‘Conservative’ Republicans Add 2.5 Million People To Federal Payroll

Professor Paul C. Light’s latest study on the “true size” of the federal government puts the number of employees at a staggering 14.6 million people. Without excluding those under the age of 18, roughly 1 in every 20 people in the United States now work for the federal government. According to the Washington Post:

That compares with 12.1 million employees in 2002, said Light, who has tracked the growth of government for years and has data for as far back as 1990. The latest increase is almost entirely due to contractors, whose ranks swelled by 2.5 million since 2002, Light wrote in his 10-page research brief.

Aren’t Republicans supposed to be for smaller government? I find it hard to fathom how the addition of 2.5 million people is in any way compatible with conservative values. I also find it hard to believe that a very large number of conservative voters aren’t waking up to the fact that they have been screwed.

“This time, almost all of the growth can be attributed from the war on terrorism, which boosted Defense spending for both goods and services systems and covered the continued cost of the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq,” he wrote.

It would be interesting to know how many of these defense contractors made campaign contributions, both before and after the war on “terror” started, and for how much.

posted by disinter
  • Timothy West

    >45% of the work force local to me are federal employees. They react to small government like vampyres to a cross. 2 parents both makin 80 to 120 K is the norm around here. They bring that money back here 1 hour to WV and live like kings.

  • http://ww.reformthelp.org Nick Wilson

    Where’s Eric? I’m surprised he’s not all over this crap already calling the data “Democrat propaganda” and you a closet Socialist. Ahh, Bush. The true Libertarian hero…

  • undercover_anarchist

    But hey – they’re killing terrorists and keeping us safe. Didn’t Benjamin Franklin, the great conservative, say it was worth it to sacrifice some liberty for security? Didn’t George Washington say that we should be a guarantor of liberty all over the world? And remember how our nation officially declared itself Christian in its battle with the terrorist Barbari Pirates? It was probably a liberal Democrat who prevented us from wiping out the entire Muslim population when we had the chance. Like my idol Boortz says, we should nuke the whole mid-east – while strategically avoiding our beloved Zionist friends – and make a parking lot out of it. Can we still get the oil out from underneath the asphalt, though?

  • http://libertyforamerica.net/blog/24 Equal Opportunity Cynic

    You left out Patrick Henry: “Give me liberty, or… at least keep me safe, King!”

  • Leroy

    Traditional Conservative Values: Invade resource-rich foreign countries. Capture those resources and bring them under the ownership of well-connected buddies in certain large corporations. Build factories in this foreign land and hire the natives for dirt poor wages. Then build shopping centers over their national landmarks and hire the natives for dirt poor wages. Push Christianity on the natives for their own good (they need to be SAVED after all!) Am I missing anything? Oh yeah, install a puppet government that will be completely subservient and bow to the wishes of our government. And then say, “We libertarated you from your despotic leaders!”

  • http://www.originaldrugmanualforkids.com JT Barrie

    I have used the term “authoritarian militarist” in lieu of conservative ever since the Great Prevaricator became president and went on a military spending binge of monumental proportions. Since Democrats use the “protect your money” scare on the GOP like the GOP uses the “weak on defense” on Democrats, nobody cuts any government afraid of being either thieves or weaklings. So challenging news editors to find more than 5% difference in spending among the broad spectrum of elected people in leadership roles is a piece of cake. It’s all a difference of which “someone else” group each party screws.

  • http://www.myspace.com/undercover_anarchist undercover_anarchist

    The thing the author of this entry has to understand is that “conservatism” has not historically been linked with fiscal discipline. Were the French monarchists tight with the purse strings? Of course not. When has there ever been a “conservative” regime that made fiscal discipline its calling card? I’ll tell you when – NEVER. And only recently have the two ever been linked.

    Leroy hit the nail on the head.

  • http://libertyforamerica.net/blog/24 Equal Opportunity Cynic

    Obviously like many political terms conservatism and liberalism can be understood in a variety of meanings dependent on context.

    Yes, we’re all part of the Enlightenment liberal tradition.

    No, when I say I’m conservative and George Bush’s son isn’t, that doesn’t mean that I favor a monarchy or a return to the landed aristocracy.

    In the sense that I choose to use conservative, a positive one, I mean that I buy in to the Framers’ deep suspicion of human nature. Being conservative means that, when in doubt, you err on the side that has the lowest downside. In government, it means you err on the side that’s least likely to end up in tyranny. It means that you accept the cost that government may fail to act in a way that’s perceived as for the common good, but in return you get a small government that’s incapable of acting for evil.

