Obama's Shaggy Dog Story About the Golden Gate Bridge

In President Barack Obama's fairly maligned "If you've got a business, you didn't build that" comments the other day, he also said this:

When we invested in the Hoover Dam or the Golden Gate Bridge, or the Internet, sending a man to the moon -- all those things benefited everybody. And so that's the vision that I want to carry forward.

To which the engineer W.J.J. Hoge replied:

The federal government did build Hoover Dam. However, the Golden Gate Bridge was funded by a $35 million dollar bond issue by the six counties in the Golden Gate Bridge District. It was a state-authorized project built by a partnership of local governments.

What's more, the conservative commentator Thomas Purcell asserted last November (Obama having been playing the Golden Gate card for a while now), "it was the 'One Percenters', as is the term coined of the rich and powerful these days, that built the Golden Gate, not government. More importantly, it was government that posed more obstacles for the building of the bridge than any other entity and if the Department of Defense had their way it never would have been built at all." More Purcell:

The Department of Defense (then called the Department of War) kicked and screamed saying that the bridge would be dangerous and block the channel from ships going in an out of the Presidio base.

Since the DOD owned the land on either side of the channel, there was no way to build it without Federal approval, and they refused to grant it.

After another year of wrangling, and some heavy support from the fledgling automotive industry lobbying (yes, they had lobbyists back then too), the DOD finally relents and allows construction of the bridge, but only sells the land back to the state commission and does not participate in its construction.

Construction did not go as smoothly as planned. It takes another FIVE years for the government and the architects to come to agreement on the design. Furthermore, Federal contractor unions wanted the contracts to build the bridge and stalled the government on the issue, demanding they take action to halt construction unless they got the contract. Fortunately, local authorities insisted that as part of the contract only local labor would be used instead of Federal union contracts, insuring the area had work during Depression era unemployment.

A second problem in 1929 when the US Stock Market collapsed made for more problems. The Golden Gate committee now has trouble issuing the bond needed for the construction of the bridge, even though the citizens of the surrounding area had put up their own personal lands and farms as collateral. It takes 3 more years and the wealthy President and founder of Bank of America, A.P. Giannini, to personally buy the 35 million dollar bond which he then finances through the bank. Without the bank and the intervention of private industry fueled by personal wealth, again the bridge would not have been built. By 1937 the bridge is completed—and [architect Joseph] Strauss delivers the bridge 1.7 million UNDER budget, using local non-union labor and private contractors.

My biggest problem with the Golden Gate metaphor isn't necessarily the federal vs. state/private distinction, it's that government spending at any level is being confused for the construction of gorgeous, useful bridges. That $35 million during the Depression is worth around $530 million today, or far less than 1 percent of Obama's stimulus package. So, where the hell are our new Golden Gates? What, exactly, has been the return on all this added "investment"?

Government, from the Grand Coulee Dam to the Capitol, has gotten exponentially more expensive while delivering a fraction of the results. Every dollar that governments spend on every level gets inflated by contracting rules, social engineering, environmental aspirations, and sops to public sector unions. That's the vision that Obama–like so many other politicians–is, through his deeds, carrying forward.

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  • Pro Libertate||

    Government is so mindboggling inefficient and so corrupt in its motives, yet people want it to do everything? WTF?

    We've had powerful governments for centuries, but a generally affluent and technologically advanced society is a recent thing. What's been different up until now? A super powerful government? Or maybe a freeish society?

  • ||

    Oh, bullshit, Pro Lib. The Dark Ages were caused by the libertarian barbarian hordes destroying the Roman federal government, and you know it.

  • Pro Libertate||

    Narrative: It's what's for dinner.

  • mlebauer||

    The Vandals and Huns were libertarian? The Romans had a federal system? Nice anachronisms!

  • John||

    Can't we just be honest and admit that Obama isn't very bright and pretty much illiterate when it comes to history?

  • tarran||

    No, that would be being charitable.

    The honest description of Obama is that he's a mendacious, inveterate liar who uses falsehood after falsehood to get people to stroke his massive ego.

