You really tipped your hand, Mr. Rose, in that fight with the Congressman over the private sector doing it better. The private sector is no better at doing things than government is, and this has been proven time after time. Look at the way the private sector wasted billions in Iraq on shoddy and uncompleted construction contracts, look at what the private sector is doing to medical care and medical costs. The rent seeking and profiteering is killing us. The urge to privatize government functions began in the 1970s, at the end of a long bear market when returns on investment were terrible, and the Dow was priced at four time earnings. If a company could get cost plus by assuming government functions, that was a damn good deal. Has been ever since, even with the boom in the capital markets. But it hasn’t been a boon to the taxpayers. The size and cost of government has increased in spite of it.
I truly believe there are only two things the G.O.P. has against government; the elevation of African Americans into middle class government jobs, and government demand that business assume its external costs.
Otherwise, they love government because it’s a source of enormous profits.
I remember in the Reagan years, when the President’s closest campaign advisor bypassed a White House job to set up a firm called The Power House. I went for a job interview there, and the one thing they wanted to know was who my Pentagon contacts were, because the only mission was to open doors to rent seeking contractors for a cut of the Government’s largess.