There’s a reason why flip flops and hurricanes don’t mix.
During the Tea Party beauty contest billed as the Republican primary, Mitt Romney indicated that FEMA should be on the chopping block because any time you can give money back to the states you should do it. However, the past week’s events seem to have him, shall we say, “reevaluating” his position.
The crime here isn’t his about face – we’ve become accustomed to that – or that it’s an apparent epiphany for Romney to realize in the aftermath of a calamity that “gubmint” really isn’t a bogeyman. It’s the fact that Romney followed the above suggestion with, “…and any time you can go further and send it back to the private sector, even better.”
This canard that the private sector is an inherently better delivery model for services is an ideology pure and simple. It’s devoid of any critical thought, and frankly that’s why the right gets away with it.
The private sector is great at what it does. And when you think of the billions of things it does – from manufacturing cars to providing internet service, to building homes, to serving fast food, to managing portfolios, to providing live sporting events, to making bad porn, to selling pet rocks, to putting peanut butter inside chocolate, to whitening your teeth and darkening your hair, to….to….to… – the number of things a government does is Lillipution by comparison.
The fact of the matter is that despite the stereotypes and the rhetoric from the right, “the government” is pretty damn effective at providing large scale services in an efficient manner at a reasonable price point. And hell, governments employ people too.
Romney justified his position by claiming that we can’t keep increasing debt on the backs of our kids. Just like his magic tax plan, in the Romney/Ryan post government Utopia, a tidy balance sheet will be the cure for all that ails us.
Beyond the implication that this cost effective future world will be comprised exclusively of insane retailers drastically slashing prices, the hypocrisy of Romney going to bat for kids is laughable.
His campaign message to date has ignored any discussion of poverty. If his stance on abortion is to be believed, he wants to increase the rate of young, poor, single motherhood. And his solution to the skyrocketing cost of higher education is “borrow from your parents.”
When the Red Scare or Al Qaeda puts us in harm’s way, who do you want protecting you, the US Army or Blackwater?
Who do you trust to put in charge of cleaning up up the detritus from Sandy? Chris Christie and Michael Bloomberg, or AIG?
“911, what’s your emergency?…
…ok, we can be there next Wednesday between 10-2.”