Friday, May 12, 2017

America's shadow bureaucracy

Daniel J. Mitchell

As Ronald Reagan pointed out many years ago, Washington is a company town. But rather than being home to a firm or industry that earns money by providing value to willing consumers, the “company” is a federal government that uses a coercive tax system to provide unearned wealth to various interest groups.

And the beneficiaries of that redistribution zealously guard their privileges and pay very close attention to any developments that might threaten their access to the public trough.

Government Looking out for Itself

Federal bureaucrats are particularly concerned whenever there is talk about spending restraint.

They get lavishly compensated compared to folks in the private sector, so they definitely fret whenever something might happen to derail their gravy train.

A recent segment on a local station in Washington, DC, focused on their angst, and I provided a contrary point of view.

The Bureaucracy Keeps Growing

Needless to say, my friends who work for the federal government generally don’t agree with my assessment. Some of them even sent me an article from the Washington Post that claims the number of bureaucrats hasn’t changed since the late 1960s.

They claim this is evidence that the bureaucracy has become more efficient.

But they’re wrong. The official federal workforce may not have changed, but research from the Brooking Institution reveals that this statistic is illusory because of a giant shadow bureaucracy.

George Will’s latest column is about this metastasizing hidden bureaucracy, referencing author John J. DiIulio Jr. and his study on government growth:

…government has prudently become stealthy about how it becomes ever bigger. In a new Brookings paper …government expands by indirection, using three kinds of “administrative proxies” — state and local government, for-profit businesses, and nonprofit organizations. Since 1960, the number of state and local government employees has tripled to more than 18 million, a growth driven by federal money: Between the early 1960s and early 2010s, the inflation-adjusted value of federal grants for the states increased more than tenfold …“By conservative estimates,” DiIulio writes, “there are about 3 million state and local government workers” — about 50 percent more than the number of federal workers — “funded via federal grants and contracts.” Then there are for-profit contractors, used, DiIulio says, “by every federal department, bureau and agency.” For almost a decade, the Defense Department’s full-time equivalent of 700,000 to 800,000 civilian workers have been supplemented by the full-time equivalent of 620,000 to 770,000 for-profit contract employees …the government spends more (about $350 billion) on defense contractors than on all official federal bureaucrats ($250 billion). Finally, “employment in the tax-exempt or independent sector more than doubled between 1977 and 2012 to more than 11 million.” Approximately a third of the revenues to nonprofits (e.g., Planned Parenthood) flow in one way or another from government. When you add it all together, the numbers are shocking.

“If,” DiIulio calculates, “only one-fifth of the 11 million nonprofit sector employees owe their jobs to federal or intergovernmental grant, contract or fee funding, that’s 2.2 million workers” — slightly more than the official federal workforce. To which add the estimated 7.5 million for-profit contractors. Plus the conservative estimate of 3 million federally funded employees of state and local governments. To this total of more than 12 million add the approximately 2 million federal employees. This 14 million is about 10 million more than the estimated 4 million federal employees and contractors during the Eisenhower administration.
Eliminate the Waste

In other words, the federal budget has expanded and so have the number of people with taxpayer-financed jobs.

By the way, there’s nothing theoretically wrong with a government bureaucracy using non-profits or contractors. And that was the point I tried to make in the interview.

I don’t care whether the Department of Agriculture or Department of Education is filled with official bureaucrats or shadow bureaucrats. What I do care about, however, is that they are part of an agency that should not exist.

And the same is true for the Department of Energy, Department of Labor, Department of Transportation, Department of Veterans Affairs, and Department of Housing and Urban Development.



At long last, Hillary Clinton got what she wanted — FBI Director James Comey, fired!

Another proof that Leftists have no principles or even any  consistency

At long last, Hillary Clinton and her Democrat legions got what they pleaded for last year — FBI Director James Comey, fired!

Remember when they wanted Comey out — before they didn't...

Just prior to the 2016 election, Senate Minority Leader-in-waiting Chuck Schumer (D-NY) declared, "I do not have confidence in him any longer," and he labeled Comey's letter about Hillary Clinton to Congress "appalling." House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) declared, "Maybe he's not in the right job."

Recall after Clinton lost, then-Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) protested, "This is not fake news. Intelligence officials are hiding connections to the Russian government. There is no question. Comey knew and deliberately kept this info a secret."

Most of the Demo rank-and-file followed in lock step. "The FBI director has no credibility," insisted Rep. Maxine Waters (D-CA). Rep. Hank Johnson (D-GA) lamented, "My confidence in the FBI director's ability to lead this agency has been shaken."

