• Drowning Government in the Proverbial Bathtub

    While writing the last blog post, I wondered what was the real logic behind whittling down the federal government until it was small enough to punt halfway across a football field.

    Constitutionally speaking, powers that are not explicitly welded by the federal government defaults to the states, and I assume government functions would work the same way. If the Tea Party's dream of getting government out of this and that were to come true, wouldn't those functions end up in the lap of the states?

    Is the overriding goal to whittle the federal government down until the individual states have more clout than the federal government itself? In such a case, what's there to stop states such as Arizona, Alabama and Georgia from enacting comprehensive immigration rules, since those powers have been unceremoniously stripped from the feds? I'm simply wondering if the Tea Party is hell-bent on shrinking the federal government's power, leaving a national patchwork of states with the power to enact their own sorts of regulation or strip regulation were needed.

    Or maybe I'm taking the wrong path on this. Perhaps it's a case of whittling down the federal government, while the vast majority of its functions are picked up by private corporate interests that are willing to perform those duties at a significantly higher cost. Federal government gets set up for a 90-yard punt while most, if not all of its functions are privatized by corporate interests with connections to the very people who advocated the whittling down and punting of government in the first place.

    To take the following from Uppity Wisconsin:

    What young worker would prefer coming to work for the state after graduation or early in his or her career, knowing in advance that their wage structure, and wages, will be forever capped in so severe a manner? To swipe a line from conservative activist Grover Norquist, if you want to make government small enough to drown in a bathtub, this make for an excellent start. It will, if enacted by the GOP-controlled Ledge, mean that government will find it harder and harder to attract talent, especially in the technical and professional categories. 
    That in turn means government will end up doing a crummier job protecting the rights and health and safety of its citizens. It also probably means a lot more outsourcing of the public's work to expensive private contractors -- who happen to be big contributors to the governor and his party. A recipe, in short, for our very own version of New York's famously corrupt Tammany Hall government -- a government that helped build the case for carefully crafted civil service rules.
    Tammany Hall, the gold standard in patronage governments, back when today's GOP was under the Democrat Party brand. It's odd how the Tea Party and others always advocate for paring down all other functions of government except the ones that keep themselves and their friends well-fed.