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“The One” Unable to Deliver 2016 Games – Chicago Taxpayers Win.

– by MARK R. DRONG 

President Obama traveled 4000 miles on Friday to meet the First Lady in Copenhagen, Denmark as they prepared to unleash their charisma & charm on members of the International Olympic Committee to bring the 2016 Summer Olympics to their hometown of Chicago. Apparently members of the IOC were immune to the mesmerizing messianic effects of the “dynamic duo,” (a term used by White House members to describe the First Couple) because Chicago was immediately eliminated from contention during Round One of voting.

News reports of the failed bid were issued even before Air Force One could touch down back in the United States. OUCH – Talk about COLD!! When it was all over, Rio De Janeiro was crowned the victor, marking this the first time in history that a South American country will play host to The Olympic Games.

“Women’s Advocacy Maven” (Except-On-Election-Day) Oprah Winfrey was also along for the ride on Air Force One to make the Hometown pitch. However, to the chagrin of Mayor Daley, (but to the relief of most Chicago taxpayers), it appears the prowess of the Power Trio came up short. There was a report that tele-prompters were unavailable on site at the Committee Presentation!!

A jubilant party in Daley plaza where tens of thousands had gathered were stunned and silenced by the news of their 1st Round elimination. Several party-goers spoke of how it was a forgone conclusion – Chicago had won!! After all, “The One” had gone to lobby on their behalf. Who could possibly resist the hypnotic mystique of “the One?”

Speculation regarding President Obama’s miscalculation on this one – may continue for years! It’s been said that instead of Oprah at his side, maybe the President should have enlisted a couple bus-loads of Community Organizers from ACORN. They’re supposed to be pretty effective with intimidation tactics and they have a lot of experience in stuffing ballot boxes!! Talents like those would have been invaluable to help push Chicago over-the-top.

Prior to the winner being announced, as Spain and Rio remained as Finalists, White House Senior Advisor David Axelrod spoke to Fox News to give his assessment regarding Chicago’s failure to land the Games. He proudly proclaimed that the President’s trip to Denmark to campaign for the Games for Chicago was justified. He went on to enunciate twice that there were “political” factors within the IOC itself which just couldn’t be overcome.

Axelrod’s comments eluded to the fact that former IOC President

Juan Antonio Samaranch from Spain was also in attendance at the Olympic Bid Presentation and undoubtedly his influence on other IOC members would have a favourable effect for Spain.

Little did Axelrod know, minutes later, Brazil would be awarded the Games – in apparent contradiction to his conspiratorial suspicions. Apparently Mr Axelrod, a Chicagoan himself, just cannot fathom a world where Politics doesn’t play a role in EVERYTHING. Not Surprising – considering his extensive political background & associations with many politicians in Chicago including Mayor Richard M. Daley himself.

Isn’t it just as likely that the International Olympics Committee voted to give the prize to a Country that had never hosted the Games? In addition, Brazilian Govt. Officials proclaimed they estimated the costs to host the Games at about $14 Billion. This figure is three times higher than the estimate that Chicago used for its proposal. Undoubtedly, the higher figure would be a more accurate account of costs – as previous hosts have found that the Olympic Games have been plagued by cost overruns which have tallied in the Billions of Dollars.

Athens budgeted $1.6 Billion for the 2004 Olympics but cost overruns inflated that figure by 10 times – to a $16 Billion price tag. And the 2008 Summer Games in Beijing cost $40 Billion – only a mere $38 Billion over the $1.6 Billion estimate they budgeted!!

Possible consideration may have been paid by the IOC to Brazil’s ability to sustain such cost overruns. The developing South American country has just begun to cash in on its rich new resources – oil & gas deposits off its coastline in the South Atlantic Ocean. What a concept – drilling off-shore for known oil reserves which may assist a country’s finances!!! Hey, I think those crafty Brazilians might have something there!!

Chicago, on the other hand, is rife with political scandal and budget deficits – those elements represent OUR “natural resources.” Almost annually, the Schools & Public Transportation Systems “threaten to shut down because they are broke. And our local governments lament that they are so deep in the RED that our City, County & State taxes are forced to be some of the highest in the Country. And in spite of claims to the contrary, does anyone really believe our City Officials that the Billions in cost overruns from the Olympics WON’T be passed down to the local taxpayer!!! . . Puuulleeeeezzzzz !!

Hey, when it’s all said and done – and the final event concludes in the summer of 2016 during President Obama’s final year of his second term, it may well be the City of Chicago and its taxpayers who rise up and declare themselves as the “TRUE CHAMPIONS” of the Olympic Games. We’ll have to wait and see what the bottom line ends up at in Rio. But if past history is any indication regarding the costs – This one’s a no-brainer!!

At that time – the Fall of 2016, we in Chicago will be singing praises to Mayor Daley like grade-school kids are taught to do to President Obama today – ” Mayor Daley, mmm, mmm, mmm.” We will all be counting our lucky stars when we discover that local city & state taxes in Rio have risen to a stifling 38 % – as its citizens are forced to cover the Games deficits. Compare that with projected city tax rates for Chicago in 2016 at – say 25 – 26%. What a bargain!!!

Yeah, then Chicago will have had the last laugh. We will have shown those crafty South Americans that you don’t sit down at the table with the likes of Barack Obama, David Axelrod, Mayor Daley & the City of Chicago – and walk away getting the best of them!! No, one should certainly know better. If you do sit down at a table with a group like that – one thing is critical. You better hang on to your wallet!!

 

copyright 2009 Mark Drong


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