The Campaign Spot

Election-driven news and views . . . by Jim Geraghty.

Hillary: I Will Fire 500,000 Government Contractors My First Day In Office


Sharp-eyed Hillary Spot reader Frank noticed this in Hillary’s statement at the Nevada candidate forum:

The Bush administration has been privatizing government services. In fact, now we have more government contractors and grantees by three times the number than the entire military and Civil Service personnel. We have to stop that. And I have proposed cutting government contractors by 500,000 as soon as I’m sworn in — (cheers, applause) — and saving $8 billion to $10 billion.

Hillary’s statement, translated:

“500,000 people will find themselves out of work on my first day in office.”

Also notice that the audience applauds the firing of contract workers without the slightest bit of information about which workers she is talking about. Down with Rand Corporation and SAIC! Down with Blackwater (or perhaps I should use Kos’ preferred motto for their murdered employees)! Down with private companies providing services for the government to save the taxpayer money! The only good jobs are government jobs!

Let me observe something about government contracting. No-bid contracts are indeed, bothersome, and give off the scent that someone’s getting a deal that they don’t deserve. They ought to be reviewed, and Congress ought to provide oversight.

But one advantage to using a contractor is that if somebody does a bad job, you can easily “fire” them by not renewing the contract and finding someone else who can do the job better. If a government employee does a bad job, it’s much, much more difficult to fire them.

UPDATE: Hillary Spot reader Jeremy notes that somehow these government contractors are going to, presumably, be replaced by regular government workers, and yet somehow the process is going to save $8 billion to $10 billion. Can you really get a full-time government employee to do the job for $16,000 a year or more cheaper?

ANOTHER UPDATE: In related news, today ABC News’ The Note is featuring the entire lyrics to “I Am Woman, Hear Me Roar.” I know the Note is often full of obscure in-jokes, but is it time for drug testing over there?

Tags: Barack Obama , Bill Richardson , Chris Dodd , Fred Thompson , Hillary Clinton , Horserace , Joe Biden , John Edwards , John McCain , Mike Huckabee , Mitt Romney , Newt Gingrich , Rudy Giuliani , Sarah Palin , Something Lighter , Tommy Thompson


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