The DC White Elephants?

Be sure to check out Sally Jenkins’s nice WaPo piece on DC Baseball, which prominently features Cato and the Coates/Humphrey’s Briefing Paper. Cato Executive VP Daivd Boaz gets in a few zingers”

“Politicians have an edifice complex,” says David Boaz, executive vice president of the Cato Institute. “They like to be seen building big things.”

The Mayor is a whiner:

Williams has peddled the stadium deal under a false pretense. Baseball will be a great spiritual and recreational addition but not a financial one. If you really want to define the mayor through baseball, look at his reaction when the Cato Institute published a briefing paper on the fallacy that stadiums bring big economic benefits to cities. “I can’t imagine why, with all the things happening in the world, the Cato Institute would take the time to analyze the impact of baseball in Washington, D.C.,” Williams said.

The answer is that the Cato Institute is a think tank with a serious interest in efficient municipal policy, and its scholars live and work and pay taxes in the District. The mayor’s irritated dismissal of independent academic research was a truly defining moment. “What struck me is, you’ve spent the last three years trying to get baseball here, with all the things wrong with the city, so where do you get off saying we shouldn’t do one study?” Boaz said. “He’s clearly spent a larger percentage of his time on this than anything else.”