I wasn't able to attend the Olympics this year, but was in Beijing last year. My impression is that they "exported" all the spitting taxi drivers from Beijing to Tianjing.
The 2004 Summer Olympics held in Athens, was said to have costed $15 billion:
China's cost in 2008 is estimated at $42+ billion and counting. Pravda.ru cites:
The total amount of the Games will be exposed afterwards. Beijing authorities have invested 280 billion yuans ($40.9 billion) in the development of the city infrastructure, the transport system and the ecology from 2001 to 2008.
In addition to the development of the city, the total budget of the Beijing Olympics includes the cost of operations conducted by the Olympic Committee (over $2 billion) and the construction and reconstruction of sports facilities (about $1.9 billion).
So the actual Olympic event's estimate cost is $3.9 billion, versus city infrastructure improvement came in at $40.9 billion.
Adding to the cost is the economic cost of shutting down industries around Beijing, and keeping cars off the road, plus recent earthquake relief, etc. It's debatable if China can recoup the cost, but you can't really argue that infrastructure improvements are bad.
My only wish is that they had spent a fraction of that budget to upgrade all public toilets to western standard, around Beijing and nearby tourist areas (i.e. Great Wall). If any of you have been there you'll know what I mean. Portable toilets inside the Forbidden city? Ugh.
I think the high cost for this event had a major impact on military spending. Seen any new PLAN DDG's lately?