OK, I promised I'd do this. It's the middle of the night and I can't sleep. Had a bunch of dental work done Friday, I'm allergic to the painkiller the Doc gave me, and he's been off all weekend and doesn't work Mondays, so I'm in just the right mood.
You've all heard me talk about the "shadow government" that the Democrats have. This work will attempt to describe it and how we foolishly feed and fund it. The existence of the shadow government is important because it explains how the Democrats are never out of power even when they're out of power and how Republicans can never seem to actually get anything done. And, typical of the stupid party, most of it is our own damn fault.
Once upon a time labor unions were the cash cow and manpower pool for the Democrats. They still are, maybe even moreso, but now they're far from the only one. Part of the rise of the shadow government comes from tax laws and part from mostly Republican initiatives to privatize government services. For most Republicans a non-profit corporation is an oxymoron, for a Democrat it is the holy grail. If instead of just stealing the money Randy Cunningham had set up some nice non-profits to do defense related contract work, hired a good government accountant, and then ear-marked a few billion to the non-profits - his share skillfully raked off by the accountant and put in a safe numbered account - he'd now be a multi-millionaire senator instead of a convicted felon. Republicans generally have a small town Chamber of Commerce view of life and they are all over having the private sector do stuff rather than government. Well, where government is just another competitor, the privatization initiative is probably right, but there are lots of things that government does because nobody else was willing to do it. From the Reagan days forward, the Republicans won the battle of privatization and many, many government functions and programs have gone to the "private" sector. The Democrats, however, won the war of privatization because they became the "private" sector to which the work has gone. The Democrats have a vast network of for profit and non-profit companies that live almost entirely off state and federal government funding and do work almost exclusively for the government and Democrat constituencies.
All sorts of companies in your state are simply Democrat fronts. Your state government's departments of Health, Social Services, Education, Labor, Environmental Quality, and Natural Resources/Agriculture in large measure are simply money laundries that funnel state and federal taxpayer money to Democrat constituencies and ultimately to the Democrat Party itself. There is little that we on the Right can do to stop direct federal appropriations or contracts and grants to the Democrat front groups. There is much that we in the Red States can do to stop or control the federal funding that comes to the state and is distributed by the states' appropriation processes.
All eyes these days are turned to ACORN; they're the biggest and the worst. But your state and city has all sorts of "community action programs" and housing assistance programs and legal resources programs. Your state government is giving contracts to all sorts companies to do weatherization of low income houses or energy audits. Your state's department of labor is funnelling money to all sorts of job training programs - all run by retired union business agents - that never train anyone much, never place anyone in a job, and often only have paper "students." Your state's evironmental quality department is funnelling all sorts of money to "companies" to study snail darters and rabid rats. The education department funds all sorts of before school, after school, ESL, juvenile delinquent, and on, and on programs. It's also putting up all sorts of money to teach teachers this year's new indoctrination scheme fresh from the Ed Schools. And in doing that, it is funding the remote campi of most state universities. If they didn't have teachers, most remote campi wouldn't exist. And, to make it better, most teacher salary schemes are set up so that if the teachers take this year's underwater basket weaving classes, they get paid more. And I focussed on the social services sort of stuff that most Republicans so dislike, but the real cash cow in recent years has been GWB's creation, the Department of Homeland Security. DHS has been the personification of money for nothing and chicks for free; if you couldn't get it funded anywhere else, go to DHS. Folks, there ain't no Republicans doing much of this stuff. This is the way the Democrats give their staffers and officeholders jobs when they're out of power. This is the way that the Democrats fund themselves when they're out of power because every one of these outfits knows that an "appropriate" share of its revenue had best find its way back to the Party or that revenue stream will dry up. I could keep going with a litany of abuses and usurpations that result from federal funding, but I want to finish without throwing up on my keyboard.
So, what to do? I think she was grandstanding and doesn't really have a clue about how federal funding impacts states, but Sarah Palin was right in wanting to resist federal stimulus money because of the "strings" attached to it. Unless you're in Mississippi, federal money is a small percentage of your state's operating budget. (Don't start on Alaska pork; most federal spending in Alaska is on stuff that the Fed owns or federal functions that are located in Alaska.) Even though most states run most things with their own revenue, they routinely forfeit their sovereignty to the US in order to get federal funding to supplement their revenue. That crazy-assed politically correct curriculum at your school was developed in DC and is the price of the five or ten percent of your school funding that comes from the Fed. Those insane child protection regs that your Kid Nazi department's lebian social workers enforce against responsible parents weren't enacted by your legislature, they were the price of the federal funding for your Department of Health and So-called Services. Those insane OSHA regs being enforced against the non-union employers in your state aren't anything your legislature enacted, they're regs or often only unenforceable guidelines that your state agreed to to get US DOL money. I chose my words carefully, if you ever see an OSHA inspector on a union job, hire a skywriter.
So, what do we do? Nothing in the Blue states, but if we do something about some of this stuff in the Red states, the businesses will move out of the Blues states; that's a good Republican incentive. The most obvious thing to do is refuse the money but that would require a suicide pact by all the Red state's elected and appointed officials. You all saw what happened to Sanford and Palin's refusals; their legislatures took care of it at the first opportunity. Maybe one day we stop the federal government's overtaxation and redistribution scheme, but that day ain't today. Today's solution is right out of Saul Alinsky; make them follow the rules.
Republican governments hate overhead, so administrative positions are always the first to go in a Republican government. This is simply stupid. The bean counters and auditors are what keep your government honest but the typical Republican governor or mayor gets rid of them first. That both gives the Democrats a free rein because nobody's watching them and lets some of your avaricious Republican friends steal so you can have some front page time with the paper that hates you most.
If you're a Republican governor or attorney general, your mission should be the misery of any entity in your state that receives federal funds. There isn't a union or non-profit in America that can live by the rules if someone is looking over their shoulder. Give me a staff of ten good auditors and program SMEs, and I'll put anybody in America recieving public funds in Jail; the rules are so obtuse that nobody can follow them if anyone wants to go all Alinsky on them.
If we ever get the federal government back, we can see if we have the guts to cut off the federal appropriations altogether. It is to the eternal discredit of GWB and the Republican "leadership" in Congress that they NEVER DID A THING about any of this. Then we can take it to our states and cities that have NEVER DONE A THING about any of this. Anybody ready to man up?