Shame on You, Miami Dolphins (and One Cheer for Speaker Will Weatherford)

The Miami Dolphins (and several other professional sports teams in Florida) deserve our severe disapprobation and should be ashamed of themselves for attempting to steal money from Florida taxpayers.  According to ESPN, “The Dolphins wanted both state and local help to pay for $400 million worth of renovations to 26-year-old Sun Life Stadium. The Dolphins wanted $3 million a year for the next 30 years from the state.”  

But they weren’t the only rent-seekers attempting to eat from the public trough: “The professional sports teams were all backing a Florida Senate proposal that would have allowed each of them to compete for a share of state tax dollars. The measure would have created a process for pro teams to vie for $13 million a year in state incentives.” 

Fortunately, Florida House Speaker Will Weatherford wasn’t willing to go along and didn’t allow the funding package through the legislature.  However, his remarks suggest that we should only give Weatherford one cheer for his move: 

“I think part of the complication was the fact that it wasn’t just the Dolphins,” Weatherford said Friday. “You had five or six different franchises that were looking for a tax rebate, and that’s serious public policy. You’re talking about hundreds of millions of dollars, and I think the House just never got comfortable there when the session ended.”

So would Weatherford have been comfortable giving away tax dollars to make rich men richer if only one pig had sidled up to the trough?  The Dolphins tweaked their logo this year.  Perhaps they should have changed their name to another animal.

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