  • John||

    I don't think he is lying. I think he honestly believes this shit.

  • ||

    He doesn't believe anything, John, except in his own power and glorification. Is he lying? Maybe. Maybe not. But that is irrelevant.

  • Pro Libertate||

    I think you're hitting on something important--he's indifferent to the truth. And he's obviously from the extra-reality-distorting wing of the party.

  • R C Dean||

    He's indifferent to the truth by design. He comes from the hard-left academic precincts that are polluted with "deconstructionism" and "critical legal thinking" and the like, where there is no truth, only power.

  • Pro Libertate||

    Also, truth is relative to your social viewpoint, with those in power having the clearest vision.

  • tarran||

    Oh I'll allow, some of his lies are ones that he believes to be true.

    But he's been caught in enough lies where we know he knew better that it's pretty clear Barrack Obama is a lying liar who has no doesn't hesitate at all when confronted with the impulse to lie.

  • lightning||

    You are right. The truly scary thing is that millions of Americans also believe this crap.

  • sarcasmic||

    The truly scary thing is that millions of Americans also believe this crap.

    Why shouldn't they?
    It's hammered in from day one in the public schools, and reinforced by the major media.
    Most people aren't critical thinkers. They accept things at face value.

  • Michael||

    I don't think he is lying. I think he honestly believes this shit.

    Whether or not he believes it is pretty much irrelevant. These kinds of comments are tailored specifically for the ne'er-do-wells that account for a good portion of his base and would have absolutely no clue what to believe without guidance from His Majesty.

  • Romulus Augustus||

    I want to see his history grades. If he flunked, then he's dumb and shouldn't be in a position of power.
    If he got "A"s, then he's a liar or brainwashed, neither of which is a trait we need in a president.

  • wareagle||

    it's less about the words than the intent. The man knows full well that he is spinning yarns when he reads them. He is neither a fool nor an incompetent; he is evil. Just fucking evil.

    I submit to the jury that the results of Obama's stewardship - from the economy to the Middle East - are what the administration planned/wanted to see happen. It's not bad policy, bad advice, or inexperience; it is malevolence.

  • Night Elf Mohawk||

    As long as you include economics and insurance, I'd be onboard.

  • Caleb Turberville||

    Best Golden Gate Bridge movie? Dirty Harry or A View to a Kill?

  • John||

    Dirty Harry. Not even close.

  • ||

    Dude. I mean, I love Dirty Harry, but there are things to be said for View to a Kill.

  • John||

    She was quite lovely. But Dirty Harry is a cultural icon. No amount of Bond girl, no matter how lovely, beats that.

  • Pro Libertate||

    Agreed, but don't forget the Walken!

  • ||

    Walken looks terrible in that kind of nightie, dude.

  • $park¥||

    Well yeah, now maybe. Back then he was teh hotz! ♥♥♥

  • Pro Libertate||

    No, you're right. Perhaps he should just stick to the supervillain role.

  • ||

    Julia Sweeney has a funny story about the Walken.

  • Pro Libertate||

    Everyone has a story about the Walken. He's touched us all. Many while we were sleeping.

  • ||

    You know that thing he uses to cook chicken? Well, that's only its secondary usage.

  • Pro Libertate||

    I saw that a while back, but it was one of those moments that justifies the entire Internet. That and the Dr. Zaius-Mark Twain mashup.

  • Pro Libertate||

    I like A View to a Kill, but I'm with John. I guess you feel lucky, punk.

  • John||

    Any movie that gave Pauline Kael a case of the vapors is a classic in my book.

  • ||

    Was the bridge even really in Dirty Harry? Maybe it was shown in the scene where the bad guy kidnapped the school bus, but I don't think there was a scene on the bridge as such.

  • John||

    Not really. Wasn't the bridge pretty prominent in Vertigo?

  • ||

    That's the movie I was thinking of.

  • Ted S.||

    If memory serves, there's a scene where Kim Novak tries to drown herself by walking into the bay at a park near the base of the bridge, but that's about it. The climax is at a mission a good 100 miles away.

