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Utopia lost
Posted by: McQ on Monday, June 09, 2008

A microcasm of subsidized failure lives within, of all places, the U.S. Senate's network of restaurants.

You didn't know that the Senate had its own dining rooms and coffee shops? Oh, yeah, and you've been subsidizing them for years.

The irony, well to some, is they aren't even able to make a go of it with your money - an estimated 18 million since 1993. In fact, this year alone, they have required about 2 million to keep their doors open.

Solution? Well, naturally the Senate wants to keep its perks. So what must it do?
Last week, in a late-night voice vote, the Senate agreed to privatize the operation of its food service, a decision that would, for the first time, put it under the control of a contractor and all but guarantee lower wages and benefits for the outfit's new hires.

The House is expected to agree — its food service operation has been in private hands since the 1980s — and President Bush's signature on the bill would officially end a seven-month Democratic feud and more than four decades of taxpayer bailouts.
Yes friends, the Democrats of the Senate - friends of government, subsidy and unions - realize that their only chance of making their network of restaurants self-sufficient and able to pay their own way without sucking millions away from the taxpayer is to privatize them.

While that admission may sting a little bit, don't expect them to learn a larger lesson from it. Their focus on subsidies and government management hasn't really changed a bit. What is good for the goose in Democrat politician land, isn't necessarily good for the citizen gander out there in fly-over land.
 
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From the article:

But Sen. Robert Menendez (D-N.J.), speaking for the group of senators who opposed privatizing the restaurants, said that "you cannot stand on the Senate floor and condemn the privatization of workers, and then turn around and privatize the workers here in the Senate and leave them out on their own."

I quite agree. But probably not the way the Senator wants me to.
 
Written By: Mariner
URL: http://
Gah, finally. As nifty as it was to have lunch in the Senate cafeteria, the food left a lot to be desired.

It’s odd for me to find myself defending my Senator, but she’s doing the smart thing and her Democrat colleagues are just pathetic:
"I know what happens with privatization. Workers lose jobs, and the next generation of workers make less in wages. These are some of the lowest-paid workers in our country, and I want to help them," Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio), a staunch labor union ally, said recently.
Go for it, Mr. Brown. Just not with our money.

(And as an aside: their average salary, per the WaPo, is $37,000 a year. "Some of the lowest-paid workers in our country"? That’s about the average salary of the country as a whole, and well over the median.)

Even better than that was this gem:
But Sen. Robert Menendez (D-N.J.), speaking for the group of senators who opposed privatizing the restaurants, said that "you cannot stand on the Senate floor and condemn the privatization of workers, and then turn around and privatize the workers here in the Senate and leave them out on their own."
Y’know, he’s got a point. Feinstein must learn her lesson and start supporting privatization elsewhere. After all, government administration of businesses—the kind of businesses you can find in every town in the country—has clearly failed in one place she’s close enough to perceive with her own eyes. That perennially failing restaurant chain is concrete to her. It must take quite a bit of strain to overcome all the theoretical reasons floating in her head that government subsidy and administration should not be failing... or to resist the implications for most everything else the government runs in this country.
 
Written By: Bryan Pick
URL: http://www.qando.net
They seem to have no trouble at all patronizing all the private restaurants in DC, which charge more.

For those who wish to know a little more about our publicly subsidized DC eating establishments;

http://aolsvc.travelocity-dest.aol.com/DestGuides/1,1840,AOLSVC%7C4893%7C%7C%7C0035023873%7CF%7CN,00.html
http://thehill.com/american/senate-dining-room-where-the-elite-meet-2003-07-16.html
 
Written By: timactual
URL: http://
So their restaurants go the way of the Congressional Bank. Why should anybody be surprised?
 
Written By: SShiell
URL: http://
I think this is the case of the office being refurnished and the bosses ending up with the windows.

From what I understand, the House has been privatized for a while and the facility turns a profit. But the real sticker is that the House food is better than Senate food, too. That cannot stand.
 
Written By: jpm100
URL: http://
They can’t run a reasturant with a 100 patron cap. But healthcare for 300 million, they got that covered.
 
Written By: Ryan
URL: http://

 
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