McCarthy: Potholes, Priorities, Let’s Fix Them Both

February 28, 2018

by Fred McCarthy

This morning’s paper uses approximately three-quarters of a page with text and pictures bemoaning the “pothole” problem.

The fourth paragraph contains this quote from our mayor:  “The plain truth is also that the financial condition of our city from the past few decades has been deplorable, and it has simply not had the resources to properly invest in the infrastructure our residents deserve.”

To that I ask when will there be an awakening of those deserving residents to the fact that they have been led down the garden path by a media abetting a city leadership that despite “deplorable” finances continues to shovel out stories claiming that sports have saved the city?

When will we see a story with complete details as to the number of tax dollars committed on a continuing basis to subsidizing multi-millionaire sport franchise owners during those decades, specifically including the cost of the money itself? (We have seen an estimate that, with interest on the debt, our $750-million stadium will actually run about $1.2 billion.)

The city gets raves for landing the NBA All-Star game. That is followed, however, by muted whispers about how much we’ll spend on the fieldhouse for that one-time use. And don’t forget the “necessary redo” for the team owners to be able to commit to a new 25-year contract, which, given precedent, will reward them with additional millions of tax dollars.

Reread the mayor’s quote and ask yourself, “Who is he kidding?” And this is not a political issue, please know, both parties have gleefully inserted huge amounts of taxpayer money into dream-world projects.

The resources were there all along to fix the potholes but they were invested unwisely. Now we have a crisis, and the answer will surely be another tax increase of some kind.

Well, what the heck . . . blame the weather.

Fred McCarthy, an adjunct scholar of the Indiana Policy Review Foundation and editor of the blog indytaxdollars, represented various taxpayer and business organizations before the Indiana General Assembly for 40 years, being awarded a Sagamore of the Wabash by two governors along the way.


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