In a state drowning in debt, $100 million may seem like a drop in the bucket.
Perhaps that’s why the Illinois House’s Executive Committee voted on Thursday to approve spending $100 million to lure the President Obama Library and Museum.
Chicago Mayor Rahm Emmanuel, Obama’s former chief of staff, said the outlay would be “nothing compared to the revenue and tourist dollars the museum and library would generate,” The Washington Times reported.
Yet in her December Fiscal Focus Report, State Comptroller Judy Baar Topinka wrote that last year, “Illinois spent $1.45 billion on its general obligation bonds’ interest alone. Every dollar spent on interest is a dollar not spent on some other pressing need.”
Longtime sycophant Emmanuel must consider an Obama museum a pressing need. He said the project would yield a return “well beyond” its price tag and show Obama just how much his hometown still reveres him, according to The Times.
The investment still requires approval from the full Illinois General Assembly, and the funding source remains unclear. Most other presidential libraries were built with private funds, but running up the public debt seems fitting for Obama’s legacy, and for a state with $130 billion in pension obligations.
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