Spending

The Horrible (and Continuing) Waste of 9/11

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This is still the best 9/11-related piece of art…

In the Village Voice, Graham Rayman has a great, detailed story about how the 9/11 industry continues to pick pockets on both sides of the Hudson. One of the biggest money drains is coming in the form of a proposed hike in bridge tolls and PATH train fares: 

The Port Authority, a bistate agency that owns the World Trade Center site, initially claimed that the increase was necessary because of maintenance needs in its capital plan. But soon, the real reason emerged: $2.2 billion in more cost overruns at the World Trade Center site.

One World Trade Center is over budget by $186 million, the transit center is $200 million over budget, and other site work is $422 million over estimates from just two years ago. And those costs don't include $500 million the agency is trying to recoup from the September 11 Memorial, the MTA and the state DOT.

In other words, the already gold-plated construction plan for Ground Zero has blown its budget again and the people who are least responsible for the increase, the people who actually pay their taxes and suffer the daily commute into Manhattan, have to come up with the money to pay for it. And they have no choice in the matter. (Construction unions were all for the toll hike, and appeared at the hearing to cheer for it.)

Note that when Rayman says "the people least responsible for the increase," he's really referring to the group that does the most to make New York great and receives the least credit for it: New Jerseyans. 

…although this one's a close second.

But the building of the new 1 World Trade Center, which at least is underway after more than ten years, is just the most visible of many money holes:  

[L]et us consider the National September 11 Memorial and Museum itself, which will cost at least $700 million to build, and will have a $60 million annual operating budget. The Oklahoma City Bombing memorial cost $29.1 million to build. The World War II Memorial cost $175 million.

And despite the name, it's not really a "national" monument, as in something owned by the public. It's actually a private, not-for-profit entity.

The memorial is so expensive that the Port Authority, not known for its frugality, is demanding $150 million from it to cover its own outlays.

The top 11 officials of the September 11 Memorial and Museum make at least $190,000 a year, with four of them—Joseph Daniels, Alice Greenwald, Joan Gerner, and Cathy Blaney—making well over $300,000, tax records show. That's $2.8 million in salaries just for 11 people. And when former general counsel Frank Aiello left in 2009, he got a $180,000 severance payment.

To put it in perspective, Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly makes just $210,000, and he only runs the nation's largest police agency and oversees a $4 billion budget.

Full story

Lots of recent Reason coverage of 9/11 and its aftermath: About that deadly dust; about American Muslims; about the late Christopher Hitchens. And one oldie from 2001: The history of the original World Trade Center

NEXT: You Seem Like a Dangerous Sex Offender, Or the Indefinite Detainment of Americans

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  1. ** laughs up sleeve **

  2. Yes, a tragedy is exploited for financial gain. Rudy G has a GOP hard-on and his criminal sidekick is beating off in unison while in prison. Didn’t cumsock Anne Coulter already put down the victims here?

    She pretty much out-bitched the Jersey whores.

    Give Coulter her own Jack-off channel for nutfuck cons already.

    1. shrike, I’ve got news for you:

      There are progressive pricks who would love that. Why, whenever they hear that Ms. Coulter is going to appear on Hannity, it is must see (AND FEEL) TV.

      1. She does appear to have some lovely limbs.

        1. Coulter’s a cunt… but then, so am I.

          1. …shrike NEVER criticizes Democrats?

            1. GOP BAD DNC GOOD
              GOP BAD DNC GOOD
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              GOP BAD DNC GOOD
              GOP BAD DNC GOOD
              GOP BAD DNC GOOD
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              GOP BAD DNC GOOD
              GOP BAD DNC GOOD
              GOP BAD DNC GOOD

  3. I shouldn’t love that second pic, but I do. Never saw it before – it is exquisite!

    1. Yeah, one of him busting out of a shower building at Treblinka would be sweet, too.

      1. I laughed. But I’m sure there is a concern troll ready to be offended in 3, 2, 1…

        1. That Kool-Aid guy is offensive! Will somebody PLEASE think of the children!?!?

          1. Yea, the marshmallow guy from Ghost Busters would be way better.

        2. I’m offended because kool-aid is a terrible drink for TEH CHILDRUNZ and using cartoons to promote such a harmful product is so wrong for TEH CHILDRUNZ

          1. Kids still drink Kool-Aid? After not drinking it for a long time, I bought some and it did not taste that sweet, it tasted mediciny, so I’m not going to buy it again. I think Kool-Aid has a different market these days.

    2. I laughed so hard and then felt dirty.

    3. I always knew KoolAid guy was up to no good. He has a long record of not respecting property rights.

    4. I wouldn’t have guessed that ten years later I’d be laughing at a picture like that, but I cracked up.

      1. Yeah, I thought the rule of thumb was around 22.2 years.

    5. I think this was Bill Murray’s choice of Destructor after Aykroyd’s Stay Puft.

    6. I laughed at it, and now I’m going to hell.

      Thanks a lot Reason!

    7. I find this one hilarious and offensive as well: http://pigroll.com/224_these-blast-points.html

  4. Someone should shop that first one with a Bill of Rights where the WTC paper (stamp? magazine cover?) is.

  5. Don’t hate the player.

  6. Reason has a perfect chance to praise the Pentagon, and blows it.

  7. I am completely unapologetic in my hatred of the professional victims of teh nine onety onez!

    Fuck them, one and all.

  8. Yeah, one of him busting out of a shower building at Treblinka would be sweet, too.

    Yes. Yes it would.

  9. The original WTC was never anything but a drain on the Port Authority”s resources diverting money that should have been going to maintain tthe infrastructure that they were originally mandated to manage.

    The fact that anyone thought it was a good idea to build a new money sink there is living proof that the inmates are in charge of the asylum.

    It would have been better for the PA to have sold the site to the highest bidder and let a private concern build something that can make a profit. It wouldn’t be as good a solution as restoring the vibrant community they destroyed 40+ years ago to build the eyesore but it might be a start.

    1. The infrastructure that they were originally mandated to manage- ports- started out as private assets. The port authority should never have existed in the first place, the World Trade Center (Columbia University style eminent domain case of its day) should never have been built, the originally private Hudson and Manhattan railroad should have been liquidated rather than nationalized as PATH, and Robert Moses should have died by getting his ass whooped in college. Fuck the Port Authority Police.

      1. True, but the Rockefeller Republican business socialism that prompted the building of the WTC was particularly egregious.

        With its destruction we at least had a chance to reverse some of the damage.

        No chance of that though. The PA will go ahead with its sweetheart creative accounting deal with Silverstein that hides cross subsidies in lease payments and god only knows where else.

      2. And let’s keep in mind that the Port Authority started out as a creature of the business socialists and the kept legislators who were quite willing to fob off there failed business plans on the state.

  10. Kool-Aid should be shown bursting through the hull into Titanic’s engine room.

    1. *Kool-Aid erupting from a flaming Hindenburg*

  11. The article refers to a “proposed toll hike.” Bridge and tunnel tolls went from $8 to $12 in September 2011. At $12 one way, that works out to $3000/year for a commuter.

  12. Kool-Aid isn’t offensive, it’s juvenile. Its use here plays into the mainstream opinion of Libertarians, i.e. that they need to grow up. See you over at 4chan!

  13. Re: the alt text:

    No, the best 9/11-related work of art is here.

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