07.17.2012 28

Time to end government sponsorship of sporting events

Our National DebtBy Adam Bitely — If you’ve watched a NASCAR race you have probably noticed the National Guard sponsoring Jeff Gordon and Dale Earnhardt Jr.’s racecars. But did you know that the National Guard has spent over $136 million sponsoring Earnhardt alone since 2008?

At a time when government spending is a divisive issue in Washington D.C., two members of Congress from opposing parties have found something they can agree on—government should not sponsor sporting events.

Rep. Jack Kingston (R-GA) and Rep. Betty McCollum (D-MN) have co-sponsored an amendment that would ban the military from sponsoring sporting events. Rep. Kingston’s office estimates that it would save roughly $80 million a year.

The amendment offered by Kingston and McCollum is attached to the Defense Appropriations bill that is expected to be considered in the House later this week. Any member of Congress that is serious about cutting government spending should have no problem supporting this measure. Just consider the following.

In 2012, the National Guard credits the NASCAR sponsorship resulting in 24,800 individuals expressing interest in joining. Of those 24,800, only 20 were qualified to join. And of those 20, no one joined. Not a single person.

Just last week the Army announced that it was ending its sponsorship of NASCAR due to poor results. The advertising was not resulting in new recruits.

As Rep. McCollum put it, “The Pentagon’s NASCAR sponsorship program is an outrageous waste of taxpayer money and Defense Secretary Leon Panetta should terminate these sponsorship programs immediately.  Spending $26 million on a NASCAR racing team – in the name of national security – for zero recruits tells me the Pentagon can painlessly absorb some serious budget cuts.”

Dale Earnhardt Jr. isn’t happy that his racing team might be cut off from this government largesse. He suggested that Rep.’s Kingston and McCollum do more research into the matter.

As Earnhardt put it, “I would encourage them to do more homework, get more facts, understand the situation a little more. I know just talking to the (National) Guard … they can’t express to me enough about how much this program helps their recruiting. They are committed to the belief it has a profound effect on their recruiting and their ability to recruit.”

Apparently Earnhardt hasn’t done much research into the matter or he would know that no one has actually joined the National Guard after spending well over $100 million of taxpayer money on sponsoring him and his car.

Government sponsoring sporting events is not a partisan issue. Operations like NASCAR are profitable without the government subsidizing a racing team. If politicians that promise to rein in out-of-control spending are serious, stopping $80 million in military spending to sponsor sporting events should be an easy vote.

Adam Bitely is the Editor-in-Chief of NetRightDaily.com. You can follow him on Twitter at @AdamBitely.

  • T_Bird

    Sorry don’t agree with ending it or this article.

  • Ron

    bullshit this sponsorship creates more jobs than the chinese windmills

  • Politicstick

    How about government using eminent domain and taxpayer dollars to build mega sports stadiums??????

  • My tax dollars should NOT be used to sponser sporting events, do you really think there is someone watching the event that is gonna say” gee, i have never heard of the armed services before, maybe i ought to look into it”.

  • The only bummer is, i will miss the flyovers by the services that always bring goosebumps to my arms,,,, LOL

  • Guest

    If they were sponsoring a bill that said no government agency or program could sponsor private sports events — meaning D-Ga would oppose tax dollars being used to build stadia for the Atlanta teams and for state-supported schools, and that D-Mn would support a ban on tax money being used for “Twin Cities” teams and government-supported schools, I might not be as suspicious as when I see only NASCAR mentioned. Somehow, that gives the lie to   it’s  “not a partisan issue.”

  • Fred Mangels

     That sort of thinking suggests we shouldn’t cut any military spending. If you can’t cut advertising that doesn’t work, what can you cut?

  • James Eaton

    I am not opposed to govt. sponsorship  out right.  But lets face it, the military must recruit and sponsorship is just that. It should be circumspect in what it chooses to  sponsor.

  • SmileyFace

    This is the kind of scrutiny that needs to be done across all government agencies.  Treat the government like a business and start cutting out the fluff for expenditures.  It might be small dollars compared to our deficit; however, you got to start somewhere, just like businesses do when times are tough.   

  • John P. Jones

    Sponsoring pro sporting events with tax dollars is ridiculous.  Politicians are reckless with their spending of our money and I for one am sick of it.

  • Fred

    The trillionaire globalists (who own Congress, the Senate, the FED, and NATO) are the ones funding sports. It is their idea to keep Americans preoccupied with entertainment and distractions, so as not to be involved with important things like watching government. Thomas Jefferson emphasized repeatedly that an educated interactive populace is the only way to keep the Republic strong. We don’t have that anymore. America was first in the world in math and science in the late 50’s and early 60’s. We now rank 28th. Do you think that was just an accident?