  • Caleb Turberville||

    I guess I like the shadowy, late evening shot of Callahan looking toward the bridge as he broods over the torturous murder of the 14 year old victim (the one Scorpio buried alive).

  • Pro Libertate||

    It took me quite a while before I realized that Garak was Andrew Robinson. The voice and expressions kept nagging at me until one day I realized that all they needed to shut him up was a .44 magnum, not a phaser.

  • John||

    Dirty Harry was loosely based on the Zodiac Killer. And speaking of, Zodiac is a great movie. Jack Gyllenhall is a very good actor, I don't care what anyone says. He is like Toby McQuire only with actual acting ability and much less creepy I think he is probably a closeted gay factor.

  • ||

    I really enjoyed that movie, too.

  • Pro Libertate||

    Wasn't The January Man based on the Zodiac Killer, too? I can't recall whether that movie was really any good, but I do recall being disappointed that Kline wasn't acting like Otto.

  • John||

    January Man was pretty awful. The only good thing about it is that a young and very fetching Mary Stewart Masterantonio got her kit off. That is really the highlight of the movie. And it was about a guy who was killing women in apartments in New York.

  • Pro Libertate||

    I liked Rickman. Then again, he's usually good.

  • $park¥||

    "Apes don't read Nietzsche!"

  • Caleb Turberville||

    Zodiac is so terrifying it's unwatchable. If you haven't seen it, turn out the lights and watch it by yourself to see what I mean. I can't believe Graysmith has got any night's rest since 1969.

  • John||

    I can't believe that movie only gets a 7/10 on IMDB. It is one of the best movies of the last ten years.

  • $park¥||

    Really? I've always seen Jake as kind of weak. Zodiac always seemed interesting but I never got around to seeing it. Maybe I'll see if I can find it on Netflix this weekend.

  • John||

    Watch it. It is a great movie. And Jake is not Clint Eastwood. But he plays a really good every man. Imagine a less quirky John Cusack. Another really good movie of his is October Sky.

  • Pro Libertate||

    I liked that book. Hickam wrote a few more along those lines.

  • John||

    I met Hickam at a book signing at the Smithsonian once. An incredibly nice guy.

  • Joe R.||

    X-Men: The Last Stand

  • Caleb Turberville||

    Yeah, right.

    But seriously, X-Men: First Class has been the best cast ever assembled for a comic book movie. Michael Fassbender needs a starring role, already.

  • Lord Humungus||

    but the moon! And other things!

  • ||

    You couldn't build a bridge today. Might disturb a seagull nest.

  • Adam330||

    The alleged quote isn't in the linked comments. Did he actually say that?

  • Matt Welch||

    Yes it is, and yes he did. I pasted it from the transcript on whitehouse.gov. Do a Control-F on "Golden Gate."

  • CampingInYourPark||

    Why are campaign speeches on the government web site?

  • Gilbert Martin||

    The same reason that Obama can spend your tax dollars shilling for Obamacare in TV ads.

    Because he can get away with it.

  • ||

    It's not that hard to believe, considering what has come out of his neck lately.

  • Geoff Nathan||

    If you want a mess about building bridges come to Detroit. Here the state government wants to build a new bridge, and the owner of the existing bridge (private, mind you) wants to build one too. And they're fighting. Currently the Governor is prevailing, but Matty Moroun, the owner of the Ambassador Bridge, will have a referendum on the ballot in November to allow him to build his own.
    The argument is about where--he wants his next to the existing one, the State (and Gov't of Ontario) want it about five miles downriver. Anyone who's spent three quarters of an hour driving through Windsor suburbs and traffic lights would prefer the latter, despite the private/public issues involved.

  • robc||

    I guarantee that the Louisville bridge situation is more fucked up.

    Look at a map of Louisville. Look at the interstate system. See if you can spot the obvious spot for a bridge? Our politicians cant.

  • sarcasmic||

    I'm so glad we have government, because without it there would be no roads, bridges, schools, or anything.
    I mean, just look at the world before the Department of Education. There were no schools! None at all!
    And thank goodness the Department of Energy invented gasoline. We'd never be able to travel!

