Interesting Anecdote from Steyn

Mark Steyn tells a tale of two bridges:

A few weeks back I mentioned a couple of bridges in a neighboring town of mine, both on dirt roads serving maybe a dozen houses. Bridge A: The town was prevailed upon to apply for some state/town 80/20 funding plan, which morphed under the stimulus into some fed/state 60/40 funding plan. Current estimated cost: $655,000. The town’s on the hook for 20 per cent of the state’s 40 per cent — or $52,400. There’s no estimated year of completion, or even of commencement, and the temporary bridge the town threw up has worn out.
Bridge B: Following their experience with Bridge A, the town replaced this one themselves, in a matter of weeks. Total cost: $30,000.
Government is simple provided two conditions are met: You do it locally, and you do it without unions.

The higher the level of government, the more unnecessary burdens other people can manage to assert as requirements for conducting business. Steyn goes on to describe a program costing nearly a half-million dollars intended to assist the State Library of Illinois in educating employees about “‘social networking’ tools such as Facebook and Blogger.” $420,000 could buy quite a comprehensive user manual. Perhaps the government could save a few bucks by recruiting authors from some local middle schools.

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