Sunday, August 19, 2007

Privatizing America

By Libby

Brought to you by the party that wants to shrink government until it can be drowned in a bathtub, here's the latest example of the Bush administration's largest entitlement program - back door corporate welfare.
The Defense Intelligence Agency is preparing to pay private contractors up to $1 billion to conduct core intelligence tasks of analysis and collection over the next five years, an amount that would set a record in the outsourcing of such functions by the Pentagon's top spying agency.

Since 2000, the value of federal contracts signed by all agencies each year has more than doubled to reach $412 billion, with the largest growth at the Defense Department, according to a congressional tally in June. Outsourcing particularly accelerated among intelligence agencies after the 2001 terrorist attacks caught many of them unprepared to meet new demands with their existing workforce.

The small government/free market types keep telling me that privatization is more efficient and saves us money. Bah. We pay up to ten times more to corporate cronies for the same work we used to have government employees do and they deliver a shoddy product because there's no mandated oversight or performance metrics in the contracts.

This is same logic that put around 100,000 private contractors into Iraq -- whose over-inflated salaries are somehow not counted in the war costs and whose dead are not tallied. The same scheme that has cost us over a billion in tax dollars and hasn't even approached restoring the Gulf Coast, two years after the devastation of Katrina. The same lame-brained notion that led to the scandal at Walter Reed.

And now they're going to put our privacy in the hands of private contractors? It's not surprising they're overwhelmed with work. All that domestic surveillance and wide-sweep eavesdropping has generated more data than anyone can sift through. I'm not happy with the government doing it but at least we have some small method of demanding accountability from them. Private contractors won't be bound by the same rules of disclosure. I don't consider that an improvement, much less an acceptable alternative.

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2 Comments:

Anonymous lester said...

on the contrary. us free market types are more wary of corporatism than anyone

http://www.timothypcarney.com/

^good blog about the unfortunate cnovergence of big business and government and how it HURTS the free market.

12:35:00 PM  
Blogger Libby Spencer said...

Cool. Thanks for the link.

5:46:00 PM  

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