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Thursday, September 26, 2013

Everett: Where are you?

Everett Dirksen was the Republican leader in the U.S. Senate back in the day who is often quoted as saying (about the federal budget), "A billion here, a billion there, and pretty soon you are talking about real money."  [I know; nobody can actually point to a source for where he supposedly said it.]

We noted in a post yesterday about a plan for a $50 million football facility.  Today's Daily Bruin has a story about the groundbreaking for a new $120 million medical center teaching building about which the Regents raised some questions but eventually rubber stamped, as they always do in the end.  And, of course, there is the UCLA Grand Hotel for $152 million, about which the Regents also raised concerns and then rubber stamped.  That's just the most recent three projects.  As this blog noted, the Regents are rolling along to approval of a new engineering building.  So we are creeping -  or maybe galloping - into Dirksen territory

Not to worry, of course, because none of this will cost anything to anybody.  The state no longer wants to pay for UC capital projects so there will be no cost to the state.  And, according to UCLA, all the rest is donations, "reserves," and future revenues that will eventually take care of the costs and can be financed (borrowed).

Obviously, shovel ready
We asked in a post yesterday whether donations were unlimited so that tapping donors for one project might not mean less in donations to something else.  We have noted that business plans may not be realistic and that despite the blending of accounts of the multiple enterprises around the university, somebody will pay for overly optimistic forecasts.  And, of course, one might ask whether tapping "reserves" is costless.

But we know the answer to all these questions:
video

Anybody want to buy a bridge?


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