Government Reform

Hillary Clinton: Liberaltarian?

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It hurt just typing that. And it's really just a shameful ploy to get you to read this post.

But NTU reports :

Presidential frontrunner Hillary Clinton (D-NY) has proposed cutting 500,000 government contractors and saving taxpayers $18 billion a year.

Senator Clinton also wants to create a government database that would track the effectives of government agencies. The federal government, to some extent, already performs this service. But, there's always room for more accountability and less spending.

Taxpayers should be happy that the Democratic frontrunner has called for more accountability and an $18 billion cut in federal spending. We'll be waiting patiently for her tax reform and entitlement overhaul proposals.

I've heard some policy people suggest we establish a BRAC -like commission to hunt down anachroisitc and ineffective government agencies and programs for elimination. Seems like a good idea.

The obvious question with Hillary's proposal is if the jobs those contractors perform would also be eliminated, or if they'd merely be transfered back to full-time federal employees. And take any calls from Mrs. Clinton for "more transparent" government with a fistful of salt. On the other hand, Al Gore's "Reinventing Government" program actually did quite a bit of good.

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  1. I’ve heard some policy people suggest we establish a BRAC -like commission to hunt down anachroisitc and ineffective government agencies and programs for elimination.

    Uh, you mean something like the Grace Commission?

  2. I’ve heard some policy people suggest we establish a BRAC -like commission to hunt down anachroisitc and ineffective government agencies and programs for elimination. Seems like a good idea.

    And how would this be an improvement over the GAO how?

  3. The FedGov cut something like 400,000 jobs during Bill Clinton’s presidency.

  4. I don’t think any candidate should be taken seriously on fiscal responsibility without reference to what the government already reports

    http://www.gao.gov/financial/fy2006financialreport.html

    Each year, the Comptroller says it’s not the congressmen or their plans–it’s the system that’s broken. Each year, his report is met with thunderous silence.

  5. The FedGov cut something like 400,000 jobs during Bill Clinton’s presidency.

    Contracting them all out.

    Oh, and let’s see if, oh, say, Head Start makes the list of anachronistic and ineffective government agencies and programs. Hell, for that matter, let’s see if the Federal Helium program gets axed.

  6. I’ve heard some policy people suggest we establish a BRAC -like commission to hunt down anachroisitc and ineffective government agencies and programs for elimination. Seems like a good idea.

    I’d rather put Brak in charge of overseeing government spending.

  7. I think the best idea I ever heard was to create a predatory agency. It would be funded for one year and any subsequent funding would have to come from programs or agencies that it eliminated. The theory being that beauracracies are good at perpetuating themselves and it would be able to exist if it only went for certain kills. A neat idea, but one we shall probably never see.

    My impression of what the Clinton/Gore administration did was to contract out some tasks the federal government did. One that I remember was supplying the military with food and clothing. Later they accused comapnies doing the same thing of being war profiteers once the Bush crowd came to power. I’m sure someone will point out the nuances as to why the approaches were different, but it’s kind of lost on me.

  8. Harpua:

    what would stop the predatory agency from simply eliminating, for example, the Department of Defense, and absorbing its budget?

  9. biologist,

    Haven’t you ever seen what happens inside a spider egg sac? That’s what our government should look like!

  10. Anything she cuts won’t begin to offset the increases from her inevitable health plan.
    It should always hurt to type an absurdity like “liberaltarian”- and Hillary is a self-proclaimed communitarian.

  11. biologist,

    Pretty simple. Congress wouldn’t go along with it. They wouldn’t be omnipotent and be able to get rid of stuff on a whim. They’d have to convince Congress that it was really unnecessary. So while they would not be likely to get rid of the DOD, they could probably get rid of some useless or redundant weapon systems. In order to survive, they’d really have to pick the low hanging fruit just to survive. If they ever developed any real clout they might be able to get rid of an agency. But ask Newt Gingrich how easy that is.

  12. I thought for sure I knew who’d posted this thread when I read the headline. I was wrong.

  13. They’d have to convince Congress that it was really unnecessary.

    Your predatory agency is going to die a slow, starving death with that restriction. I was thinking more of a Thunderdome type scenario: “two government agencies enter the ring, one government agency leaves.”

  14. I thought for sure I knew who’d posted this thread when I read the headline. I was wrong.

    I think Wiegel has probably jumped ship on the Clinton-shilling. Obama is the guy to beat for the Democrats, which Clinton obviously knows if she’s making such a desparate appeal to the Government Accountability Fringe.

  15. Honestly, I care more about video game regulation than I do about government size. Maybe it’s that what we get for giving up our financial rights, however meager, is better than what we get for giving up our social rights, which is nada. Maybe it’s that we actually have a chance of fighting the nanny-state, but we have zero chance of shrinking government financially.

    So HC is still on my fecal roster.

  16. The predatory agency would have oversight of some kind to prevent it from eating actually valuable agencies.

    That oversight would be subject to the same pressures to keep the programs alive that currently exist without any particular incentive to fight that pressure.

    The predatory agency would starve to death pretty quickly.

    A better solution would be to give the commerce clause some sort of actual content, rather than its current status as the magic incantation that invokes federal jurisdiction over everything.

  17. Senator Clinton also wants to create a government database that would track the effectives of government agencies.

    Now if we just had one to track Congress…

    The predatory agency would have oversight of some kind to prevent it from eating actually valuable agencies.

