Twelve years after he saved the scandal-plagued Salt Lake City Winter Olympic games, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney has a few more fixes in mind.
“Why do governments spend so much?” he asked in a USA Today op-ed on Tuesday. “Public-sector inefficiency accounts for some of the gap, and corruption is surely to blame as well. But the big difference is that government personalities are promoting themselves and their country with someone else’s money.”
Romney criticized Russia and other countries for using public funds to pay for excessive Olympic venues like the “beautiful” speed-skating track at the Nagano, Japan games.
He said that extravagant spending — coming in at a whopping $51 billion price tag in Sochi — damages the event’s image.
“Waste is harm, particularly when need is as great as it is. Harm occurs when a country spends more than it can afford to keep up appearances with the big spenders,” he wrote. “Harm occurs when a country is excluded from hosting an Olympics because it can’t afford the fabulous frills. And harm occurs when the world’s poor look in anguish at the excess.”
Romney was brought on in 1999 to rescue the Salt Lake City games from corruption and overspending. He touted his success in running the Olympics on the presidential campaign trail in 2008 and 2012.
[H/t The Wire]