The International Olympic Committee (IOC) was in Los Angeles two weeks ago, inspecting facilities before deciding whether the city should be awarded the 2024 Summer Games. They apparently liked what they saw, which is a good sign for LA’s bid to host the global sporting event. Unfortunately, the city’s Olympic bid has spent little time explaining just how much all of this is going to cost American taxpayers. Conservative voices have been uncharacteristically quiet on Los Angeles’ efforts to win the Olympics, even though the Games would cost not just California but also the federal government billions of dollars at a time when the budget deficit still clocks in at over $350 billion.

Supporters of the bid argue it would be relatively cheap for the city to host the Games, with LA 2024 estimating the competition would “only” cost $5 billion. The group claims Los Angeles already has the majority of the infrastructure required to hold the event in place, having already hosted it back in 1984. Backers also predict that the cost the Games would be offset by the economic boost they would bring to Los Angeles — a dubious assumption to say the least.

Indeed, the IOC delegation had barely left town when LA 2024’s estimate of how much the Games would cost started ballooning. On top of the projected $5 billion cost of hosting the Games, Los Angeles mayor Eric Garcetti is already asking the federal government to cough up an extra $1.3 billion for transportation and an additional $2 billion for security at the event, two vital elements that were not included in the original budget. Of course, this won’t be the end of it. Olympic costs have a tendency to balloon to several times host cities’ initial estimates. The fact that LA 2024’s projection appears to be so far off the mark seven years before the event should tell you everything you need to know about whether the event will pay for itself.

Even if LA 2024 was miraculously able to stick to its budget, the majority of that money would come directly from the federal coffers. This is exactly where the problem lies with LA’s Olympic bid: the cost of hosting the event is socialized and subsidized by taxpayers across the country, while any benefits that do accrue are reaped by the host city. Why should the federal government pay for a white elephant that will increase federal debt as its most recognizable legacy? Why should the average citizen in Texas or in Florida, who in all likelihood won’t get to go the Games and won’t get any benefit from them, pay for global jetsetters who decide they want to spend two weeks watching sports in southern California?

Even the Left is shedding its reflexive love of spending to mobilize against the Games. The California chapter of the Democratic Socialists of America has started the NOlympics LA movement, which aims to persuade LA residents to oppose the profligacy that invariably comes with hosting an Olympic competition. Earlier this week, the group announced that eight other local organizations had joined its campaign, including tenant rights group Saje, housing non-profit Union de Vecinos, and the National Alumni Association of the Black Panther Party. They claim the bid process for the Games fails to take account of the needs of ordinary LA residents.  

They have a point. Wasting billions of dollars on a vanity project for LA’s liberal elites is a disgrace, particularly at a time when the city’s homeless population is rising exponentially and its aging infrastructure is crumbling. When even leftist groups such as these call out the bid for the boondoggle it is, those behind LA 2024 should take a moment to reconsider.

Making matters worse, the fact that Congress could not find money for border security but seems to be ready to bankroll this travesty is nothing short of an outrage. Fortunately, President Trump seems less than enthusiastic about the bid, refusing to take time off from running the country to meet with IOC officials. Having scored points while running for office by arguing federal government is overstretched and wastes too much money, Trump doesn’t seem too thrilled to be putting his name to this billion-dollar farce. After all, he might have to open them.

Conservatives need to speak up now and call for the LA bid to be withdrawn before any more money is wasted on it. Is that really what we need right now?

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) was in Los Angeles two weeks ago, inspecting facilities before deciding whether the city should be awarded the 2024 Summer Games. They apparently liked what they saw, which is a good sign for LA’s bid to host the global sporting event. Unfortunately, the city’s Olympic bid has spent little time explaining just how much all of this is going to cost American taxpayers. Conservative voices have been uncharacteristically quiet on Los Angeles’ efforts to win the Olympics, even though the Games would cost not just California but also the federal government billions of dollars at a time when the budget deficit still clocks in at over $350 billion.

Supporters of the bid argue it would be relatively cheap for the city to host the Games, with LA 2024 estimating the competition would “only” cost $5 billion. The group claims Los Angeles already has the majority of the infrastructure required to hold the event in place, having already hosted it back in 1984. Backers also predict that the cost the Games would be offset by the economic boost they would bring to Los Angeles — a dubious assumption to say the least.

Indeed, the IOC delegation had barely left town when LA 2024’s estimate of how much the Games would cost started ballooning. On top of the projected $5 billion cost of hosting the Games, Los Angeles mayor Eric Garcetti is already asking the federal government to cough up an extra $1.3 billion for transportation and an additional $2 billion for security at the event, two vital elements that were not included in the original budget. Of course, this won’t be the end of it. Olympic costs have a tendency to balloon to several times host cities’ initial estimates. The fact that LA 2024’s projection appears to be so far off the mark seven years before the event should tell you everything you need to know about whether the event will pay for itself.

Even if LA 2024 was miraculously able to stick to its budget, the majority of that money would come directly from the federal coffers. This is exactly where the problem lies with LA’s Olympic bid: the cost of hosting the event is socialized and subsidized by taxpayers across the country, while any benefits that do accrue are reaped by the host city. Why should the federal government pay for a white elephant that will increase federal debt as its most recognizable legacy? Why should the average citizen in Texas or in Florida, who in all likelihood won’t get to go the Games and won’t get any benefit from them, pay for global jetsetters who decide they want to spend two weeks watching sports in southern California?

Even the Left is shedding its reflexive love of spending to mobilize against the Games. The California chapter of the Democratic Socialists of America has started the NOlympics LA movement, which aims to persuade LA residents to oppose the profligacy that invariably comes with hosting an Olympic competition. Earlier this week, the group announced that eight other local organizations had joined its campaign, including tenant rights group Saje, housing non-profit Union de Vecinos, and the National Alumni Association of the Black Panther Party. They claim the bid process for the Games fails to take account of the needs of ordinary LA residents.  

They have a point. Wasting billions of dollars on a vanity project for LA’s liberal elites is a disgrace, particularly at a time when the city’s homeless population is rising exponentially and its aging infrastructure is crumbling. When even leftist groups such as these call out the bid for the boondoggle it is, those behind LA 2024 should take a moment to reconsider.

Making matters worse, the fact that Congress could not find money for border security but seems to be ready to bankroll this travesty is nothing short of an outrage. Fortunately, President Trump seems less than enthusiastic about the bid, refusing to take time off from running the country to meet with IOC officials. Having scored points while running for office by arguing federal government is overstretched and wastes too much money, Trump doesn’t seem too thrilled to be putting his name to this billion-dollar farce. After all, he might have to open them.

Conservatives need to speak up now and call for the LA bid to be withdrawn before any more money is wasted on it. Is that really what we need right now?



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