    You could just make both of the actually valuable agencies immune.

  18. You could just make both of the actually valuable agencies immune.

    Let’s see, there’s the agency that investigated Clinton’s sex life (great entertainment!), but they’ve already shut down. And then there’s the…um, well, there’s the one that…yeah, um, I guess NASA is harmless.

    Addendum: Mostly harmless.

    (Took a lot of extraterrestrial lobbying to get that “mostly” inserted.)

  19. I have to regularly deal with low skilled, low educated paper pushers who are in the state civil service. If these people were working for a private contractor, they would be fired tomorrow due to their incompetence and/or total disregard for actually ever doing any work.

    On the flip side of things, the federal government pays pretty crappy wages for a lot of the jobs that require skills and education. You have to wonder about the quality of the workers that it can get for a lot of those positions. Contracting provides a way for the the government to get higher quality labor and avoid going through the hiring circus that often weeds out good job candidates.

    I would love to contract out as much work as possible. Of course, there are problems with corruption. Politicians could be funneling taxpayer money to contractors where it becomes more difficult to monitor. I would also worry about contracting in sensitive positions that could give the contractors secrets and power.

  20. I would like to (sincerely) thank the staff of Reason for at least waiting a full day before spinning the Virginia Tech tragedy as an argument against gun control.

    NRO was at it before the sun went down.

  21. transfered back to full-time federal employees

    full-time union-dues-paying federal employees.

  22. sigh,

    The first thing I thought of when I saw the VA Tech tragedy was that people would spin it as an anti gun thing.

    And the first thing I thought of when I saw it was that it was a failure of gun control. A glaring painful example that gun control is counter productive.

    That taking away the right of the citizens to protect themselves does not yield good result. And that giving the state monopoly of the use of violence is counterproductive in everyway imaginable.

  23. Give me a break. Every politician is against government waste. Just don’t ask them to define it – that would piss off some potential supporters.

    Only a credulous goo-goo could consider this ‘news’.

  24. And the first thing I thought of when I saw it was that it was a failure of gun control. A glaring painful example that gun control is counter productive.

    That taking away the right of the citizens to protect themselves does not yield good result. And that giving the state monopoly of the use of violence is counterproductive in everyway imaginable.

    I never said it wasn’t a failure of gun control. I said that people need to, at the very least, let the bodies cool before they use the event for political capital.

  25. Senator Clinton wants to reduce the wastefulness and inefficiency of the state. As the new Number 2, she will bring peace and order to the Village. And find out why you resigned, Number 6.

  26. Let me know when you’ve eliminated honey, wool, and mohair subsidies. Then I’ll begin to take you seriously.

  27. “Reinventing Government” was the first thing that popped into my mind too. One of Bill and Al’s better legacies.

    I don’t buy Hillary as a fiscal conservative though. I see her more as a power aggregator.

  28. Oh, I thought it said Hillary was a librarian. Sorry but it still seems like a good idea.

  29. Harpua

    We should your pedatory agency the Bureau of Sabotage (in memory of Frank Herbert and his Whipping Star and Dosadi novels). It probably should be given a limited number of assasinations per a year to move some of the stubbornist bureacrats.

  30. Well, government efficiency would certainly be increased if President Clinton were to remove those 535 pesky guys and gals down the Mall from the White House.

    Agency removal is too tough. Appointee and bureaucrat removal isn’t. At least it isn’t with Der Censor. Gosh, I’m getting quite obsessive, aren’t I?

  31. warren,

    But, but, mohair is a vital resource. Without subsidies we would have to buy moes from overseas or something.

  32. “Obama is the guy to beat for the Democrats, which Clinton obviously knows if she’s making such a desparate appeal to the Government Accountability Fringe.”

    Hillary is going for the centrist vote, obviously, and will let Obama and Edwards split the more left leaning Democrat vote. This is obviously an attempt to shake things up. Don’t believe she will really follow through on these policies if she gets elected.

  33. It’s the re-emergence of the Goldwater Girl!

    U GO GRL
    U GO GRL

  34. Let me know when you’ve eliminated honey, wool, and mohair subsidies. Then I’ll begin to take you seriously.

    At least you didn’t mention milk. Clinton is very concerned about milk. Specifically, she’s concerned that the price is too low. Luckily there’s a Northeast Interstate Dairy Compact which helps to alleviate the harm done to working families by low milk prices. It takes a village.

  35. Let’s see, Hillary proposes cutting spending by $18 billion, in a government that spends $2.7 trillion. Quick, help me out here with the math. What percent is that? Less than 1%? Wow!

    There’s an old joke about this scenario, where after claiming to reduce the government payroll by 500,000, in order to prove credibility, the “dimwit” is asked to “name them.”

    Somebody needs to ask Hillary to name the people that will lose their job.

  36. Somebody needs to ask Hillary to name the people that will lose their job.

    I get asked that all the time. Using criteria and metrics established through consensus and analysis, we will liberate all of the government fuckers who vote Republican.

  37. Don’t fire Brak! Or Zorak.

  38. I’d totally vote for Brak. So long as Zorak and Space Ghost were in his Cabinet.

  39. Don’t believe anything Hillary says. If she says the sun rises in the east, you better check.

  40. Senator Clinton also wants to create a government database that would track the effectives of government agencies.

    An IT project like that will cost $20 billion, unless it’s off-shored.

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