David Cameron says the Olympics will net Great Britain £13 billion.
The history of the games suggests otherwise.
And with the gloomy news that the UK recession is deeper following a worse than expected drop in economic growth, the games which start on Friday are already beginning to look like an expensive white elephant.
Already, the government’s budget has rocketed from to £2.4 billion to £9.3 bn and still counting.
And problems with the private security firm G4S that won a £284 million contract to protect the game will of course result in even more cost to the public purse as 1,200 extra troops are drafted in to do the job.
Generally though, the people who do best from the games are those who win the contracts, the Olympic bureaucracy which gets billions from broadcasters and of course the sponsors.
As for the rest, well the trickle down effect has meant the construction of the Olympic Park, the Velodrome – grand projects which will struggle to be useful once the roar of the Olympic crowd is long past.
Of course, east London needed regenerating, but tax payers money could have been much better spent than on a short-term resurrection of an ancient Roman custom.
When one thinks of the Olympics, one is of course reminded of Greece, a country that could not afford to host games but because of its own pretensions to the past went ahead with the project anyway.
At the time, no one of course really knew the depth of Greece’s economic problems.
And listening to George Osborne today, when he spoke of deep-rooted problems in the British economy, one fears that history may be about to repeat itself.