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U.S. Taxpayers Paying Big for New United Nations Building

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Unread 10.03.11, 01:57 PM
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U.S. Taxpayers Paying Big for New United Nations Building

On 10.03.11 11:30 AM posted by Mike Brownfield

Ready to fork over some of your hard-earned dollars to help the United Nations construct a new building — and for New York City to build a new park? Well then you’re in luck.

Heritage’s*Brett Schaefer writes at National Review Online that the U.N. is erecting a new building next to its existing tower in Manhattan, on an existing playground. The U.N. hasn’t provided*the Obama administration or Congress an official cost estimate for the*project or a detailed justification of the need for the building, but Schaefer says earlier estimates pegged it at*$400 million–and that could go much higher.

Meanwhile,*New York is expected to make $200 million to $400 million from the deal, much of which will be used to build a park along the East River. Schaefer reminds us that the U.S. taxpayer pays 22 percent of the U.N.*budget. And in his article, he explains how that money has been spent in the past:
Earlier this decade, construction of a new U.N. building was estimated to run about $400 million. And New York wants $65 million for the playground property. Add those two figures for a lowball estimate. The cost could go much higher, however. After all, the current renovation of the U.N. building was initially estimated at $600 million. It’s now expected to wind up costing more than $2 billion.

The U.S. taxpayer will likely be expected to shoulder 22 percent of the increased expenses resulting from the new U.N. building. This works out to just over $100 million under the lowball estimate, but could easily be three or even four times that amount. And it should surprise no one if we’re also asked to assume sole fiscal responsibility for security*upgrades related to the new building. After all, as we saw in 2010, the U.S. was*expected to pay for $100 million in security-related expenses — above and beyond our regular “fair share” contribution for the renovation project.

Read more at National Review Online.

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