Wednesday, September 07, 2011

That worked out well, don't you think?

There is no governmental program so complex, no public-policy wicket so sticky that a Republican administration can't fix it with two magic words:

"Privatize it!"

That is because gummint is evil. Gummint employees are the devil. Private firms are always more competent -- and cheaper. Because the free market was ordained by God Almighty Himself. It's in the Bible.

Somewhere in the back.

It's also in The Conscience of a Conservative. Somewhere in the front.

UNFORTUNATELY for the magical thinkers on the right -- especially here in the Cornhusker State -- the Omaha World-Herald has this little report on a reality based audit of Gov. Dave Heineman's child-welfare privatization initiative:

Nebraska's child welfare costs have increased by about 27 percent after the state undertook a controversial privatization initiative, according to a state audit released Wednesday.

State Auditor Mike Foley unveiled the audit at a hearing before the Legislature's Health and Human Services Committee, which is investigating the privatization effort.

"This audit points to a critical lack of accountability," Foley said. "The consequence to the Nebraska taxpayers has been dramatic, including tens of millions of dollars in increased costs for child welfare services and a conspicuous lack of financial accountability that effectively frustrates any hope of transparency with regard to the expenditure of related public funds."


An analysis by the Omaha World-Herald in July found that the state paid contractors 50 percent more than planned and overspent its budget by $30.5 million for the fiscal year that ended June 30.

HHS made three unplanned infusions of money and repeatedly front-loaded payments to contractors, a practice that optimistically anticipates costs going down as the months go by, the analysis found.

State Sen. Amanda McGill said: "That report was scathing. The tough part is figuring out what to do about it. "

I DON'T KNOW about you, but I smell a socialistic, liberal smear job in all this. There was a plant, I tells ya!

Commerniss infiltrators in the Department of Health and Human Services purposely messed up Governor Dave's brilliant free-market, solutions-based solution to make a right-thinking conservative look bad. Yeah, that's the ticket!

Is Alger Hiss still dead? Just checking.

Never fear. There is a free-market fix for the free-market fix -- of that, I am confident. Perhaps the Heineman Administration can take some free-market lessons from history and, in the process, turn a public burden into a profitable venture.

I humbly submit one idea that has survived the currents and eddies of long history, and with private-sector business acumen could save Nebraska taxpayers a pretty penny while radically reducing the drain on society from the parasitic poor and the chronically incorrigible. Here's a succulent excerpt from the proposal:

I have been assured by a very knowing American of my acquaintance in London, that a young healthy child well nursed is at a year old a most delicious, nourishing, and wholesome food, whether stewed, roasted, baked, or boiled; and I make no doubt that it will equally serve in a fricassee or a ragout.

I do therefore humbly offer it to public consideration that of the hundred and twenty thousand children already computed, twenty thousand may be reserved for breed, whereof only one-fourth part to be males; which is more than we allow to sheep, black cattle or swine; and my reason is, that these children are seldom the fruits of marriage, a circumstance not much regarded by our savages, therefore one male will be sufficient to serve four females. That the remaining hundred thousand may, at a year old, be offered in the sale to the persons of quality and fortune through the kingdom; always advising the mother to let them suck plentifully in the last month, so as to render them plump and fat for a good table. A child will make two dishes at an entertainment for friends; and when the family dines alone, the fore or hind quarter will make a reasonable dish, and seasoned with a little pepper or salt will be very good boiled on the fourth day, especially in winter.

I COULD BE WRONG, but I think the Republicans will eat it up.

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