The Republican Party is adopting “We Built It” as a convention theme — a catch-phrase built on the Fox News-fueled distortion of the President’s remarks tying American infrastructure and education to the success of businesses. But the convention itself—its location and its finances—are ironic object lessons in how even the Republican party itself benefits from taxpayer support and infrastructure.
Media Matters Action Network offers some revealing facts about the Republican convention site:
-The Republican Party’s national convention will be held next week at the Tampa Bay Times Forum in Florida — an arena that was constructed with $80 million worth of city and county bonds backed in part by taxes.
-The Forum is now actually owned by the county government, which then leases it back to the Tampa Bay Sports Authority. The Authority itself was created as a public agency in 1965.
-The Republican Party received over $18 million from American taxpayers to help pay for their convention.
The convention arena they are meeting in was publicly financed. Our public safety system will protect them from the storms, and our transportation system will take them there. They didn’t build it. We all did.
Gloria Shur Bilchik is a freelance writer and community volunteer in St. Louis, Missouri. She is the editor of Occasional Planet. She views the preservation of progressive values as vital to making the US a humane, livable place for her children and grandchildren.