Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Conservatives and Their Carnival of Fraud

How did this guy get on the op-ed page of the Wall Street Journal? into question one of the greatest shibboleths of conservative governance. Although contracting-out has been celebrated by big thinkers from both parties and although it has been practiced in some form or other since the earliest days of the republic, an ideological commitment to outsourcing is one of the signatures of conservative rule.

And a bad, wasteful and dangerous one.

The ostensible justifications for it, in the early days, were thrift and efficiency. The 1984 "Grace Commission," in which a battalion of corporate executives ransacked the government looking for waste, recommended privatizing federal operations as a way to save money. With the government plunged deep into deficit, government needed to hire out its duties to business in order to save itself. The ideological assumption was only barely concealed: Whatever "big government" could do, the private sector could do better, cheaper and faster.

And outsorced to friends and cronies, say, as in Halliburton.

Privatization also constitutes a fundamental change in the constituency to which government answers.

Exactly; it is anti-democratic.

It is time for a new Grace Commission, this one examining the sordid history of privatization in all its details. President Barack Obama should launch it on day one.

Yup, I read this in the Journal. Amazed, I emailed the dude:

Very well said, dude!

Reaganomics is one of the greatest frauds ever perpetrated, and its effects went beyond federal budget deficits ballooning to heights never seen before in history. It was Ronald Reagan who labeled government an enemy of the people. As a result, neoconservatives were emboldened to outsource governmental functions, to slash government programs that could not be outsourced to their friends, allies and cronies, and to call for government to be run as a business.

Where is J. Peter Grace now, anyway? And is his company out of Chapter XI bankruptcy?

I sure hope, along with you, that President Obama appoints a Commission of Governmental Services (or some such) in his first week in office? Wonder what his email address is, anyway; maybe you/we could send him the idea.

Right on, dude.

Sal Weir
Flushing, NY

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