What About A New Home For The Bucks?

As any number of ‘civic groups’ line up to lobby for a new basketball arena in Milwaukee, the counties that comprise the suburban ring are voting against a regional tax to build it. Ignoring the fact that the City of Milwaukee and Milwaukee County are the economic drivers that make Waukesha, Ozaukee, Racine, etc viable, they are once again voting against their own self interest. Already the boards of Racine, Ozaukee and Waukesha counties have recorded their opposition to a Miller Park type tax to build a new arena.

On the one hand, I think they are being very shortsighted and ignoring the realities of the larger regional economy and how we all benefit. And in most other things like cultural organizations and recreation and transportation, I would really be holding their feet to fire. But guess what, in this instance I am on their side…and quite frankly I would like to see my Milwaukee County Board take a similar stance.

Because maybe just once, all of those ‘job creators’ who are getting the big tax breaks who are pushing for a new arena should step up and create the jobs and build the dang thing themselves. Leave the tax payers out of it…they want a playground? They can build it…we know they can afford it!

On the other hand, did you see the article in today’s Milwaukee Journal Sentinel article about the state of our current NBA arena, the BMO Harris Bradley Center?

It seems that the 25 year old building is a ‘senior citizen’. You know what a senior citizen is? The 400 year old building I stayed in while visiting Florence Italy a few years ago, or the 250 year old building I stayed in while in Paris last New Years…25 year old building…sheesh.

Anyway, there are talks of leaking water units, rusting metal doors, obsolete air conditioning units and leaks in the glass atrium…this isn’t necessary evidence of a worn out or obsolete building…what this is is proof of poor management and awful stewardship of a valuable public asset. Once again we the public are told we need a new facility because the powers that be didn’t maintain the current one. So we should hand over a new $400 – 500 million dollar facility? Not on your life…and maybe a few heads should roll or even go to jail!


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3 thoughts on “What About A New Home For The Bucks?

  1. Absolutely no money to subsidize the private property of a billionaire. We have starving kids in Milwaukee County, if we are going to raise a tax on working and middle class people, let’s at least spend it in a way that is a prove investment – schools and real infrastructure.

  2. This crap never stops.

    There is something similar going on in Eau Claire right now. Numerous times, over a couple decades, the public has resoundingly shot down persistently recurring schemes to construct an “event center” with public funds. Now it’s back in slightly different packaging and under a new name – the “Confluence Project.” And the developers who stand to enrich themselves from the construction of this debacle seem to have the City Council in their pockets to the extent that those who purport to represent the people are afraid to let the people vote on it.

    The analogy isn’t perfect, but the con is exactly the same: Get the taxpayers to subsidize private enterprise with the promise of “jobs, jobs, jobs,” then walk away with the gains. In other words privatize the profits while socializing the costs. That’s what is really going on; it has nothing to do with any significant job creation.

    Of course, as long as this kind of swindle is allowed to continue, it will. And once the profits associated with development and construction are pocketed by the promoters, and the promised jobs don’t materialize, and the “vibrant downtown community” (that never really became all that vibrant) steadily reverts back to its normal doldrums, the taxpayers will own another white elephant.

    The wealthy owners of pro sports teams are no different, with their blackmail schemes regarding new stadiums. Let ’em pay their own way, and if they don’t like it, well, we can hope the door don’t slap ’em on the backside on the way out. There are far more pressing uses for scarce public dollars than these blatant giveaways.

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