by Sam Hieb
I think Rush Limbaugh —when talking about Scott Brown’s historic victory in Massachusetts —- nailed it when he said the federal government’s intrusion into our lives has made local politics obsolete. I couldn’t help but think about Greensboro, where the City Council apparently has ceded its authority while bowing before the throne of federal stimulus money.
Yes, I’m talking about the proposed downtown hotel. Look, I realize the vote approving the hotel may have been inadvertent, and the N&R —to its credit —–urges any council member with reservations to speak up.
I’m skeptical that’s going to happen, because I think the majority of council members really believe that taxpayers —-local taxpayers—- aren’t on the hook for this deal (never mind the fact that the city’s going to kick in a parking deck). It seems to me that the City Council has temporarily forgotten that Greensboro residents pay federal taxes, too.
Research on Build a Better America Bonds —of which both facility bonds and recovery bonds are a “subset” —- provide no definite answers —-pretty typical of this whole stimulus deal. But I did find this interesting bit of information:
The congressional Joint Tax Committee in February estimated the federal government would spend $51 million in fiscal 2009 and $292 million in fiscal 2010 on the BAB program, but some market analysts have predicted the program could end up costing the federal government billions a year over the life of the bonds.
There you have it —- the taxpayer is always on the hook.