Chicago mayor Richard Daley has possibly committed the city to an enormous public expense for the 2016 Olympic Games:
Faced with losing the 2016 Summer Games to competing cities offering full government guarantees, Mayor Richard Daley made an about-face Wednesday and said the City of Chicago would sign a contract agreeing to take full financial responsibility for the Games.
In a worst-case situation, such as severe cost-overruns or a catastrophic event, the agreement could leave taxpayers on the hook for hundreds of millions of dollars or even more, a scenario Chicago's bid team acknowledges but insists is far-fetched.
Um...in what universe are cost overruns on a Chicago public works project "far-fetched?" The Tribune's editorial board wonders who's really on the hook:
The mayor's spokeswoman, Jacquelyn Heard, says...[t]he financial commitment...will fall on the Chicago 2016 committee, the group that's organizing the city's bid.
Well, hold on a minute. If the Olympics lose money, the IOC wants somebody to pick up the cost. So if the Games are a bust and the losses blow through the public and private guarantees, the Chicago 2016 committee will pay the rest of the tab?
How? By taking up a collection among its members?
I'm beginning to feel like a Christian Scientist with appendicitis...