Off the Record

Greta: We shouldn't cast Olympics-sized stones on spending

'Off the Record', 2/12/14: US needs to pick its battles, has little standing when it comes to criticizing how much money host nations spend on the Olympic games


By Greta Van Susteren

Let's go "Off the Record" for just for a minute. Governor Mitt Romney penned on op-ed calling for the International Olympic Committee to set budget limits, capping the amount of money a host nation can spend on the Olympic Games. Russia reportedly spent $50 billion on its Olympics. We spent less than $3 billion for our Utah Olympics.

My view? I don't care how much Russia spends or how it spends its money or what it does on the Olympics. If they want to put on the dog for the Olympics and jazz it up for our athletes, have at it.

Here is my worry. That Russia is double-crossing us with both Syria and their chemical weapons, and Iran with its nuclear weapon program. That is potentially catastrophic. Yes, of course, I see Governor Romney's point. It is a bit crass that a host nation spends so much money on the Olympics while its citizens suffer. But it's a lousy idea, as the world's last super power, that we would use our muscle to put the lid on how much other countries can spend when they host the Olympics. Now, we would, of course, look like the quintessential international nanny state if we did that.

Now, let's face it, I'm not so sure our nation has much standing to criticize anyway. Our past Olympic spending may have been frugal compared to Russia's. But we waste billions and billions in Washington every day. Our taxpayers, our citizens are paying so much money in taxes, those who work so hard, and then they suffer by the government's reckless waste of the tax money.

Remember when the government spent nearly a million dollars on a study about romance? That was ridiculous. And can I go on and on. So our nation lives in a glass house when it comes to spending money prudently. Until we move out of that glass house, I suggest we not throw stones. Let's pick our battles. Olympic battle by others is not one of them.

That's my "Off the Record" comment tonight. If you have an important story or issue you think I should take "Off the Record," go to and tell us about it.