THE GOVERNMENT DIDN’T BUILD THAT

It’s 5 o’clock in the morning.  No one but the night critters are out.  It’s peaceful and I have been thinking, thinking about the Golden Gate Bridge.  The government didn’t build that, we did.  The government didn’t even conceive it.  In 1916 a privately owned newspaper, The San Francisco Daily Call published an article proposing the bridge.  A private a private structural engineer by the name of Joseph Strauss offered to build it for 30 million dollars.  The government wasn’t interested.  Five years later Strauss said it could be done for 27 million dollars.  It took eight more years after that for the government to approve it.  And then another 4 years of bureaucratic bickering passed before government authorities allowed the first pick to hit the ground.  The bridge wasn’t built by the government; it was built despite the government.

Irving Morrow and Leon Moisseiff did the designing.  They were private architects.  A private construction firm did the hands on building of the bridge.  The government doled out the money to pay for it but it was money they only had by taxing it away from the private sector.  The government doesn’t pay tax.  The government didn’t pay for it, the private sector did.  There is however one thing for which the government deserves all the credit, that’s the ribbon cutting ceremony.

Shall I tell you about the Hoover Damn or the street in front of your house?  It’s the same story.  If it hadn’t been for your money they wouldn’t exist.  If it hadn’t been for private sector enterprises to do the work the roads would still be unpaved.  We have the enterprising ingenuity of individuals working outside of the government mostly to thank for the beauty of our bridges and roads.  Hear me Mr. Obama, today’s entrepreneurs built their businesses just as surely as Thomas Edison invented the light bulb.  Or do you think the government did that too?

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