Let other cities in other nations do as they see fit. But as Anne Elizabeth Moore detailed in her story, "The Olympic (Shell) Games," last week, hosting the Olympics is almost always a losing proposition. It is true that huge amounts of money flow into the host cities, but this new cash is not sufficient to offset the infrastructure-cost overruns. London, for example, expected six years ago to spend $3.3 billion in preparation for the Games. Today, the estimates are running five times that amount.
If Chicago does win the Summer Games, that will be bad news for Illinois and Windy City officials. But it could be good news for Boston, which would then be spared the folly of bidding for the 2020 games.
Obama's time would be better spent working on real issues: the challenges posed by Iran's nuclear reactor, the floundering war in Afghanistan, the debate over health care, and the nation's still stagnant economy.
The Olympics are a glorious spectacle. But when the Games are over and cash is counted, one of the few parties to profit is the International Olympic Committee.
: The Editorial Page
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