  • T_Bird

    That’s right I don’t believe in cutting any military spending we have to spend the money or fall behind, but what I would cut is things like all the CIA,FBI, DHS, NSA, NIS and all the others that deal with the same type of things. Combine them into 1 and lean the government up, streamline more things cut down on the redundancy and save millions on millions. Would save more then cutting something that shows actually does help draw attention to the military  but also gives a pick me up to those who serve, watch the events and that are helped by the teams sponsored.

  • Cholinms

    While I have no problem with this idea, it should not be attached to anything. I stand by my belief that if something goes through Congress, it should be on it’s own merits, not attached to something else.

  • gwedem5995

    I think the O adm would be happy if no one enlisted again.  I think that was one of his goals.  He thinks talking does so much more good than war.  Just another way to dismantle this great Country.  Defense is the one area we should not be cutting and I do agree that we could probably not spend promoting Nascar until we get back on some financial footing.
    But with all the unrest in the world today, we’d better have the best army in the world.

  • Djpj57

    Don’t totally  agree.  The government sponsor the Olympics to some extent.  Would hate to see that stop

  • Djpj57

    The primmary function of the federal government is National Security.  ‘Nuff said!

  • bmar3

    This goes under the heading of “ARE YOU KIDDING ME,” are the idiots that are in congress “DEMOCRATS” or “REPUBLICANS” going to tell me where the money came from for THE Solyndra “SOLAR FIASCO?”  They can’t, Obama approved that without congress approval, but by allowing different agency’s to funnel the money through and make loans.  That little maneuver hits the scales at 38 BILLION, THAT’S BILLION WITH A B, that so far is a farce.  Solyndra by the way managed to get 538 MILLION with a 25 MILLION tax bread and did nothing but go bankrupt.  The White House approved all of this which by the way the taxpayers will ever see any of this money paid back.  So far over 2% of the BILLIONS that WERE EVER LOANED will ever be recovered.  Webster’s needs to redefine the word Stupid, when you look it up from now on, it should read Obama and his Administration.  The country is in the toilet and this clown goes around handing out money like a drunken sailor.  Michelle spends money as though it was hers to do with as she wishes along with hubby on vacations that would make a Saudi Prince blush.  Her junkets are always well into the millions each time and we’re talking about advertising money?  Unlike THIS ADMINISTRATIONS other stupid expenses Earnhardt and Gordon are a drop in the bucket, which as it works out, creates jobs, exposure for our troops and much more.

  • Dpj57

    While I can agree to the  Army dropping NASCAR, I think you need to look at “cuts” more closely. A cut is diffferent than emasculation which is what “sequestration” will do.  We’re already cutting into the bone and, if attacked by another major power, we will not be able to retaliate in time. Unlike WWII, we will not have the luxury of time in re-building our forces without serious consequences.  Think our enemies are not paying attention?

  • old soldier

    I beleive this is politically motivated, since nothing congress does is without money being involved.  But I have a much broader idea.  Lets cukt out all advertising, paticullary on television and go back to the draft!!m No money spent and military services quotas all met!!!

  • old soldier

    I beleive this is politically motivated, since nothing congress does is without money being involved.  But I have a much broader idea.  Lets cukt out all advertising, paticullary on television and go back to the draft!!m No money spent and military services quotas all met!!!

  • gene

    Like all marketing and advertising – if the cost can be justified by the expected results – in this case recruiting then this may be a good investment. And by the way I pay a lot in taxes and I would like to see wasteful enormous government spending like Obamacare, and his wacky wasteful environmental programs be eliminated saving trillions. Let’s not worry about $80MM when trillions need to be saved.

  • John Oliff

    This problem has nothing to do with the miltary or nascar. This is yet another indication of government beauracrats spending money that isn’t theirs because they can and to ensure their budgets do not get cut. The purpose of taxing the american people into oblivian is to facilitate the operation of constitutionally authorized programs and functions,not to select individuals or business’ they think are cool

  • detroit ron

    I alway disliked fundind of sports as well as countries , and unjust welfar seystem that enslaves people, by not giving them a changce to adcheive in life.

  • freebirdlj

    This articule is total BS. I have listened to many sports programs talking about this. They have all reported that the military thinks the sponsorship greatly helps get new people into the military.  More inportantly the article leaves out the fact that the bill does not cut any spending at all, it just says the military must spend the money on something else. The truth is the politicians are upset because the NASCAR fans booed Mrs. Obuma at a race event. The real reason for the Bill. If the bill was to cut spending why does it not cut one dollar of spending

  • kiowajim

    You have to be kidding…???  There is “question” about cutting this program.  It should have never gotten off the ground in the first place.  Who the &$%& started it in the first place.  All the other wasteful expenditures as well, cut them off, period!  Put all the folks in government on notice, either but a budget together or not get paid.  Does one think a “business” would survive without budgeting, planning, etc..?  No difference with our country

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