Monday, June 09, 2008

US Senate Discovers Privatization

(Fishers, IN)- Read this quote, and see if you can guess who it comes from, courtesy the Washington Post:

"Candidly, I don't think the taxpayers should be subsidizing something that doesn't need to be. There are parts of government that can be run like a business and should be run like businesses."
Who is this channelling Milton Friedman? I would be stumped, too. I can't think of any Senator, Republican or Democrat, who would be saying such things these days, true though they are. This quote comes courtesy of a California Democrat- Dianne Feinstein, to be exact. The reason for this unexpected position? It's close to home. The Senate's restaurants are losing loads of taxpayer money:
Year after year, decade upon decade, the U.S. Senate's network of restaurants has lost staggering amounts of money -- more than $18 million since 1993, according to one report, and an estimated $2 million this year alone, according to another.

The financial condition of the world's most exclusive dining hall and its affiliated Capitol Hill restaurants, cafeterias and coffee shops has become so dire that, without a $250,000 subsidy from taxpayers, the Senate won't make payroll next month.

In my opinion, the federal government shouldn't be operating any restaurants on the Hill. You want lunch? There are plenty of restaurants in DC, and many of those will give you the separation from the riff-raff, er, American people, that you crave.

It will be interesting to see if this sudden seeing-the-light will translate into the rest of the country. What a positive development that would be.

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