This is what I found on Wikipedia. I wouldn't have a problem if obama and congress spent 400 million on the olympics. The ROI would be triple, possibly quadruple.
You assume (your word) I think the Gov't shouldn't spend money at all. I believe Gov't has a role in our lives, albeit a very small one.
When the offer came for him to take over the troubled organization for the 2002 Winter Olympics and Paralympics, to be held in Salt Lake City in Utah, she urged him to take it; eager for a new challenge, as well as another chance to prove himself in public life, he accepted. On February 11, 1999, Romney was hired as the president and CEO of the Salt Lake Organizing Committee for the Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games of 2002.
Before Romney took the position, the event was running $379 million short of its revenue benchmarks. Plans were being made to scale back the Games to compensate for the fiscal crisis, and there were fears they might be moved away entirely. The Games had also been damaged by allegations of bribery against top officials including prior committee president and CEO Frank Joklik. Joklik and committee vice president Dave Johnson were forced to resign. Romney was chosen by Utah figures looking for someone with expertise in business and law and with connections to the state and the LDS Church. The appointment faced some initial criticism from non-Mormons, and fears from Mormons, that it represented cronyism or gave the Games too Mormon an image. Romney and his wife contributed $1 million to the Olympics, and he donated to charity the $1.4 million in salary and severance payments he received for his three years as president and CEO.
Romney revamped the organization's leadership and policies, reduced budgets, and boosted fundraising, alleviated the concerns of corporate sponsors and recruited many new ones. Romney worked to ensure the safety of the Games following the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks by coordinating a $300 million security budget. Overall, he oversaw a $1.32 billion budget, 700 employees, and 26,000 volunteers. The federal government provided between approximately $400 million and $600 million of that budget, much of it a result of Romney's having aggressively lobbied Congress and federal agencies. It was a record level of federal funding for the staging of a U.S. Olympics. An additional $1.1 billion of indirect federal funding came in the form of highway and transit projects.
Romney emerged as the public face of the Olympic effort, appearing in photographs, in news stories, on Olympics pins depicting a superhero Romney wrapped by an American flag, and on buttons carrying phrases like "Hey, Mitt, we love you!" Robert H. Garff, the chair of the organizing committee, later said that "It was obvious that he had an agenda larger than just the Olympics," and that Romney wanted to use the Olympics to propel himself into the national spotlight and a political career. Garff believed the initial budget situation was not as bad as Romney portrayed, given there were still three years to reorganize. Utah Senator Bob Bennett said that much of the needed federal money was already in place and an analysis by The Boston Globe stated that the committee already had nearly $1 billion in committed revenues. Olympics critic Steve Pace, who led Utahns for Responsible Public Spending, thought Romney exaggerated the initial fiscal state in order to lay the groundwork for a well-publicized rescue. Kenneth Bullock, another board member of the organizing committee and also head of the Utah League of Cities and Towns, often clashed with Romney at the time, and later said that Romney deserved some credit for the turnaround but not as much as he claimed: Bullock said: "He tried very hard to build an image of himself as a savior, the great white hope. He was very good at characterizing and castigating people and putting himself on a pedestal."
Despite the initial fiscal shortfall, the Games themselves ended up clearing a profit of $100 million. Romney was praised for his efforts by President George W. Bush and his performance as Olympics head was rated positively by 87 percent of Utahns. It solidified his reputation as a "turnaround artist" and Harvard Business School taught a case study based around his actions. He wrote a book about his experience titled Turnaround: Crisis, Leadership, and the Olympic Games, published in 2004. The role gave Romney experience in dealing with federal, state, and local entities, a public persona he had previously lacked, and the chance to relaunch his political aspirations. He was mentioned as a possible candidate for statewide office in both Massachusetts and Utah, and also as possibly joining the Bush administration.