    Of course conservatism has different historical meanings, and it’s been corrupted by the pseudocons to mean proto-fascism.

  • http://ww.reformthelp.org Nick Wilson

    “Of course conservatism has different historical meanings, and it’s been corrupted by the pseudocons to mean proto-fascism.”

    Just like the term “liberal” has been corrupted to mean “pseudo-socialism.” It’s only semantics, really, but words are important and have meaning. It’s too bad that these are our only options these days.

    I think libertarianism has also failed to sufficiently connect itself with national and global social justice movements. These movements (like Amnesty, Free Tibet, etc.), typically Left but sometimes right, generally use non-violence to support peoples’ freedom from oppressive governments and oppressive corporations. The reason why the Left don’t listen to libertarians is because they think we want corporations to take over the world (or that they would under free market capitalism). By connecting with the Right, we have only reinforced that stereotype. This is why I worry that the LP may be a hopeless cause – the PR barriers are already too high. (cont’d)

  • http://libertyforamerica.net/blog/24 Equal Opportunity Cynic

    I think libertarianism has also failed to sufficiently connect itself with national and global social justice movements.

    Good point, and I heartily agree. I try to stress that to the extent I believe in taking away (or phasing out) the government safety net, it’s because I believe private non-profits can better provide the same safety net.

    We should definitely make efforts to put our money and time where our mouth is. If nothing else it innoculates us against accusations that we’re just in it for lower taxes because we’re selfish.

  • http://ww.reformthelp.org Nick Wilson

    That’s why I lean towards creating something new – a party built on small government, clean/open gov’t reform, defederalization/localization, progressive tax cuts, social justice and anti-authoritarianism, ending corporate welfare, “tough on polluters” environmental policy, deregulation of small businesses, school choice, banning eminent domain, ending the war on drugs/legalizing medical marijuana, Balanced Budget Amendment, etc.

    The divides between us and the Left could be minimal. Maybe it’s an unlibertarian stance of mine, but I support a streamlined/immediate gun registration and criminal background check while making all guns available for legal purchase to all law abiding citizens. This is a compromise that could solve/prevent gun crimes while enabling law abiding citizens access to means of self-defense.

    On health care, support private health coops, high % tax cuts for businesses that give health plans and local autonomy do determine whether or not to have public HC.

  • Devious David

    LOL. Conservatism doesn’t have limited government as a fundamental belief. Every conservative I’ve debated has gotten painted into the corner where they could embrace that idea or admit that they don’t beleive in it. None have stood for it.

    Oh, they rhetorically beleive in limited government… We just haven’t yet come within sight of those imaginary limits that conservatives beleive in.

  • http://ww.reformthelp.org Nick Wilson

    By completely localizing public healthcare and education, we allow local residents to determine if they want to waste their money on these inefficient systems. Some local governments will, some won’t and, as in a free market, whichever is more successful will guide policy in the long run. There’s nothing unconstitutional about local governments doing these two things, and at the local level such programs are more accountable, easier to change, etc. The same could be said for other state welfare programs. When the Federal gov’t does these things, no one can make any real difference.

    While I personally do not support such programs, I do not think it is the Federal government’s place to tell local governments either that they can not do these things or that they must do these things. Thus I see plenty of room for libertarian-leftist crossover while remaining completely consistent with my libertarian values. Localism, reform and anti-authoritarianism is where the two can come together.

  • http://articulatecampaigns.com Allen Hacker

    No, UA,

    Benjamin Franklin (your #3 above) did NOT say that.

    Quite the opposite, he said, “Those who are willing to sacrifice essential freedom for security deserve neither.”

    -0-

  • http://libertyforamerica.net/blog/24 Equal Opportunity Cynic

    Time to calibrate the sarcasm detector, Allen.

  • undercover_anarchist

    Hacker, thank you for coming in here to top Dondero as biggest idiot on HoT. I guess you didn’t pick up the other sarcasm in my post. Washington said, we should “be a friend of liberty everywhere, but a guarantor of it here alone” (paraphrase). Partick Henry said “give me liberty give me death.” What else do I need to school you on? Government-controlled schools may be bad, but whatever education you got seems to really have failed you. Then again, it did teach you to be smart enough to steal. Uh oh, lawsuit coming my way.

  • http://articulatecampaigns.com Allen Hacker

    Yeah, cool, sarcasm.

    Meanwhile, what’s posted here endures, creeps out into the world, gets repeated, becomes the new defacto reality, and oh, gosh, I guess being called a thief is just sarcasm, a joke, the mirthful musings of what…?

