In addition, elected officials’ explanations for such spending are utterly unconvincing. The law that finalized public funding for Vikings stadium, H.F. 2958, states, “The legislature finds … the expenditure of public money for this purpose is necessary and serves a public purpose.” It goes on to state “that government assistance to facilitate the presence of professional football provides to the state of Minnesota and its citizens highly valued intangible benefits that are virtually impossible to quantify.”
This clearly falls afoul of Minnesota’s Gift Clause (Constitution Article XI, Section 2), which clearly states, “The credit of the state shall not be given or loaned in aid of any individual, association or corporation except as hereinafter provided.” It goes without saying that Minnesota’s constitution does not provide for football stadiums.
Around the nation, state and local governments are struggling financially and need to cut spending somewhere. Cash contributions to America’s billionaires would be a good start.
Trey Kovacs is a labor policy analyst for the Competitive Enterprise Institute (CEI) and the editor of Newwallofseparation.org.