Mitt Romney’s Welfare Olympics
As for Mitt Romney’s boast that he saved the Olympics: Sorry, Mitt, you didn’t build that.
His boosters say that Romney’s stewardship of the U.S. Olympics show that he would be a fine president because of the way he managed a vast international enterprise with a huge budget.
What they don’t talk about is how Romney and his Salt Lake buddies raised the money to finance the games. They took a page from the playbook of Bain Capital and other private equity funds, using an approach popular with the moneymen known as OPM—other people’s money. Never put up your own cash if you can find someone else to do it for you.
For the Salt Lake games they found the biggest sugar daddy around: the federal government.
Many records were set at the 2002 Winter Games, but chances are that one will never be broken. That’s the amount of federal dollars that Romney and his crew siphoned out of the federal treasury to help pay for the Olympic games: $1.5 billion. That was more than the federal government had spent on all seven Olympic Games held in the U.S. since 1904—combined. In inflation-adjusted dollars.