It takes a network of restaurants to feed the Senate, badly.
In 44 years, the dining hall and mini-chain of cafeterias and coffee shops have been profitable only seven. This year the operation will run in the red to the tune of $2 million.
And come lunchtime, folks working in the Senate regularly run over to the House to eat. One critic says Senate victuals are “so bad that the . . . House ‘Taco Salad Wednesday’ trumps any type of entree they have to offer.”
In the House, though, the cafeterias have been privately run for decades. House staffers never flee to the Senate at lunchtime.
Solution? Privatize the Senate restaurants as well. Senator Dianne Feinstein just pushed through legislation to do that. She doesn’t think “taxpayers should be subsidizing something that doesn’t need to be.” She notes that current restaurant management never even bothers trying to break even, knowing their deficits will be covered.
Feinstein has opponents. Another Democrat, Senator Robert Menendez of New Jersey, says it’s hypocritical for his colleagues to condemn privatization of workers generally, but then “privatize the workers here in the Senate and leave them out on their own.”
So, what should we do, Senator? Communize the whole economy so no responsible adult is ever “out on his own”?
Menendez is right about the contradiction, but not about how to resolve it. Amtrak? The post office? Both should be out on their own. Along with Senate food service.
This is Common Sense. I’m Paul Jacob.