Republicans Hate American Government
The Orbital Sciences launch failure illustrates to me the bankruptcy of the Republican effort to privatize everything that the US Government used to do. Republicans claim that they love America, but hate the government. They cite Reagan’s famous saying that “Government is not the solution to our problem; government is the problem.” I would reply that closing down the government and contracting out all of its activities to the private sector is an even bigger problem. Blackwater in Iraq and the absence of any manned space launch capability are only two of the most glaring examples. Another unfortunate one is ObamaCare, which expanded the private sector insurance model of healthcare insurance rather than expanding government-administered Medicare, the Heritage Foundation and Mitt Romney plan.
You can’t say you love America but hate everything the American government does. Private industry loves money, and Republicans love money, especially the campaign money that private industry gives Republican politicians to contract out government services to them. It undermines the civil service act that was supposed to keep outside money away from government service. In the old days, civil servants were proud of their jobs and did them well because they wanted to see their country succeed. By abusing government workers and denigrating government service, Republicans have undermined the morale of the civil service.
The revolving door is another problem. Private sector salaries and regressive income taxes make it impossible for government to compete with the private sector. A young lawyer can work a year or two at the SEC and then go out and work for Wall Street quadrupling his salary. A few people who have become obscenely rich will come back and work for government, but they consider their government work as pro bono, unpaid labor, although they are making the highest government salaries.
The result is that in addition to a dysfunctional Congress, we have an almost dysfunctional bureaucracy. It means the government will do a worse job of enforcing its laws, collecting taxes, protecting the environment, even fighting its wars. But Republicans like the fact that there is less de facto regulation, less strict enforcement of income tax laws, and they are by and large unwilling to fight in the military. Even for our military services, they basically contract out the fighting to poor rednecks. The wealthy don’t fight for America, they hire some else to do it. Bill O’Reilly’s proposal for a mercenary army is only the most obvious expression of this lack of patriotism.