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Big League Economics

The Cost Of Lavish Patriotic Displays At Sports Games

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According to a report authored by Senators John McCain and Jeff Flake of Arizona (both Republicans) the military paid out $53 million to sports teams to stage those patriotic displays you often see. This was covered in a local news story in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette on November 6, 2015.

The patriotic displays are designed with two functions in mind, to promote patriotism in general and to recruit for the military. While it is incorrect to say that players are paid to stand and show respect for the national anthem and the flag, according to the game operations manual:

“The National Anthem must be played prior to every NFL game, and all players must be on the sideline for the National Anthem. During the National Anthem, players on the field and bench area should stand at attention, face the flag, hold helmets in their left hand, and refrain from talking. The home team should ensure that the American flag is in good condition. It should be pointed out to players and coaches that we continue to be judged by the public in this area of respect for the flag and our country. Failure to be on the field by the start of the National Anthem may result in discipline, such as fines, suspensions, and/or the forfeiture of draft choice(s) for violations of the above, including first offenses.”

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The displays, which are often lavish affairs, including military flyovers, are often paid-for activities, though we have no way of knowing which events are paid for or how much is paid for each event. Moreover, the $53 million price tag discovered in 2015, and reported before the year ended, likely included other costs to perform these events: such as pay for service members or fuel for aircraft doing flyovers, or other production costs.

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Collectively speaking, sports teams received over $53 million in 2015, however in 2016 the NFL actually returned fees it received for the ceremonies themselves, to the tune of $724,000. So, while direct fees were returned for the displays, other forms of paid advertising, on-site recruiting, use of space, and signage were not returned.

So, while there is a cost for these events, the NFL no longer gets paid to allow the event to take place. The production costs are born by the sponsor, but the time is freely given. The game operations manual prescribes a player protocol for the playing of the national anthem, a standard no longer enforced within the NFL.

The military continue, as far as we know, to pay the production costs for these events, despite the fact the NFL players themselves are no longer compelled to show respect for the event.

Big League Economics

SHAME: Democrats Are Blocking Stimulus Legislation That Includes Second $1,200 TrumpBux Check

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Democrats in Congress are blocking a bipartisan $1.5 trillion stimulus package that includes a second round of $1,200 TrumpBux payments to Americans.

Leading House Democrats are saying the bill isn’t big enough of a giveaway, but they favor stimulus measures that would divert funds away from the pockets of everyday Americans to institutions. They want to bail out Democrat state and local governments, and are willing to block TrumpBux payments to Americans if they aren’t allowed to.

The House passed a $3.4 trillion stimulus package in May that was shot down by Senate Republicans. The latest $1.4 stimulus legislation has been presented as a compromise, after House Democrats in turn rejected a thin $500 billion stimulus package proposed by Republicans last week. That package did not include a second round of $1,200 payments, and Republicans are now willing to sign off on another TrumpBux payment in order to pass another round of stimulus.

The $1.5 trillion stimulus legislation emerged from the Problem Solvers Caucus, a group of 25 Republicans and 25 Democrats who emphasize bipartisanship and common ground. Aside from TrumpBux 2, it features $500 billion for cities and states, unemployment insurance of $600 a week, increased SNAP benefits and rental assistance.

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Steny Hoyer and Nancy Pelosi are claiming the legislation doesn’t go far enough and that it “leaves too many needs unmet.”

Pelosi and House Democrats are insisting that Congress will remain in session until a second stimulus agreement is met, but in rejecting the Problem Solvers Caucus legislation they’re already shown they’re not open to a generous compromise.

Try asking everyday working Americans of all stripes and walks of life if they’re willing to wait or even go without a second $1,200 stimulus payment in order to provide a bigger bailout to states and cities that already engage in questionable budgetary practices to begin with. The Democrats are resolutely determined to avoid making people the priority in  a stimulus package, and will block stimulus legislation to do so.

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