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Monday, January 16, 2006

PU Charitable Trust Announces It Will Never Lack For Ways to Waste Its Charitable Funds

The PU Charitable Trust is behind the idea to change the name of Philly's Amtrak station from its current name of 30th Street Station to "Ben Franklin Station" in honor of his 300th birthday which I believe is today. And what a coincidence it is that Mayor Street and Philly's Government's Official Tourism Agency Head (Meryl Levitz) now support this idea. Hell, Levitz went so far as to write an OPED for the INquirer touting this wonderful groundbreaking idea.

Now keep in mind the PU Charitable Trust is officially named The Pew Charitable Trust. AND it is willing to pay as much as $3Million in expenses to Amtrak to cover the estimated cost of changing the signs,etc to Ben Franklin Station. I can believe it is very expensive to change those little revolving and clicking signs you see at train stations. But is this the true work and mission of the PU Charitable Trust??

What would you think if a church or other charity had this idea and offered to pay for such a low (IMHO) priority initiative? I am a firm believer the government should just take 10% of the PU's money (they have more than $4 Billion) each year or tax them like a for-profit company.

The story contained a funny quote from the Philly Weekly regarding PU's wasteful proposal...Philadelphia Weekly this week joked that the proposal "shows the Pew Charitable Trusts is running out of ways to spend their money."

Here is the Inquirer reporter's slightly cynical (IMHO) outlook on the PU idea: " The charity maintains more than $4 billion in assets. Redoing all the signage at the train station is expected to run a mere $3 million". Good for Inga Saffron, she is one of the paper's best writers and she successfully belittles the PU proposal without being too obvious.

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