Monday, November 15, 2010

The Ricketts family is against “wasteful government spending” unless it helps make them rich

Chicago Cubs owner Joe Ricketts dislikes government spending so much that he spent over a half a million dollars of his own money to fight against it. According to the Huffington Post (HuffPo) Ricketts was the “sole financier of the Ending Spending Fund” which invested nearly $600,000 into the Nevada US Senate race against Majority Leader Harry Reid.

HuffPo also points out that the fund is the political arm of a new nonprofit called Taxpayers Against Earmarks, which is "dedicated to educating and engaging American taxpayers about wasteful government spending and the misguided practice of earmarks."

In a video on the group’s website and YouTube page Joe Rickets says, “I think its a crime for our elected officials to borrow money today, to spend money today and push the repayment of that loan out into the future on people who are not even born yet.”

Its funny that Joe Ricketts is so passionate against “wasteful government spending” when his family, led by son, Cubs Chairman Tom Ricketts, has just asked the people of Illinois to borrow $300 million in a bond offering so that it can rehab Wrigley Field. This request follows a vote in Mesa, AZ which guaranteed the Cubs $84 million in public funds to build a new spring training stadium and facility.

Does Joe Ricketts think its a crime that the family business will collect $84 million from one government body, while asking for $300 million from another?

When he talks about borrowing money today and forcing that debt on the unborn he is literally talking about the very scheme that the Cubs are pushing. That plan calls for the bonds to be paid off over 35 years through amusement taxes. Many of the individuals paying those amusement taxes haven’t been conceived yet, hell some of their parents are still in elementary school.

The Ricketts’ family is a perfect example of these so called fiscal conservatives who gin up the outrage against government spending while at the same time using corporate welfare to increase their profit margins.

To these folks funding health care, education, infrastructure, public transportation and public safety is an unnecessary waste of money.

Simply put Joe Ricketts is selfish with an outsized sense of entitlement.

I support the responsible investment of public funds into private sector businesses that leads to economic development and puts people to work. In this case however I encourage members of the Illinois legislature to watch Joe Ricketts video before casting their vote. They should think twice about being an accomplice to what he calls a crime.


Deb Geisler said...

Tom Ricketts is not his father, and he should not be tarred with the same brush we reserve for Joe.

Blaming someone for the stupidity of their relatives is foolish...we all have a weird relative or two, and we can *none* of us control them.

stevepasek said...

Sorry, but the article CLEARLY says that Joe himself funded nutjob Sharron Angle, and clearly shows his hypocrisy when it comes to government. I now have yet another reason (aside from a terrible team) not to go to any more Cubs games, sad coming from a northside kid who grew up a Cubs fan.

Funding sensible Republican candidates is one thing, but funding nutcases like Angle may be his constitutional right, but it SHOULD be made as public as possible. So should his hypocrisy -- he wants to lower government spending for everything EXCEPT subsidizing his friggin' toy, the Cubs! He seems to be the type of Republican who wants to de-fund government for everyone else but himself.

There's a Celo Green song I want to play for you, Mr. Ricketts. Fund your own damn improvements to your expensive toy.