Olympics Get the Blame for All the City's Woes

Blaming the Olympics

By Steve Rhodes
|  Wednesday, Oct 7, 2009  |  Updated 1:57 PM CDT
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Did the prez call Daley about the Olympics.

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Those looming CTA fare hikes and service cuts?

Blame the Olympics.

More city layoffs?

Blame the Olympics.

Potholes? Rats in alleys? Fees, taxes, red-light cameras, car towing?

Blame the Olympics.

You haven't heard the end of the 2016 Games yet.

The mayor has already said that the Olympic bid was his last idea for economic development in the city - despite the fact that nearly every economic study done shows that hosting the Games is a huge money-loser.

But City Hall seems poised to blame continuing budget problems on losing the Games instead of blaming itself or - to be fair - the national economy.

New CTA board chairman Terry Peterson told a city council committee on Monday that federal transportation funding (comprised of taxpayer dollars) would have come to the city had the bid been won is now lost.

Perhaps, though one must wonder what it says about the Obama administration that our mediocre mass transit is only worth sprucing up for visitors, not residents.

But if City Hall really wants to blame the Olympics, they can blame themselves for the way pursuing the Games diverted the attention of the mayor, the city council and key departments from the city's problems at hand.

Blame the Olympics, yes. But blame it for the right reasons.

Steve Rhodes is the proprietor of The Beachwood Reporter, a Chicago-centric news and culture review.

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