Democrats & Liberals Archives

Outsourcing Government

Republicans do not like government. The smaller the government the better, they say. So naturally, when a Republican such as Bush gets into power, he tries mightily to reduce government. When he finds out he can’t both reduce government and please those who elected him, he does the next best thing: he outsources government. With one blow he keeps government down and provides moulah for his business friends.

What a combination. And it works:

A new report by the Committee on Oversight and Government Reform concludes that, under the Bush administration, the “shadow government of private companies working under federal contract has exploded in size. Between 2000 and 2005, procurement spending increased by over $175 billion dollars, making federal contracts the fastest growing component of federal discretionary spending.”

The Report states that the $175 billion represents a growth in government contracting of 86%. It also states that noncompetitive contracts grew by 115%. The Report identifies 118 federal contracts worth $745.5 billion that have been found by government officials to include significant waste, fraud, abuse, or mismanagement.

You wonder, who is running our government? Those we elected or entrepreneurs with "access" who get beautiful deals and rake in taxpayer money? Is this a government of the people or a government of crony capitalists? Who's in charge - Bush or Halliburton?

Here is another example of how Republicans favor business over everyone else. Government can't do anything right, they say. Only the private sector - Republican business buddies - perform excellently. You bet: I give them an A in performance of bringing the dollars in.

The Report calls companies getting these lucrative deals the "shadow government." I call the whole process outsourcing government to business friends.

Posted by Paul Siegel at June 27, 2007 4:27 PM
Comments
Comment #224221

The Report calls companies getting these lucrative deals the “shadow government.” I call the whole process outsourcing government to business friends.

Posted by Paul Siegel at June 27, 2007 04:27 PM

Paul…one or two examples would be appreciated. I would guess Haliburton would be at the top of your list. If so, my question…who should have received the contract? And, how about all the “pork” being handed out by Congress. One could argue that the money handed out as bribes to get re-elected is a form of shadow government in that it creates jobs with taxpayer money that are not performed by government employees. Finally, where is the CBO study that indicates those outsourced jobs cost the taxpayer more money than doing it “in-house” so to speak?

Posted by: Jim at June 27, 2007 5:27 PM
Comment #224222

The problem here is runaway federal spending not only overseen but encouraged by by a spendthrift Republican president who is a fake conservative.

The waste and mismanagement this involves is actually PROOF that government can’t do things right. The solution to the problem of wasteful spending isn’t to put the job of wasting money into the hands of government employees. It’s much simpler than that: the solution is to STOP spending so much money.

Posted by: Loyal Opposition at June 27, 2007 5:31 PM
Comment #224224

I think we could file this under Dogmatic Conservatism and Rush-Dittoman’s Disorder

A person asking themselves what conservatism is going to find themselves given plenty of strong messages with a compulsory sense to them of what conservatism is.

These messages are often mooshed together between relatively incompatible philosophies, between theocons and neocons, paleocons and freemarket econo-cons, all to try and create the sense of a consistent philsophy.

In practice, though, all those impulse come into serious conflicts with one another. Just look at how defense spending, tax cuts, and Medicare Part D (an attempt to appeal to social liberals and moderates in and out of the party) all collided in one hell of a train-wreck.

Republicans, generally, are not encouraged to do what might have helped things: think for themselves, be pragmatic. They are expected to act out of loyalty to the political cause, to believe in the wisdom of the establishment, to naysay all the critics of the policies, without even looking at the policies first.

The Republicans, because they have been taught that compromise is an evil, have failed to learn how to balance priorities. Instead, they go in all directions, trying to satisfy different agendas at the same time without resolving the conflicts between the different strains of politics in the party. It also made a virtue of toughing out inconvenient facts, weakening the Republicans ability to use feedback from the environment to shape their policies.

Moral of the story? Blind loyalty and dogmatism can cripple a party. The fruits that policy bear speak more to the quality of a party than the elections they win or the agendas they succeed in pushing.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at June 27, 2007 6:04 PM
Comment #224229

Stephen, whatever truth there is to your remarks can be equally applied to any large political party.

That paleocons, necoons, theocons, etc. are in conflict with each other in practice although they fly the same party banner contradicts your baseless accusation that “Republicans have been taught that comprise is an evil” and they don’t “think for themselves.” It also flies in the face of, to cite a current example, the fact that a huge majority of the Republican base is currently in open revolt against their leaders over immigration. So much for blindly following.

Those who refuse to compromise their political principles at all gravitate to ideologically pure organizations and political figures who never have to sully their hands with the comprises necessary to actually govern: in other words, third parties.

I’m not making a value judgement about this: perhaps it’s admirable to be so uncomprising with your bedrock principles.

It would take a far more studious approach than what you’ve offered to make the case that Republicans are actually more fractured, unable to lead, or prone to blindly follow their leaders than the Democrats.

