ASU Spends More of Other People’s Money with New Downtown Fitness Center & Law School

Arizona Republic:  “Arizona State University’s president announced Friday that the university will begin construction on its new law school in downtown Phoenix in June 2014.  University officials want to move the school from Tempe to be closer to the core legal community in Phoenix, expand program offerings and increase enrollment. . . . ASU has yet to raise any money for the $120 million facility. ‘But that doesn’t mean anything,’ President Michael Crow said.”

As an attorney who has been practicing in Phoenix I am pleased to learn that there is a “core legal community” and it apparently is in down town Phoenix.  Now I’m very mad at myself for not knowing this fact and even more mad because I haven’t taken advantage of the core legal community.  By the way, can somebody please answer this question:  What is a core legal community?

Cash strapped City of Phoenix will allow the law school to occupy city land at no cost plus contribute $12 million of taxpayers’ money to help ASU.  Don’t worry though its all for the children so its good.

ASU proudly announced it just spent $25 million of taxpayer funds to build a super fabulous fitness center in down town Phoenix in its quest to become a world class university.  What’s next – a state of the art beer pong arena where students can vie for state, national and world records?

Goldwater Institute Sues Phoenix over Pensions

Phoenix Business Journal:  “Goldwater Institute attorneys have filed a lawsuit in Maricopa County Superior Court asking a judge to force Phoenix to stop the practice of pension spiking. The lawsuit was filed on behalf of three city taxpayers.  Some county executives as well as police officers and fire fighters have been able to inflate their pension payments by cashing in unused sick leave, vacation time and in some instances deferring overtime pay so they have an inflated final salary which is part of city pension formulas.

Phoenix City Council Not Content to Lose Only $12 Million/Year on Its 8 Public Golf Courses Invests Another $1.8 Million It Doesn’t Have

Arizona Republic:  “Phoenix will spend $1.8 million to retire the $10 million debt that funded an overhaul of the Papago Golf Course.  The Phoenix City Council voted 6-2 earlier this week to spend the funds, giving the city complete control over the course. . . . DiCiccio said the city should do a comprehensive study on the city’s money-losing golf enterprise fund before spending any money on Papago.”

Phoenix Leaders Propose ‘Sin Tax’

AZCentral:  Tattoo parlors, strip clubs, escort services and “head shops” that sell items used to smoke marijuana could be the next places Phoenix turns to for revenue if the city rescinds its controversial food tax.

Phoenix Mayor Phil Gordon and Councilman Tom Simplot asked management to consider what the city can do to raise money by “sin taxes” and other fees if the city considers removing the 2 percent food tax.

Gordon also wants the city to consider taxing false calls to police and fire dispatchers, as well as electronic billboards.

The suggestions came Tuesday as the Phoenix City Council discussed whether the city should move forward with repealing the food tax before its scheduled sunset in 2015.

Mesa Unaware It Is Broke So It Plans to Borrow & Spend Taxpayers Money to Build an Annual Money Losing Sink Hole aka Extension of the Light Rail

There is an old saying the are always some people don’t get the word.  The last ones to get the word are usually politicians.  It’s true in Mesa where the power elites who love to spend other people’s money to hasten the city’s bankruptcy want to extend the mega-million dollar money pit called the light rail.  Arizona Republic:  “Mesa officials are meticulously planning rail stations along the 3.1-mile extension through downtown Mesa that is expected to open in 2016.”

People Who Like to Spend Money Goverment Doesn’t Have on Economic Money Pits Now Wasting Money to Determine if Light Rail Should Expand to South Phoenix

Arizona Republic: “Valley rail planners are asking a million-dollar question: Would south Phoenix residents ride a light-rail line enough to justify building one?  Valley Metro, the agency that built and runs the 20-mile starter light-rail line, is weeks away from picking a consultant to provide the answer.  Armed with a $400,000 congressional earmark and $100,000 from the city of Phoenix, Metro expects to hire a consultant by March and spend 18 months figuring out if spending many millions of dollars on a rail line in south Phoenix makes sense.”

The twenty mile long Phoenix – Tempe – Mesa light rail cost over $1 billion dollars to build.   The story inconveniently fails to mention the cost to build light rail in south Phoenix or the amount of the annual multi-billion dollar subsidy Phoenix would incur if the light rail were extended into south Phoenix.   When will people stop spending money our governments do not have?

Half a million dollars to do a study!  Earmark money!  I’ll save the city money and do the study for only $250,000.  Here’s a free summary of my findings – don’t do it because rail is a perpetual black hole money loser for government.  Phoenix and the federal government are bankrupt and don’t have the money to build or maintain rail.  Rail might make sense if it could make a profit, not when it loses money every time it accepts a passenger.  Read “Government-Run Rail System Losing $32 per Passenger, Study Shows.”

It is a fact that no nationwide passenger rail system anywhere in the world is considered profitable when all costs — including capital — are accounted for,” . . . “Amtrak released a study in April to demonstrate that Europe’s system is heavily subsidized. Germany’s high-speed rail network, the most expensive in Europe, required average annual subsidies of $11.6 billion during the 10-year span that ended in 2006, according to the Amtrak study.”

See “Money train: The cost of high-speed rail.”

Phoenix Light-rail Expansion Plans Prove Divisive

Arizona Republic:  “A Phoenix man is hoping to derail Metro light rail’s plans to lay track through his neighborhood as part of an 11-mile extension to the city’s west side.”  Wow! Who knew Valley Metro was planning to spend more of other people’s money so it could lose even more money and need bigger government subsidies?  Not content to suck money from bankrupt Phoenix, Tempe, Mesa and the federal government at the current level, Valley Metro is planning to expand it’s money losing light rail system.  The audacity of dopes.  Why do these people want to ignore the difficult economic reality facing government at all levels and continue to spend, spend spend?