    If you think what’s happening here is funny, mere fodder for folderol, that explains everything.

    Anyway, it’s always comforting to drop by and find stability, that nothing’s changed.

    -0-

  • http://articulatecampaigns.com Allen Hacker

    But seriously, UA,

    (Oops, there I go again…!)

    I’ll take my knocks where they’re due. It’s true I stopped reading your post at the first mangle. Frankly, it didn’t occur to me that anyone who would perpetuate admittedly false accusations could be capable of actual intellect.

    -0-

  • tech

    Hacker, please just do what you can to get Badnarik elected.

  • http://www.mainstreamlibertarian.com Eric Dondero

    The real story this election year which the liberal media has totally ignored, is the rise of the “Blue Collar Libertarians” or the “NASCAR Libertarians.”

    These are 30 something guys, maybe divorced once or twice, big sports bar goers, read Maxim, love golf outings with their buddies, fantasy football fanatics, and Spike TV addicts. But they also read the Wall Street Journal, have good stock broker jobs in downtown Chicago, and watch their 401Ks like a hawk.

    They hold their nose and vote Republican most times. The like the GOP’s views on economics, but can’t stand the religious right.

    Post Foley-Gate, these guys might switch to the Libertarian Party column, unless the GOP acts fast to reach out to them!

    I’m seeing polling data that suggests the formerly moribund Libertarian Party is polling in specific races better than ever before. They could win the TX CD-22 seat (Tom DeLay). They’re polling as high as 7 to 8% in some Governor’s races. This is unheard of.

    Eric Dondero
    http://www.mainstreamlibertarian.com

  • undercover_anarchist

    I highly doubt there are more than a handful of people who are both NASCAR fans and Wall Street Journal readers.

    I mean.. What a fucking demographic. 20-something brokers in Chicago who like NASCAR. YES, that is the key to the LP’s success. Those of us (including this broker who loves fantasy football but hates NASCAR and has only voted GOP out of protest against a particularly bad Democrat) who think the LP should instead reach out to the left (i.e. 50% of the country) stand corrected.

    By the way, Dondero, if you read yesterday’s Journal, you will know that Wall Street firms have given more loot to Democratic candidates than Repubs this election cycle. I don’t even know of any great investors who are Repugs. Only the jokers on Fox News with their BS market commentary. Buffett, Cramer, Soros, Joel Greenblatt, the list of Dems goes on and on.

  • Andy

    “They hold their nose and vote Republican most times. The like the GOP’s views on economics, but can’t stand the religious right.”

    Well they must not really be aware of what is going on if they like the GOP’s views on economics, because all we are getting from them is record increases in government spending, more debt, and more corporate fascism.

  • undercover_anarchist

    I would also like to point out to the fascist Mr. Dondero that his beloved WSJ editorial page is 100% pro immigration. And so is Larry Kudlow (who is NOT a libertarian, but is an excellent and entertaining journalist).

  • http://www.lpalabama.org/blog/14 paulie cannoli

    Well they must not really be aware of what is going on if they like the GOP’s views on economics, because all we are getting from them is record increases in government spending, more debt, and more corporate fascism.

    Well, some of the stockbrokers might indeed like corporate fascism. Others might just be confused by the public perception that Republicans are for smaller government when it comes to economic issues, despite all the real life evidence.

  • Andy

    “I would also like to point out to the fascist Mr. Dondero that his beloved WSJ editorial page is 100% pro immigration. And so is Larry Kudlow (who is NOT a libertarian, but is an excellent and entertaining journalist).”

    As I’ve said here on numerous occassions, the people in control of both the Democrats and the Republicans are all IN FAVOR of mass immigration.

  • undercover_anarchist

    Ah… That’s why we’re going to put a fucking wall around the country.. Because the good white Christian folk of this great Aryan nation have stood up to the leaders of the two political parties, right???

  • Andy

    “Ah”¦ That’s why we’re going to put a fucking wall around the country.. Because the good white Christian folk of this great Aryan nation have stood up to the leaders of the two political parties, right???”

    Follow their actions and not their words. All they are doing is GRANDSTANDING to appease people who have been complaining. The merger with Mexico and Canada into the North American Union is still in the works.

  • http://www.lpalabama.org/blog/14 paulie cannoli

    Yes, but until then, border paranoia is a convenient excuse for more police state stop, question, where’s your ID, what do you do, where are you going shit….and, if the satisfactory answers are not given, locking people up in cages or forcibly shipping them across the “border”….so why play into that?