Okay, Dubya. We get it. You love baseball. We love it too. And we love Mom and apple pie. Now that that’s settled, can we have our money back? President Bush is boosting baseball. He invited baseball players to hobnob with him at the White House and they came. Hey, neato. Well, I guess if you’re the President, and you ask folks to visit you, they will come.
Another baseball-boosting event was a mano-a-mano meeting at Milwaukee’s Miller Park stadium with former baseball commissioner Bud Selig. Bush said, “I like baseball. Do you like baseball?” “Sure, I like baseball,” said Selig. “Me and baseball, we’re like this.” Bush nodded. “Yep, baseball. Love it.” It’s not just about baseball, though. It’s about politics. And taxes.
These days, politicians think it’s A-OK to fund stadiums out the taxpayers’ pockets. Big baseball teams bring in huge revenue. Yet the Milwaukee Brewers paid less than a fourth of the expense of Miller Park, a $400,000,000 venture. Angry Wisconsin residents had to pick up the rest of the tab. There was nothing they could do about it, since Wisconsin voters are denied the right of initiative and referendum. The President is well aware that other places around the country also have taxpayer subsidized sports stadiums. As a former co-partner of the Texas Rangers baseball team, Bush pushed for and won a similar stadium subsidy from unwilling taxpayers. The tax-cut President should know that Americanism and baseball still mix, but not when the game is being played on the backs of taxpayers.
This is Common Sense. I’m Paul Jacob.