Many of us know that Obamacare will be very expensive and that supporters, aided and abetted by the Congressional Budget Office, deliberately low-balled the cost estimates.
I’ve also cited my Cato colleague Chris Edwards, who has made a more comprehensive (and well-documented) claim that government officials systematically lie about the cost of new projects.
Now we have a rather remarkable example of this fiscal prevarication from across the ocean.
In 2002, the British government estimated the cost of hosting the Olympic Games at $2.8 billion. Ten years later, the price has passed $15 billion and is still rising. When everything is added up — lost business, as many as 13,500 British soldiers patrolling the streets of London (more than are in Afghanistan) — the expenses may come to $38 billion.
Wow, cost overruns of somewhere between 500 percent and 1300 percent. That’s bad, even by government standards.
Though I imagine that moronic advocates of Keynesian economics will argue that the $15 billion-$38 billion is a form of stimulus that will percolate through the economy – conveniently forgetting that the money had to be taxed and borrowed from the private economy in the first place.
P.S. The top cartoon in this post is a good description of how government officials come up with their fiscal estimates.