The debate over America’s federal budget is getting stale — and getting us nowhere, as the latest government shutdown depressingly reminds us. Political obsession over budget deficits has now morphed into legislative extortion.
Today, more than ever, we need to refocus the federal “tax and spend” debate — from deficits to inequality. Two researchers from the New York think tank Demos are trying. They’ve released a new report that zones in on the no-man’s-land between the public and private sector that has left hundreds of thousands of Americans poor and a lucky few fabulously rich.
This no-man’s-land has expanded enormously over recent years as the federal government has contracted out and privatized one public service after another.
Those janitors who clean the Smithsonian museums? Those cooks at military bases? Those programmers writing software for Medicare? More and more of the workers who keep our government running work for private contractors. (more…)