What D.C. Has That Philly Doesn’t: Greedy Government

Business is booming in our nation's capital

Last weekend I went to visit my kids at their college in D.C. If you haven’t visited lately, the city is quite the vision to behold. The capital of the world’s most powerful country should be impressive, and Washington certainly delivers. Over there the White House, just beyond the Washington Monument, over there the U.S. Capitol. We drove down Embassy Row, around DuPont Circle and through Georgetown—magnificent architecture, beautiful shops and bustling restaurants. And luxury hotels abound: Among the chains there is a Mandarin Oriental a Four Seasons and two Ritz Carltons! Also in the mix, office buildings that seem to sprawl for miles. Traffic is a complete nightmare. This town is buzzing!

But something was troubling me, and I couldn’t quite put my finger on it—at least until my daughter took me to the top of her apartment building to show me the view. As we walked the perimeter, I was stunned by the sight of all the building cranes. I counted between 12 and 20. This is in stark contrast to our city where there isn’t one crane in view from where I sit 36 stories high. Now why, in the midst of the worst financial crisis in our nation’s history would all this construction be going on? Why indeed.

These building cranes are our new monuments. They honor the waste and greed that plague our government. Office space for the growing legion of lobbyists. Office space for the battalions of regulators and bureaucrats. Hotels and restaurants for special deals to be made between the lobbyists, regulators and bureaucrats. If you ever wonder why Washington can’t relate to the economic stagnation of America, make a visit to D.C. Business is very good down there.