A quick tour of left-wing political blogs, some of which are very influential, doesn’t exactly reveal a groundswell of desire for “pragmatism” and “compromise” among liberals. And a party which functions as a political umbrella for virtually every competing special interest minority group and the unions is hardly a model for party unity or effective, pragmatic, and cohesive governance.

The fruits that policy bear speak more to the quality of a party than the elections they win or the agendas they succeed in pushing.

That seems about right. And Exhibit A is the Keystone Cops routine a Democratic Congress has put on for the amusement of the American public since the 06 election.

Posted by: Loyal Opposition at June 27, 2007 6:52 PM
Comment #224230

Paul:

As a Republican I recent some of your posts. They are getting close to the same type of stereotype language used against minorities.

I’m a Republican, I served on a school board for 10 years here locally. Do I hate government? What do you do when I don’t fit a stereotype?

I wish you would consider changing how you make arguments. It is the same logic to say “republicans hate government” as to say “blacks like fried chicken”.

I am certain you are well intended. If you could just change your tone and stop stereotyping quite so much I would apprecaite it.

Just for humor sake,

You liberals always stereotype.

Craig

P.S. I do think Conservatives (as opposed to republicans) do not like “BIG” government, and want “smaller” government.

Posted by: Craig Holmes at June 27, 2007 7:34 PM
Comment #224233

It is my understanding that procurement spending is spending for merchandise related to government needs. In other words the awarding of contracts to individuals and corporations for products that the government does not have or services that the government can not perform.
It is not surprising that procurement spending went through the roof in those years, since we have had to pay for:

the cleanup of 9/11. Government had very little capability of doing that by itself. How many trucks of debris did we have to haul away again?

the cleanup of hurricane Katrina; devastation across three to four states. Could the government have done that on its own?

the War on Terror; were we not to acquire new technologically sophisticated weaponry and defense products? Or, were we to send the troops over with pea shooters? The government does not produce these things themselves. We had to acquire them from someone.

We’ve had some major expenses, the likes of which the U.S. government has never experienced in teh last twenty years. I like the idea that Bush has focused more on the private sector rather than grow the government from within. Government ought to be a partner of corporate America, and not an enemy or a competitor of them, (as in health care and retirement savings). Government’s role should be to purchase and regulate, procuring only as much as is needed to operate the necessary functions of government. It seems some of the most expensive, money burning items to be legislated during the last six years of zero vetoes were hailed as bipartisan by the leadership of the Democratic Party. Funny, how Democrats help craft the bills, then gripe about the expense. It is mind boggling that Democrats would criticize about government spending considering their record of enormously increased spending for the forty years they held the House and Senate even in times of peace.

JD

Posted by: JD at June 27, 2007 8:49 PM
Comment #224243

Craig, Can you point to any evidence that would lead one to believe that your comment “conservatives do not like big govt and want smaller govt” ? I have heard , since the days of the Most Holy Reagan that this was the case but those that preached this the loudest have increased the size of the Government much more that those thought to be big government types.

Posted by: j2t2 at June 27, 2007 10:46 PM
Comment #224249

One thing I would like to know… is why representatives of the house are giving themselves another raise. Will it end?

Over the past 25 years their salary has gone from $42,000 to FOUR times that much and more… over $165000 now.

I could agree with 90-100k but at this rate it will be over $200k by 2010.

This doesnt even include their million dollar retirement packages and medical.

Posted by: jrjr at June 28, 2007 12:14 AM
Comment #224258

LO,
You are spot on. There isn’t one value judgement that Stephen makes that can’t be even more aptly applied to mainstream liberal democrats.
This is great though. It illustrates what is happening within the Conservative movement. Mainstream Republicans are being exposed for the turncoat wasps that they are, and it is igniting a fire back into the conservative movement. I recently called my State Senators office, and this year (according to them) has marked an almost two fold increase over last year in communication from their constituents. That’s AWESOME. One could only hope that we match participation in the 08 election with one season of American Idol.
As far as outsourcing grubberment, you notice no one is arguing with Paul about the main point in the article… that’s because genuine conservatives actually despise the way this administration has grown government and pandered to special interests. I’d venture to say many if not most true conservatives think Bush is a putz. But I will counter Paul’s point with a look at the precious Diane Feinstein and her outrageous conflict of interest with hubby-warbucks. That is as bad as any, and it’s dishonest not to show both sides.

They’re almost all a bunch of crooks in Washington, and only a very small few qualify as conservative.

Posted by: Yukon Jake at June 28, 2007 1:49 AM
Comment #224284

j2t2:

Craig, Can you point to any evidence that would lead one to believe that your comment “conservatives do not like big govt and want smaller govt” ? I have heard , since the days of the Most Holy Reagan that this was the case but those that preached this the loudest have increased the size of the Government much more that those thought to be big government types.

The early days of the Republican congress. You know, the early Republican congress before it became as corrupt as the one it replaced!!

Craig

Posted by: Craig Holmes at June 28, 2007 11:05 AM
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