    Now let us pray.

    Our government, who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name...

  • Doctor Whom||

    And let's not forget that there was no food before the USDA.

  • BakedPenguin||

    Todd Flanders: "Daddy, what do taxes pay for?"
    Ned Flanders: "Oh, why, everything! Policemen, trees, sunshine! And let's not forget the folks who just don't feel like working, God bless 'em!"

  • ||

    Why, exactly, would anyone expect Barack Obama to give a shit about the facts? Only the story matters.

  • Michael||

    This is good for some hearty laffs, trust me.

    Imagine Obama scrubbung dirt and grease out from under his fingernails at one in the morning after he's finished installing a new water pump on his neighbor's car in the repair shop he started out of his garage and supplements by driving a cab six days out of the week.

    That's it. There's no punch line. Just think about it for a moment.

  • ||

    He has people to clean his fingernails for him.

  • Michael||

    I wouldn't be surprised if he has someone on speed dial to open stubborn jar lids.

  • ||

    *clap clap*

    "WIPERS!"

  • Zombie Jimbo||

    Michelle can handle the jar opening

  • Paul.||

    He has people to clean his fingernails for him.

    Green jobs!

  • Entitled Slacker||

    Idiot Wind
    Blowin' every time Barry moves his jaw
    From the Grand Coulee Dam to
    the Mardi Gras

  • Shirley Knott||

    You should visit Ironbridge in England sometime. First cast iron bridge and generally taken as the launching moment of the Industrial Revolution.
    NOT a government project, and the tolls posted for the bridge make this quite clear -- government travel is specifically called out to pay a toll. The only 'free riders' were the ferry boat owner/pilots who were put out of work by the bridge.
    And, btw, Ironbridge Gorge is now an area of outstanding beauty, which is remarkable given the nightmare descriptions of iron foundries written during the early decades of the Industrial Revolution.
    Seriously, any trip to England should include this.

  • robc||

    I like the specific inclusion of the Royal Family in those who have to pay tolls.

  • Ken Shultz||

    "If you've got a business. you didn't build that. Somebody else made that happen."

    ----Barack Obama

    July 16, 2012

    This is deeply offensive--no matter the context--to anyone who's ever started a business.

    But taken in context? In some ways, it's even worse. It's certainly worse than Al Gore claiming to have invented the internet.

    Here Obama is claiming not only that the government invented the internet (which he specifically refers to in this speech), but also he's claiming that the government invented every other industry and every other business in them, too.

    This man has no business tinkering with the economy. He knows absolutely nothing about what it takes to start a business, the problems businesses are facing, or what, if anything, should be done about them.

    I wouldn't hire him for any position of responsibility. I wouldn't hire him to run a fast food franchise. He has no business being in the White House.

  • ||

    "So...these are the sort of people The Supreme Being allows to occupy the White House. Look at him. I wouldn't trust him to wipe his own nose."

  • sarcasmic||

    In fairness, the word "that" in the quote refers not to "business", but to "roads and bridges" in the previous sentence.

    Because, as we all know, without government there would be no bridges or roads.
    None at all.

  • Doctor Whom||

    But if you have a career in liberal politics, you're still the master of your fate and the captain of your soul. The logic doesn't apply across the board. It never does.

  • Killazontherun||

    He killed bin Laden.

    'If you've got a kill list. You didn't execute that. Somebody else made that happen.'

  • Paul.||

    You've got a government. You didn't build that. Somebody else made that happen.

  • Ted S.||

    "If you've got a business two daughters, you didn't build that. Somebody else made that happen."

  • EDG reppin' LBC||

  • ||

    Ouch.

  • ||

    We need to go back to calling it the Department of War. Why pussyfoot around it?

  • sarcasmic||

    You can't call a spade a spade. That's racist.

  • ||

    Oh my god. Thank you. My bitchy progressive younger sister (because in truth progressives actually are really bitchy in real life), once freaked out on me because I used the phrase "calling a spade a spade". Supposedly, in progresso-land the phrase itself is inherently racist, and a sign that one is an inveterate racist to the bone, no matter what one uses it to refer to.

