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  • City Says "No!" to Multi-Million Dollar Handout from Uncle Sam

    The city of Troy, Michigan, prides itself as being “The City of Tomorrow … Today,” but now it has another slogan to affix to its city hall: “Stimulus Dollars Not Welcome Here.”

    What’s this all about, you ask? Why would a city say “no” to free money?

    As The New York Times reports, Troy — a northern suburb of Detroit — was in line to receive an $8.5 million grant from the federal government in order to finance a transportation center that would be part of the Detroit to Chicago Amtrak network. The trouble is, though the money would have helped finance a brand new development, officials say it would create an ongoing financial liability for the cash-strapped city. In other words, it might have gotten the cow for free, but it would be stuck paying the cost of upkeep years down the road.

    Of course, this logic is confounding to critics who say that the annual maintenance cost is only $31,000 per year — chump change in comparison to the city’s $50 million budget. But for taxpayers who are being nickled-and-dimed to death, even pocket change can add up to real money — especially when government projects see their costs keep going up and up.

    Take the case of California’s Los Angeles to San Francisco high-speed rail system. President Barack Obama granted the state $300 million for a new system that at one time was projected to cost $43 billion. Those estimates soared — with one independent analysis pegging the price tag at $81.4 billion, and other estimates pointing to a $98 billion. Ultimately, one independent group recommended that the state ditch the program since the federal government wouldn’t assure future funding.

    New Jersey, too, has a similar story.  In 2010, Governor Chris Christie canceled a rail tunnel under the Hudson River connecting New Jersey to New York. His concern? The cost of the project was feared to be $14 billion, and there were no guarantees that New Jersey taxpayers would not pay more than $2.7 billion for the completed project.

    All of three of these cases point to one common conclusion. ”Free money” isn’t so free. Or, if you prefer, “beware of Uncle Sam bearing gifts.” The promise of untold economic development is a bright and shiny one until reality sets in. And with local and state governments more cash strapped than ever, the reality of unknown fiscal liabilities is one that responsible leaders can’t stomach.

    Posted in Featured, Ongoing Priorities [slideshow_deploy]

    10 Responses to City Says "No!" to Multi-Million Dollar Handout from Uncle Sam

    1. andy B says:

      I wish Cincinnati would have the guts to say no like these examples above instead they will be the fools and will be out of office and the tax payer will be holding the bill for the upkeep and

    2. John McGirr says:

      No Million, no billion; N'Obama !!

    3. Slick says:

      Can you believe it??? There is actually SOMEONE out in the Land of Oz who is farsighted enough to KNOW that there are NO FREE LUNCHES, especially where the government is concerned! It is a favorite tactic of theirs to suck you in with all kinds of rosy stories with their visions of glorious "green", offering lots of taxpayer financial assistance, and then they leave you holding the bag . . . no matter how big it gets! The biggest problem is that their projected costs and continued required investments are NEVER right! And once the deal is done, they really don't care because the excesses are not coming out of their personal pockets!

      Congrats to Troy, MI . . . for all of the things wrong in this country today, it is encouraging to see that there are still some folks out there that understand that you can't SPEND more money than you have!!! And thank GOD for bringing forth a "few good men/women" to hold the line on behalf of the American citizens!

    4. Oscar Brown says:

      Good for them. When Uncle comes calling with a cow for FREE, the cost of housing, feed, and vet bills is never mentioned. Live Long and Prosper! Only if you say "NO".

    5. Jeff says:

      This seems like a bad idea for the city of Troy. I'm sure they could have reached an agreement with the federal government to use most of that money for a station while putting some of it aside for future up keep.

      • TravelZim says:

        What planet do you live on! Troy and the new govenor of my home state, Ohio, said no thanks. The former democrat governor left an 8 billion dollar deficit after balancing the budget with stimulas money and was going to accept and indebt future generations more with money from Obama for his useless rail system.

    6. O2BMe says:

      It's about time the population learned there is no such thing as a free lunch. The thought of the government taking care of you from birth to death sounds nice, but the price is too steep. First you lose your self respect, then you lose your freedom, and finally you find you can't afford the cost. You are bankrupt in more ways than one.

    7. Bobbie says:

      way to stand tough on proper management!!!! bring back the line: "JUST SAY NO" to unconstitutional federal government nannieism!!!!!!!

    8. RennyG says:

      Why is it the states can say NO, and the republicans in congress can't??????

    9. AnotherDayInLaLaLand says:

      Unfortunately Gang another deal was cut in Troy MI in the smokey back room called Politics as Usual which caused one of the council members to SWITCH sides and vote YES – so the city that could not keep its library open without a coerced tax increase last year (which is the city that has a DDA that is drowning in debt) ALSO now has a 6 million dollar transit center project rather than an 8 million dollar transit project and the powerful forces that occupy that smokey back room called Politics as Usual are mounting a campaign to Recall Mayor Daniels who campaigned against the transit center.

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