Friday, July 25, 2014

Stadium Subsidies Financed by Pension Cuts by David Sirota

“As states and cities grapple with budget shortfalls, many are betting big on an unproven formula: Slash public employee pension benefits and public services while diverting the savings into lucrative subsidies for professional sports teams.
 
“Detroit this week became the most prominent example of this trend. Officials in the financially devastated city announced that their plan to slash public workers' pension benefits will move forward.
“On the same day, the billionaire owners of the Detroit Red Wings, the Ilitch family, unveiled details of an already approved taxpayer-financed stadium for the professional hockey team.
“Many Detroit retirees now face big cuts to their previously negotiated retirement benefits. At the same time, the public is on the hook for $283 million toward the new stadium.
“The budget maneuvers in Michigan are part of a larger trend across the country. As Pacific Standard reports, ‘Over the past 20 years, 101 new sports facilities have opened in the United States — a 90 percent replacement rate — and almost all of them have received direct public funding.’
“Now, many of those subsidies are being effectively financed by the savings accrued from pension benefit reductions and cuts to public services.
“In Chicago, for instance, Mayor Rahm Emanuel recently passed a $55 million cut to municipal workers' pensions. At the same time, he has promoted a plan to spend $55 million of taxpayer money on a hotel project that is part of a stadium development plan…
For the complete article, Stadium Subsidies Financed by Pension Cuts by David Sirota, Click Here.

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