A Washington Times editorial tells us that Rep. Jack Murtha "fancies himself a kind of taxpayer-backed venture capitalist," bringing companies to his depressed Pennsylvania coal country district.
"Murtha has almost - but not quite - single-handedly created a new economy in his district," concludes Roll Call this week in an overview of the lawmaker's earmarking activities. Frequently, the money "is for startups that essentially would not be in business were it not for Murtha's largesse." In other cases, the pattern shows Mr. Murtha inserting an earmark, after which a company opens a Johnstown office, which in many cases then goes neglected, or never quite grows. In the case Roll Call highlights, an Indiana, Pa., groundbreaking for Rockville, Md.-based Aeptec Microsystems is all glory at the outset. Years later, the building is nearly unoccupied a month after its opening. Meanwhile, the firm's federal contracts, as secured through Mr. Murtha's earmarks, mushroom.
"The pattern that appears dominant is that the companies' federal contract dollars expand shortly after they open an office in the 12th Congressional [d]istrict - though it is not entirely clear how much of their work is actually conducted in the district," the newspaper concludes.
So wasteful facilities are built as show pieces, like some Pyongyang skyscraper hotel. Not capitalism at all, and certainly not venture capitalist activity. Politics, not markets, in command
Your tax dollars at work.
Hat tip: Ed Lasky