A day of phone calls by Barack Obama to his Hollywood buddies.
That’s probably all it would have taken to find enough of them anxious to have their names on one of the rooms, hallways or whatever in the Obama Center being built in Chicago. Instead, Illinois taxpayers from Cairo to Galena will pay $172 million towards construction. It’s in the new budget just passed, to be signed shortly by Governor Rauner.
Remember when we were told, “Construction and maintenance will be funded by private donations and no taxpayer money will go to the foundation”? That’s what an Obama Foundation spokesperson said. Oh, I guess that didn’t mean re-configuring roadways around the center, which apparently is what the state money will go towards.
It’s not a presidential library, by the way, since the archives for his papers and such will be somewhere else.
It’s Obamaland, as the Chicago Sun-Times’ Lynn Sweet predicted it would be known.
It’s real purpose is teaching Obama’s politics, courtesy of taxpayers. From the Chicago Tribune: “As he’s long maintained, Obama said he envisions his center as a place where young people from around the world can meet each other, get training and prepare to become the next generation of leaders.”
Actually, it seems appropriate somehow for Illinois taxpayers to get whacked for this. Think of it as a monument of sorts to decades of Obama-style government in Illinois. The black unemployment rate in Illinois is the worst in the nation and almost twice the rate for whites. The national economy is booming while Illinois races deeper into insolvency.
That’s all the consolation I can offer. You’ll be funding a monument.
–Mark Glennon is founder and executive editor of Wirepoints.