  • $park¥||

    More likely to be changed to the Ministry of Peace, or minipax for short.

  • Rasilio||

    Ministry of Peace, Antiterrorism, and Defense...

    Mini PAD

  • ||

    Get ready for a slew of Maxipad jokes.

  • Zombie Jimbo||

    Not after the sequestration. Minipad is all they will be able to afford. /sarc off

  • Hugh Akston||

    I'm still not clear how I benefited from them landing a guy on the moon.

  • $park¥||

    One word: velcro.

  • ||

    WOO...TANG!

  • The Other Kevin||

    You drink Tang don't you?

  • T||

    With vodka, yeah.

  • B.P.||

    Backpacker's screwdriver: Tang and Everclear.

  • Rasilio||

    You're using a computer right?

    Without the Apollo program the development of the microprocessor would likely have been delayed for about 20 years because there simply was no civilian need for them at the time.

    Not that this means that the Apollo Program or any other government spending program is a good idea, but that doesn't mean it was without benefits.

  • Michael||

    This is one of my favorites:

    There are a lot of wealthy, successful Americans who agree with me...

    "My campaign's benefactors all say the same thing!"

  • John||

    Obama is raising money in Sweden, Switzerland and China this month. Apparently donating to the Obama campaign is one more job that Americans just won't do.

  • mad libertarian guy||

    I thought he had problems with "outside money."

  • $park¥||

    If by problems you mean he isn't getting enough of it, then yes.

  • ||

    Maybe someone in Switzerland cna tell him to stop forcing them to close American bank acocunts.

  • mybarber||

    The government no more 'built' the Hoover dam then I did my house.They paid a PRIVATE COMPANY to do the work.Just like roads,schools ,ect,They take money in the form of taxes and pay others.

  • mad libertarian guy||

    Gov is a mob. They forcefully get in the middle of two parties, and threaten to send you to jail if you don't do things their way.

  • Mike M.||

    Hey asshole, I'm sorry, I mean "Mr. President": if government is everything good and wonderful and the lunar missions were such a great investment for out society, then how come the space program has basically been shut down and we have to pay the Russians to bring our guys into space now?

  • Hugh Akston||

    Radical libertarians imposing their America-hating austerity programs, obvs.

  • CampingInYourPark||

    OT:
    "Local officials in San Bernardino County, Calif., met last week to consider a controversial proposal to use eminent domain powers to seize and refinance underwater mortgages."
    http://freebeacon.com/democratic-domain/

  • wareagle||

    what could possibly go wrong?

  • ChrisO||

    $530 million in adjusted dollars? That's all?

    Today, you wouldn't even get the engineering and bullshit environmental impact studies completed for that much.

    We can still accomplish things today, we just don't really want to anymore.

  • R C Dean||

    We can still accomplish things today,

    If you include engineering and bullshit environmental impact studies, well, you damn betcha!

  • Mo||

    Most environmental impact studies come from NIMBYs trying to hold up construction because they don't want the extra traffic near them rather than actually giving a shit about the impact.

  • sloopyinca||

    Those NIMBYs have been mostly replaced by crickets when it comes to the California HSR misadventure. And for some reason, the people complaining now are being accused of "gaming the system to stop progress."

  • Mo||

    Good. I wish we could shut the NIMBYs up about the Tappan Zee replacement. Also, if we could shut every single special interest up (why do we need bike lanes on the new bridge when the old bridge will be one big ass bike lane?) shit could get moving along.

    In the good old cheap days, it was just a couple of corrupt cronies in a back room getting their backs scratched, now we've democratized the graft and every special interest wants a piece.

  • John||

    Every time I go over that bridge I say my prayers. That thing is going to fall in one of these days. I can't believe they haven't replaced it. I mean even Maryland and DC managed to replace the Woodrow Wilson Bridge. And they can't do anything right.

    And it is actually beyond NIMBY now. Now it is BANANA. That means Build Absolutely Nothing Anywhere Near Anything.

  • Mo||

    I'm thinking of stashing a Life Hammer in my center console for the occasions I have to go over the TZB.

