UPDATED: The same familiar Hoosier names made Forbes list of wealthiest Americans. Bloomington's Carl Cook of Cook Group, Inc. ranks as the 72nd wealthiest American and the world's 216th wealthiest person. Cook got his $6.5 billion in estimated net worth the old fashion way. He inherited it from his late father, William Cook, who died in 2011. To our knowledge, the Cook family has no known history of demanding large public handouts from Indiana or local taxpayers. [An observant reader points out Cook's ownership interest in the French Lick Casino, whose lobbyists are currently asking state lawmakers to approve changes that would save the casino about $4.25 million annually in wagering taxes and exempt the casino from the admissions tax, which would cost local governments in the area about $3.25 million annually.]
The same can't be said for the other other three Hoosiers who made the list. They are the largest welfare recipients in the state of Indiana bar none. Herb Simon's estimated net worth grew nearly 50% to $2.9 billion thanks in large part to the increased value of his Indiana Pacers NBA team. Indianapolis taxpayers have been forced to publicly-subsidize Simon's NBA franchise to the tune of hundreds of millions of dollars under threats by the greedy billionaire that he would take his team and move it to another city if officials didn't cough up the money he demanded.
Hotel and billboard magnate Dean White of Crown Point saw his net worth grow nearly a half billion dollars to $2.5 billion. Indianapolis taxpayers were forced to subsidize his J.W. Marriott luxury hotel in downtown Indianapolis to the tune of about $60 million. White's hotel company has sought lucrative public incentives for similar hotel projects elsewhere, including Chicago.
Finally, Jimmy "The Pill Popper" Irsay came in at $1.8 billion with little change over his previous year's estimated net worth. Taxpayers in Indianapolis built the Hoosier Dome at a cost of more than $60 million to allow Irsay's father rent-free use of the domed stadium for his NFL team. A little more than two decades later after Irsay inherited the Indianapolis Colts from his father's estate, he demanded a new stadium or else he would take it elsewhere. He got use of a nearly $750 million new stadium built to his personal specifications rent-free, and taxpayers are picking up 100% of the tens of millions of dollars in the annual costs of maintaining the stadium from which only Irsay derives any income. The former Hoosier Dome was imploded to make room for an expanded convention center even though a substantial part of the original debt owed on it remained unpaid.
The United States is no better than Russia where the government is operated for the exclusive benefit of wealthy oligarchs. The masses are nothing but mere slaves to the 1%, billionaire class of elitists who own virtually every elected public official who exercises any significant control over government tax dollars. Until the people rise up and revolt, the growing wealth disparity between the haves and have nots will only continue to grow at its rapid pace, along with the accompanying social injustice wrought by extreme income inequality.
I fully expect the Hulman-Georges to move onto this list soon now with Pence's free $100 million.
and the Turner's, Indy 11 planners, and other pay to players.
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