McCarthy: The IBJ Insults our Intelligence
AN INSULT TO THE INTELLIGENCE of the taxpayer, that’s the effect of parts of an Indianapolis Business Journal (IBJ) article, “Fiscally Fit,” about the Pacers’ financial outlook. I’ll give you three quotes:
- “And the stadium deal the Pacers struck with the city’s Capital Improvement Board (CIB) last year has freed the franchise to make investments it hopes will pay dividends long term.”
- “Pacers’ spokesman Bill Benner emphasized that ‘the team does not receive any funding from the CIB. The funding . . . is directed to upgrades, operations and maintenance of the facility.’”
- “Thompson (CIB member) said ‘It’s our responsibility to take care of our property. It’s no different than taking care of your house if you rent it out.’”
We’ll take on the last quote first. Someone should ask Mr. Thompson if he would involuntarily “upgrade, operate and maintain” a house, which he involuntarily paid for to begin with, while renting it involuntarily to a private, for-profit corporation, which is the sole financial beneficiary of the house, all for the grand sum of $1 per year? He apparently believes, at $16 million a year, that’s a heckuva deal for the taxpayer.
Concerning the first and second quotes, reference is to the 10-year, $160-million gift from CIB to the Pacers. It is incredible that anyone would make the second statement. It is unfortunate that the paper failed to question its logic. There is absolutely nothing more fungible than a stack of dollar bills.
This is the equivalent of John Doe being forced to pay rent for Jack Smith while Smith spends his own money on dues at the cricket club, which he otherwise could not afford. Since Mr. Doe’s check goes directly to the landlord, he’s not giving Smith anything. Really?
If Mr. Benner would subsidize a subscription to the IBJ, a certain golfer we know would like to invest his own money in those $50-a-dozen golf balls the pros play. That golfer would certainly not ask Benner to buy him golf balls. That’s the golfer’s responsibility. Really.
— Fred McCarthy