    I have no idea why they need bike lanes, it's an idiotic waste of $400M (not a typo). Everyone wants a go at the trough.

  • Ted S.||

    Why do we need bike lanes on the Thruway???

  • John||

    Even the drafter of NEPA admits the thing has become just a cluster fuck designed to make sure nothing ever gets built.

  • ||

    I think we got our fancy Calatrava bridge here in Dallas for about that much.

  • Mike M.||

    Yep, when the G.G.B. and Hoover Dam were built, all the corrupt unions hadn't taken complete control of the democratic party yet. Today, actually getting something built is of secondary concern to jacking the cost of it as sky-high as possible.

  • Mo||

    Well, that also excludes that 11 men died building it too. And the 11 deaths for the GGB made it a relatively bloodless construction. Back then it was about 1 death per million dollars of costs (lets call it 1 per $15 mil in today's dollars). I'm sure we'd have much cheaper construction if we were willing to accept a higher death toll.

  • sloopyinca||

    Movies that featured the Golden Gate Bridge:

    The Abyss (1989)-threatened by a tsunami
    A View to a Kill (1985)-fight on bridge towers
    Basic Instinct (1992)
    Bicentennial Man (1999)-seen intact in the 2200s, with a two-tiered roadway added
    Big Trouble in Little China (1986)
    The Birds (1963)
    The Black Bird (1975)
    The Book of Eli (2010)
    Boys and Girls (2000)
    Brainstorm (1983) – during presentation sequence.
    The Core (2003)-destroyed by unfiltered sunlight
    Dark Passage (1947)
    The Day the Earth Stood Still (2008) – the bridge is seen when San Francisco loses its power.
    Dirty Harry (1971)
    Escape from Alcatraz (1978)
    Flight of the Navigator (1986)
    The Graduate (1968)
    Herbie Rides Again (1974) – Herbie drives along the cables of the bridge.
    High Anxiety (1977)
    Homeward Bound II: Lost in San Francisco (1996)-dogs walk across it
    Hulk (2003)
    Innerspace (1987)
    Interview with the Vampire (1994)
    It Came from Beneath the Sea (1953)-destroyed by giant octopus
    Love Aaj Kal (2009)
    The Love Bug (1968)
    The Maltese Falcon (1941)
    Mega Shark vs. Giant Octopus (2009)-destroyed by giant shark
    Milk (2008)
    Monsters vs. Aliens (2009) – a monster/alien robot fight takes place at the bridge.
    Murder by Death (1976)
    National Lampoon's Vacation (1983) – shown as one of the postcards during the opening credits.
    On the Beach (1959)
    The Presidio (1988)
    ...

  • sloopyinca||

    ...
    The Parent Trap (1998)
    The Pursuit of Happyness (2006) – the bridge is seen in some background scenes.
    Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981)
    Rise of the Planet of the Apes (2011) - The climatic final battle takes place in the bridge, later the middle part of the bridge was shown in smokes due to the helicopter accident earlier in the film.
    The Room (2003)
    The Rock (1996)
    Skyline (2010) - seen being threatened by an alien destroyer in TV promos
    Star Trek (2009) - seen intact in 2258
    Star Trek: The Motion Picture (1979) - Set in 2273; in the Director's Cut version of the film, a brief shot shows that the bridge's roadway has been replaced with enclosed tubes.
    Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home (1986)
    Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country (1991)
    Sudden Impact (1983)
    Superman: The Movie (1978)-school bus nearly plummets off of damaged bridge, but rescued by Superman
    Terminator: Salvation (2010) – John Conner crosses a damaged version of the bridge on his way to Skynet.
    Time After Time (1979)
    The Towering Inferno (1974)-helicopter flies over bridge in opening credits
    2012 (2009) – the bridge can be seen in the background when the cruise ship Genesis surges against the pier from an earthquake, although it is in the location of the San Francisco Bay Bridge.
    Vertigo (1958)
    X-Men: The Last Stand (2006) – Magneto switches the position of the bridge so that it connects to Alcatraz.
    Zodiac (2007)

  • Pro Libertate||

    If it was in Big Trouble in Little China, then that's the winner.

