Thursday, July 24, 2003

Big Government Republicans

There is only one reason to privatize government services. It isn't because government is inherently evil or bad, because it's still going to be taxpayer money that's paying for whatever it is. The reason is that by opening up whatever it is to true competition you might be able to obtain cheaper and higher quality services.

But, that assumes that there exists a competitive market for whatever that service is, and assumes that contracts are awarded based on some competitive process.

Let's see what happens when the war profiteers take over:

Want to know how far off the rails things have slid at the Pentagon? Recently, the Army wanted to tally up how much money it had been forced to divert to private contractors as part of Rumsfeld's rush to privatize military tasks. The Rummycrats forbid it. They refused to let the Army balance its own books — because the privatization mafia knew what they would find: Contractors cost more, not less, than soldiers.

When honest budget managers in the services calculate the transition of any uniformed job to a private contractor, their working assumption is that the contract employee will cost the Pentagon $100,000 a year. A sergeant barely makes a quarter of that, and a private hardly a fifth — including benefits.

(via Off the Kuff)