Wednesday, September 07, 2005

GOP welfare state

While I'm linking to Washington Monthly articles, here's a fascinating one about the use of Alaskan native-owned corporations to funnel federal money to big (white-owned) corporations in non-competitive federal contracts. Read the whole thing to understand how it works, but here's a quote that sums up what it represents:
It is ... an illustration of how government now works under GOP control. Once upon a time, when Democrats ran Washington, federal tax dollars for the poor and other constituencies flowed largely through federal agencies and projects. The system was often inefficient, didn't always do much for its intended beneficiaries, and over the years became unpopular with voters. Now, a new system is arising, one more in tune with the zeitgeist. The new system funnels tax dollars not through wasteful federal bureaucracies but through crony capitalist enterprises. It is as inefficient and ineffective as the old system, maybe more so. But while the old system bolstered Democratic control of Washington, this one supports Republican rule. Welcome, then, to the new conservative welfare state.

...While some in Washington are uneasy about its costs and corrupting effects, many in the GOP leadership view it as a model for the kind of federal government they would like to see more of. It is a privatized system that circumvents the civil service, enriches politically-connected corporations, provides a trickle of money to the poor, and secures Republican power. For some conservatives, in other words, the Eskimo loophole is not a failed experiment in social engineering. It is the future.

3 Comments:

Blogger driftwood said...

Last night we had a discussion about how the cronyism of the top FEMA officials was a good example of the sort of the sort of corruption that the Bush crowd have perfected. They are very good at subverting things to their own ends without quite violating the law, or if they do violate it, doing so in a no “smoking gun” sort of way (to use a stupid expression).

This is a another case of the same.

9/10/2005 05:56:00 PM  
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