunately, the notion that taxpayers would be unmolested is fake news.  Start with the acres of city-owned park land on the shore of Lake Michigan that Chicago handed over as a gift, in apparent violation of law.  The group Protect Our Parks has sued to prevent the giveaway and cites this Illinois State Law.  (The group has also cited my writings, which gratifies me no end.)

But the taxpayer-owned parkland is but one aspect of the rape of the taxpayers.  The new Illinois state budget artfully obscures the estimated $244 million that Land of Lincoln Obama taxpayers will be giving to make the project happen.  The Illinois Policy Institute writes:

Projects relevant to the forthcoming Obama Presidential Center in Chicago's Jackson Park will cost taxpayers $224 million, according to the Washington Examiner.

This includes $174 million for roadwork in and around Jackson Park and $50 million for renovations to the Garfield Green Line station, two miles from the presidential center.  Illinois taxpayers will be on the hook for $199 million of the total cost, with $25 million of the Garfield station renovations funded through a federal grant, according to the Washington Examiner.

Fifty million dollars for renovating one El station that is two miles from the project?  Are we supposed to believe that tourists would walk that far though Chicago's notoriously dangerous Southside to visit the library?  And how can it take that much money to spiff up a station that already is in operation?  Paint and ceramic tiles aren't that expensive.  Elevators and escalators don't cost ten million dollars each.  

Unfortunately, Illinois taxpayers would have no way of knowing this money was flowing to the presidential project from looking at the state's 1,245-page budget, which makes no mention of the Obama Presidential Center.  That spending is hidden, but has been confirmed by political figures such as Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel

Taxpayers aren't the only ones kept in the dark:

The negotiating process in drafting of the budget took place outside of public view and state senators were given five hours to read the massive document before taking a vote.

But rest assured that diversity will be foremost in the minds of those selecting contractors to build unusually expensive projects for the library.  As the Obama Foundation promises:

In our first year, we announced our plans to hire a diversity consultant to prioritize the hiring of local, diverse residents for construction and subcontracting.