Here’s a plan, let’s outsource a large portion of government jobs as a way of creating private sector employment. Let that sink in for a moment. Wait until you get the uncontrollable urge to smack yourself on the forehead… then go ahead and give in a good whack. There you go.
Yet this is Cal Thomas’ latest proposal. Now I grant you that I almost always find Thomas to be wrong. In fact, I was having a little trouble coping with a column he wrote a couple weeks back on Law and Marriage because I thought he raised an interesting point. I figured I must be missing something. But rarely does Thomas put forth an idea which is is so demonstrably wrong as his plan to outsource government jobs.
Let’s follow the dollars here for a moment. Taxes are collected. Out of those taxes, money is budgeted to pay for a government service. The government service contracts with a private company to fulfill that service. The private company hires someone to do the job. Connect all the dots, and that person’s wages are being paid with tax dollars. Yet somehow this counts as private sector employment?
Keep in mind, this is the same crowd who would strictly oppose those same tax dollars being spent for that same purpose if the same person was hired by the government rather than the private company to do the job. They would also oppose those tax dollars being given as a grant to a private company to do a function.
What if the government were to cut out the middleman and just buy the company and run it for the purposes of doing the job? That’s textbook Socialism, and is so wrong Cal Thomas would just stroke out.
If you’re an advocate for small government, then fine. But you can’t get there by outsourcing government jobs to the private sector. Those are still jobs being paid for by tax dollars, and additionally, taxes are paying for the profit the private company has to make as well. That’s not to say outsourcing is always a bad idea. But you can’t count it as private sector employment. Geezsh!