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Brothers and sisters...it is official. The Republican party simply cannot help being evil. Not only can they not help it, they've stopped trying to even hide it anymore.

Hamilton County Commissioner Greg Hartmann’s plan for plugging a shortfall in the cash needed to pay for the Cincinnati sports stadiums: cut health care to the needy.

The Republican commissioner’s plan, provided to the Enquirer Friday, drew immediate criticism from University Hospital and at least one other commissioner.

But Hartmann argues his is the only fix that won’t raise taxes.

Here's the thing: Hamilton County has an Indigent Tax Levy which is exactly what it sounds like; a tax that goes to patients in need who cannot afford health care and long hospital stays. Main recipients are University Hospital and Children's Hospital Medical Center, with funds also going to Tuberculosis Control, Alcohol and Drug Addiction Services, etc.  Good things. Things that are needed in a country where there is no national health care solution. This is a valuable safety net for the most vulnerable among us.

Oh, but I here you out there saying "well what about the poor football and baseball players?" Well yeah, Hamilton County's Stadium Fund is BROKE

Hamilton County, which includes Cincinnati, is facing a $13.2 million 2010 deficit in its stadium fund, which pays off debt for the Paul Brown Stadium, home of the National Football League's Bengals, and the Great American Ball Park, where Major League Baseball's Cincinnati Reds play. The deficit could balloon to $92 million by 2014.

County finance officials for years have warned that the fund could run out of money...The county has tried twice since 2006 to raise the sales tax from its current rate of 6.5%, but voters have rejected both efforts

The fund was created with a half-cent tax increase voters did approve in 1996, when times were good. However, even then, you had your basic lone voice in the wildnerness.

"Anyone looking at this objectively knows it’s a train wreck," said Dusty Rhodes, the county auditor. "I told them they were making a big mistake, but they didn’t want to hear me."

So now has come the proverbial "pay the piper" moment, and of course, we get the usual GOP Reverse-Robin-Hood response: take from the poor, give to the rich.

Oh, one other note: The Bengals (who, unlike the Reds, did not offer up naming rights to their stadium, something that might have offset operations and building costs) have offered up $40M in lease concessions, but those proposals came with a shitload of strings attached.

Back to Hartmann:

Hartmann is sympathetic to the hospital’s plight, but points out the stadium fund is an obligation that must be paid, while helping pay for indigent care is a "non-essential" expense.

Wow. This guy was born with the wrong damn last name. No-Hartmann would be a better sobriquet. Dick Cheney read about this and got a warm, fuzzy, feeling. What kills me is this guy is exactly the same douche who will run for governor or the Senate one day and start talking about "protecting the unborn" and flacking his religious bonafides.

By the way, much thanks from the fine site Field of Schemes (dedicated to information about how sports owners soak the taxpayers of municipalites five ways from Sunday er, find creative ways to finance new stadiums and arenas.

Play Ball!

Originally posted to Jank2112 on Thu Jun 24, 2010 at 08:35 AM PDT.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (7+ / 0-)

    Take a grapefruit. Put NRA and "Pro-Life" stickers on it. Watch it get 20% in the 2012 Republican primary.

    by Jank2112 on Thu Jun 24, 2010 at 08:35:43 AM PDT

  •  umm, it's "Cincinnati" (3+ / 0-)

    (could you fix your title?), and yes, it's always been a bastion of Rethugism.

    •  Correct me if I"m wrong but I thought (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      corvo

      Cincinnati itself was Demcratic but surrounding Hamilton County was very Republican. The goal of Democrats running statewide in Cincinnati is to win the city big enough to hold the Republican Hamilton county victory margin as low as possible.

      I have flow [sic] thru Detriot in recent months and the number of TSA women in hijab is alarming... the foxes are overseeing the chicken coop -- A RW blogger.

      by Kimball Cross on Thu Jun 24, 2010 at 08:48:07 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  That would be a fairly recent development (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Kimball Cross, QuestionAuthority

        based more than anything else on white flight.  But when I was a kid, it was all Irish Catholic and Bavarian Catholic, with some Anglo old money thrown in for good measure.  

