Senate Restaurants Offered a Foretaste of ObamaCare

If the Dems succeed in seizing control of the entire healthcare industry, we can only hope that it’s easier to run than restaurants. From last year:

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.

The embarrassment of the Senate food service struggling like some neighborhood pizza joint has quietly sparked change previously unthinkable for Democrats. Last week, in a late-night voice vote, the Senate agreed to privatize the operation of its food service…

Privatization was a bitter pill for Dems to swallow, given that their core belief is that economic activity should be based on coercion as opposed to voluntary exchange.

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.”

But like most everything attempted by bureaucrats, the Senate-run restaurants were a spectacular failure.

All told, they bring in more than $10 million a year in food sales but have turned a profit in just seven of their 44 years in business, according to the GAO.

In a masterful bit of understatement, [Dem Senator Dianne] Feinstein blamed “noticeably subpar” food and service. Foot traffic bears that out. Come lunchtime, many Senate staffers trudge across the Capitol and down into the basement cafeteria on the House side. On Wednesdays, the lines can be 30 or 40 people long. House staffers almost never cross the Capitol to eat in the Senate cafeterias.

That’s because the House cafeterias were privatized back in the 1980s.

On tips from ent and J. Cross-posted at Moonbattery.

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