Mitt Romney, in a recent comment on Barack Obama:
“He wants another stimulus, he wants to hire more government workers. He says we need more firemen, more policemen, more teachers. Did he not get the message of Wisconsin? The American people did. It’s time for us to cut back on government and help the American people.”
But Mitt, like most limited government conservos, has it all wrong. He's looking at the wrong 'teat-suckers'! It isn't the truly public employees, like police, firemen and teachers - who actually provide the back bone of civilized support for our society. They aren't the blood sucking vampires! No, it's a small cadre of privateer contractors who mainly inhabit places like the DC Beltway that are bleeding us dry. Take their 30,000 -odd jobs for upwards of $250,000 each on average and give that money (via government transfer payments) to the states and you can hire back 600,000 of the true public workers and bring down our unemployment rate.
But the recent Newsweek expose, 'Bubble on the Potomac', May 28, puts the kibosh on all that. We learn, for example, that the median income in the metro DC area is $84,523 or 70% over the national median household income of $50,046. We also learn - surprise, surprise- that nine of the 15 richest counties in the country surround Washington. Per capita income in DC is more than twice that in Maine. We also learn that the niche boutiques and high end eateries, gourmet shops can barely keep pace with the demand. And meanwhile, middle and working class folks - including unionized public employees - struggle everywhere else.
According to the Tax Foundation, for every dollar in taxes that Washington, DC sends to the federal government, it receives FIVE in return. Over the past 30 years, $860 billion has been spent in the DC region, and it hasn't all been for schools, roads, or teachers. Oh no. In fact two thirds of that has been spent since 9/11, mainly on the embedded security infrastructure and contractor parasites.
According to the Newsweek piece (p. 49):
"The size of the non-military, nonpostal federal workforce has remained relatively stable. What has changed is not the government payroll but the number of government contractors. It's estimated that thanks to massive outsourcing over the past 20 years by the Clinton and Bush administrations, there are two government contractors for every worker directly employed by the government. Federal contracting is the region's great growth industry. A government contractor can even hire contractors for help in getting more government contractors."
And a slight aside here: the article actually misrepresents the nature of the Beast. Because those contractors are receiving government monies, they are deflecting the money that ordinarily would go to legit government employees to contractors who cost two to four time more! Thus, the government 'payroll' has not strictly "remained the same" - relatively speaking it has been distorted to pay more for the parasites, errrr....contractors. No wonder all those in DC and environs can afford to live high on the hog and frequent 'Cowgirl Creamery' every evening as they text to their buds lounging in some high priced night club three blocks away.
Why isn't Romney going after these vultures? Well, because HE is one of them! If Mitt gets in you can be sure that he will contract out just about every government job remaining, and send our deficits up another trillion dollars in so doing. Let's also grasp that the Neoliberal imperative is to: a) divest the citizen of all government security and expose him to the vagaries of the 'free market', and b) replace actual government workers by government -subsidized 'mercs' or contractors to carry out (a).
And what is the biggest fear of this colony of contractor occupation? According to the article (p. 52):
"The optimism of über- Washington so far survives the unspoken worry about a coming age of austerity, in which government spending cuts would end the high life that Washingtonians have come to expect. They are right to be optimistic."
The article goes on to note that the reason for such optimism is that the two most plausible deficit proposals (one by Obama the other by the Repugs) each calls for government in 2021 to spend a trillion dollars more than it does today.
Unfortunately, it is the wrong manifestation of government - that sourced out to vampires, parasites and leeches ....who live high on the federal trough and hog while policemen, firemen and teachers are without jobs ....and their communities without their services!