Fact is, it was Clinton who, by proxy, finally fired Comey. Here's how:

Firing Comey has certainly been in the works since Donald Trump was elected. However, once the Democrats launched their post-election tin-hat diversionary assertions that Trump and Vladimir Putin conspired to steal the election from Clinton, and their mainstream media public relations outlets propagated that mind-numbing nonsense, if Trump had asked for Comey's resignation in January, that would have affirmed the Trump-Putin connection in the small Demo-constituency minds.

Of course, there is not even a puff of smoke regarding the "Trump-Putin connection" in the alleged Russian interference with the 2016 election — unless by "interference" they mean that Russian operatives may have hacked Clinton's illegal and insecure email server, where she was unlawfully maintaining official and classified communications to hide them from the public record — and they made some of those emails part of the public record...

For the record, if the Russians hacked Clinton's insecure communications, and those of the Democrat National Committee, it would have been with the objective of giving a hand up to her Socialist opponent Bernie Sanders, their preferred candidate. The fact that those communications were exposed would be retribution for the Clinton and DNC hacking and bushwacking of Sander's campaign.

But two things happened last week that opened Comey's exit door.

First would be Hillary Clinton's very public remarks, once again blaming Comey for her election loss: "If the election had been on October 27, I would be your president. It wasn't a perfect campaign, but I was on the way to winning until a combination of Comey's letter and Russian WikiLeaks. The reason why I believe we lost were the intervening events in the last 10 days."

Second would be that Deputy AG Rod Rosenstein, to whom Comey directly reported, was just installed at the Department of Justice.

Tuesday, bolstered by Clinton's blame game, Attorney General Jeff Sessions endorsed a memorandum from Rosenstein that Comey should be fired based on his handling of the Clinton investigation last July and then again just before the election.

According to Andrew McCarthy, a former federal prosecutor and longtime friend of Jim Comey, "The memorandum issued by Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein to explain Comey's dismissal Tuesday is well crafted and will make it very difficult for Democrats to attack President Trump's decision. Rosenstein bases the decision not merely on Comey's much discussed missteps in the Clinton e-mails investigation — viz., usurping the authority of the attorney general to close the case without prosecution; failing to avail himself of the normal procedures for raising concerns about Attorney General Lynch's conflict of interest. He goes on specifically to rebuke Comey's 'gratuitous' release of 'derogatory information about the subject of a declined criminal prosecution.' That 'subject,' of course, would be Mrs. Clinton."

McCarthy notes, "This is exactly the line of attack Democrats have adopted since Clinton lost the election: Conveniently forget how ecstatic they were over Comey's confident public assessment that the case was not worth charging, and remember only his scathing public description of the evidence — even though both were improper. Significantly, Rosenstein avoids any suggestion that Comey was wrong in concluding Clinton should not be indicted; nor does he in any way imply that Comey's errors made it impossible to bring a wrongdoer to justice. ... Instead, Clinton is portrayed as a victim. This will appeal to Democrats — especially since it will keep alive the fiction that Comey, rather than Clinton herself, is responsible for the Democrats' stunning electoral defeat."

McCarthy is correct in his assessment of why Comey should have been fired — and indeed, by his then-boss Barack Obama, though that would have appeared like Obama was covering for Clinton (not that the mainstream media would have noticed). But the Demo/MSM alliance will have a field day insisting the firing was to subvert investigations into the alleged Trump-Putin connection.

Notably, in Trump's letter of dismissal to Comey, he wrote: "While I greatly appreciate you informing me, on three separate occasions, that I am not under investigation, I nevertheless concur with the judgment of the Department of Justice that you are not able to effectively lead the Bureau. It is essential that we find new leadership for the FBI that restores public trust and confidence in its vital law enforcement mission."

Despite tying Comey's dismissal to Clinton's claims, the DemoDrama "Nixonian memo" protests were instant.

"This is Nixonian!” protested Sen. Bob Casey (D-PA).

Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) declared that Trump fired Comey "in the midst of one of the most critical national security investigations in the history of our country — one that implicates senior officials in the Trump campaign and administration. This is nothing less than Nixonian."

Oh the horrors!

Thus begins a massive spin cycle to try and keep the Russian narrative alive.

But any Democrat or MSM talkinghead who mentions Trump and Russia in the same sentence is nothing more than a pandering dezinformatsiya propagandist. Clearly and demonstrably, while their socialist icon Barack Obama had a long history of ties to radical communist mentors and Marxist benefactors, Trump does not.

And a final note: There have been 11 FBI directors in its history. Only one other was fired — its fourth director, former federal judge William Sessions. He was fired by Bill Clinton in 1993, and it is no small irony that Comey's firing now is in part directly related to Bill Clinton's nefarious meeting with Obama's former AG, Loretta Lynch at the height of the Department of Justice investigation into Hillary Clinton.



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