  • sloopyinca||

    I can't remember the Pork Chop Express driving across it, but the internet says he did.

  • sloopyinca||

  • Pro Libertate||

    There it is!

  • LTC(ret) John||

    Amen!

    "You people sure got a lot of Hells."

    "We have a lot of people."

  • sloopyinca||

    I'm gonna have to go with either Vertigo or Dirty Harry.

    A View To A Kill was just too corny. Besides, no way in hell am I considering a film where Bond is issued a Ford LTD as worthy of anything but scorn.

  • CE||

    My uncle loaned me his Ford LTD one summer so I could drive to my first summer job in college. That boat barely fit in the one-car garage for my apartment, and then I had to figure out a way to open the door enough to get out.

  • CE||

    I love how alien invaders always destroy our landmarks, instead of going after strategic targets first.

  • ||

    What the fuck is "unfiltered sunlight"?

  • Pro Libertate||

    I dunno, no Van Allen belt? No atmosphere?

  • DurkDing||

    Wow, no way man is that cool or what? Wow

    www.Privacy-Been.tk

  • LTC(ret) John||

    Hold it right there, "DurkDing" - what have you done with LimpoSimpo?!

  • T||

    I hold out for the return of TiggyFoo.

  • CE||

    My favorite "what would we do without really big government" story was back in the 2008 Republican primary campaign, when an interviewer on the Fox Business channel asked Ron Paul how the US government could pay for building like the Capitol building Ron Paul was standing in front of without the income tax.

    Ron Paul replied that the Capitol had been built before the 16th Amendment and the income tax were enacted, so clearly it wasn't needed for stuff like paying for government buildings.

  • Apparently a 'statist'||

    "What, exactly, has been the return on all this added "investment"?"

    A bunch of tax cuts.

    I thought libertarians liked those.

  • ||

    Someone once asked me if the government didn't invent the internet, who did?

    I told them that it was invented by the scientists and engineers who developed the technologies and algorithms and protocols.

    They didn't really have an answer for that.

  • Ken Shultz||

    How 'bout Cisco and JDS Uniphase?

    How 'bout AOL and Netscape?

    Who invented the internet?

    How about Lucent Technologies?

    You know, a lot of people didn't think they needed broadband until Napster and Quake III. ...and then there was YouTube!

    Don't forget US Robotics!

    Entrepreneurs invented the internet. Entrepreneurs financed its discovery, its R and D. Entrepreneurs put all that carbon fiber in the ground--and they financed it from rabid capitalist investors.

    Not from the government!

    If we had to wait for the government to do any of that? We'd still all be accessing the internet through 56 K modems.

  • NL_||

    Even if we accept the relatively moderate opinion that waste is bad but big projects are good, what big projects does Obama have? The one big monument-building project he had was high-speed rail and that's falling flat in CA, FL and everywhere else.

    Is he really comparing Apollo 11 to augmenting the salaries of public school vice principals? Is cash for clunkers the equivalent of a beautiful bridge, is weather-fitting windows the equivalent of the Hoover Dam? Is subsidizing solar panels and batteries supposed to be the equivalent of the Internet?

    If he wants to argue that the Gods of the Economy will bow only under the mighty pressure of big government projects, then where are these big government projects? All I see are payoffs to crumbling, decades-old institutions - payoffs to preserve banks, payoffs to preserve automakers, payoffs to preserve public sector jobs, payoffs to anybody who can frame their unsustainable business model as eco-friendly.

    His dramatic, bold, government-led vision for a new world is to give money to exemplars of old ideas and old institutions, or to small-fry rent-seekers looking to turn Green Energy into greenbacks.

  • ||

    Matt, referring to the Golden Gate Bridge as the "Golden Gate" makes no more sense than referring to the Empire State Building as the "Empire State." The Golden Gate is the entrance to San Francisco Bay. The Golden Gate Bridge spans the Golden Gate. The "one-percenters" may have built the bridge, but the Golden Gate was built by mother nature.

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