        Yeah, things did change a bit when Roxanne Qualls was elected mayor multiple times in the 1990s (not only is she a Democrat; she might be lesbian as well).

        Of course, there are some separately corporated cities that are more or less surrounded by Cincinnati (think Norwood) that are strongly Rethug, and yes, the county as a whole is, well, scary.  McMansions up in West Chester, and Milford might as well be in Kentucky or West Virginia.

    •  Fixed (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      corvo, QuestionAuthority

      You have to admit, I got it right every place except the title.

      Take a grapefruit. Put NRA and "Pro-Life" stickers on it. Watch it get 20% in the 2012 Republican primary.

      by Jank2112 on Thu Jun 24, 2010 at 09:25:20 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  It's good to know how the recession is (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    QuestionAuthority

    affecting "Flyover Country" cities like Cincinnati.

    BTW, Flyover Country is one of the most patronizing, contemptuous regional terms I've ever heard.

    I have flow [sic] thru Detriot in recent months and the number of TSA women in hijab is alarming... the foxes are overseeing the chicken coop -- A RW blogger.

    by Kimball Cross on Thu Jun 24, 2010 at 08:46:07 AM PDT

  •  Some of these services (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Magick Maven, QuestionAuthority

    are not limited to poor people.

    Main recipients are University Hospital and Children's Hospital Medical Center, with funds also going to Tuberculosis Control, Alcohol and Drug Addiction Services, etc

    I have flow [sic] thru Detriot in recent months and the number of TSA women in hijab is alarming... the foxes are overseeing the chicken coop -- A RW blogger.

    by Kimball Cross on Thu Jun 24, 2010 at 08:50:37 AM PDT

  •  Is it THAT fucking hard to spell the name right? (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    QuestionAuthority, A Runner

    Almost every browser out there has an auto-spellcheck.

    This is hardly news for a town which has been under martial law for the better part of three decades. One in which the ONE man in twelve who outspent the combined total of the other contestants manged to be the only one to lose in an election of a board of 11 councilors but still managed to get on the board.

    Cincinnati. Queen City. Gateway to the West. Bass-fucking-ackwards hell on earth which is best known for its cinnamon meat soup they insist on calling "chili".

  •  Let the stadium close. Send the teams elsewhere. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    QuestionAuthority

    We gave all sorts of concessions to build that stadium and what have we gotten in return? Shafted.

    The city is going to find a way to screw over the poor and the police/fire/teachers unions in all of this mess. Mark my word.

    Ive been here since 1992. My yearly property taxes will be $6,000 for 2011. This area is shit.

    Capitalism thrives on raising funds on assets that have no value.

    by A Runner on Thu Jun 24, 2010 at 09:20:20 AM PDT

  •  "What have we gotten in return? Shafted." (0+ / 0-)

    Given the history of these kinds of deals nationwide, I don't know why cities still fall for them. Let the damned teams leave if they don't like their stadium. Just make sure the fans know why the team left: The owners tried to blackmail the city into building a new stadium with your taxes and we told them to go pound sand.

    "Ridicule may lawfully be employed where reason has no hope of success." -7.75/-6.05

    by QuestionAuthority on Thu Jun 24, 2010 at 10:09:59 AM PDT

    •  It has to be admitted... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      QuestionAuthority

      Having a major sports team, does provide certain intangibles for a metro area no doubt. It puts you "on the map" as they say. But the problem has always been the promise of concrete financial gains which rarely happens.

      Unfortunately, unless you're Los Angeles (over a decade since various individuals began looking for taxpayers to give them a billion to build a stadium for a non-existent NFL team that NOBODY WANTS) it's been hard to avoid the allure of the snake-oil salesmen that sports owners employ when bilking cities.

      Take a grapefruit. Put NRA and "Pro-Life" stickers on it. Watch it get 20% in the 2012 Republican primary.

      by Jank2112 on Thu Jun 24, 2010 at 11:15:06 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

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