March 3, 2009

Just a couple more

I loved Robert Gates invoking one of the greatest understatements of recent history when he told David Gregory that Obama was "somewhat more analytical" than President Bush. Yeah. But just somewhat, right?

I missed this from Obama's fiscal responsibility summit where even Republicans acknowledged that Republican outsourcing and privatization may have not saved us anything:
"In one rare example of consensus, incidentally, GOP Rep. Darrell Issa told Obama: 'Mr. President, it was kind of a surprise in the procurement group that was together, we had almost universal recognition that over the last decade or so, we've overdone, in some cases, outsourcing of critical federal requirements, and that means that in many cases we spend more to hire a contractor or a non-federal worker than we would pay to invest in federal workers.

'And so there was universal -- Republican, Democrat, House and Senate, even -- (laughter) -- that during this administration we need to assess where we can re-federalize some parts of the workforce, particularly when it came to people who do get procurement and oversee the procurement.'"

I just love that. The very logical outcome of 25 years of bashing government as the problem has resulted in us spending more money to do the same thing because conservatives believe that private enterprise magically makes better decisions.

As I keep saying, Government is not the answer to all of our problems, but it can reflect the desire to build community and provide some solutions for the common good. Much of that can then free the entrepreneurs to truly innovate, as we saw during the 1950s. What is more, I think Republicans have forgotten or ignored that the great middle class of the 40s, 50s and 60s was created by all those things that Republicans now loathe and demonize. Strong unions, progressive taxation, and government taking a role in infrastructure, education, and even (positively) housing. Since Reagan, Republicans have taken a hatchet to all of those things and then expressed horror at the erosion of the middle class.

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