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Notes on Big Government

Despite all appearances, “Big Government” has gotten bigger; not by hiring, but through a shell game; that shifts the administrative workload for hundreds of federal government policies and programs to non-profit organizations, private contractors, state and local governments.

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) has less than 5,000 employees, but spends nearly a quarter of the Federal budget; a large portion is funneled to nonprofit organizations including churches. The EPA has fewer than 20,000 employees, but covers 90% of the costs for the thousands of state-government employees who administer EPA’s policies and programs. Every federal department, bureau, and agency uses for-profit contractors; they employ more than 7.5 million people.  State and local police forces have added about 3 million to their ranks through grants provided by federal crime bills and homeland security initiatives.

A conservative estimate of the number of people employed by the federal government’s out-sourced programs is 12 million; when added to the 2 million federal bureaucrats it’s a federally paid workforce of 14 million people.

Thanks to the federal government’s outsourcing programs, the number of nonprofit organizations in the US has doubled. Tax exempt organizations now employ more than 11 million people.

Nearly 20% of employed workers and 10% of US corporations have been removed from the US tax base. If the trend continues the for-profit workers won’t be able to generate enough taxes to support the government; and the wealthy will once again have to pick up the tab.

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