Government Lobbies For
is the nature of government to expand rather than contract. And
the system itself encourages expansion. Let me illustrate.
of South Carolinaís State government are using paid lobbyists to
lobby legislators for more money for their departments. Think about
this. Taxpayer dollars are paying for lobbyists to lobby legislators
to spend even more taxpayer dollars. This borders on masochism and
if it is happening in South Carolina, you can assume it is also
happening in your State.
few years ago, South Carolina, following the lead of 32 other states,
eliminated sales taxes on food, primarily to help the elderly as
well as those below the poverty line. However, the Governor rescinded
this sales tax removal, claiming that the tax money was needed because
State departments were "cash-strapped".
these "cash-strapped" departments are able to employ expensive
lobbyists. The Ports Authority and the Public Service Authority
have six lobbyists each pressuring legislators for more money for
their functions. And, last year, lobbyists for the Department of
Transportation pressured legislators for a gas tax increase.
not all legislators lack integrity, and there is a pending bill,
currently in a House committee, that would prohibit public funds
from being used to pay for contract or full-time lobbyists.
even if this bill becomes law, it only touches the tip of the iceberg.
Most state agencies also have public information officers whose
function is to provide information, primarily to legislators. Their
goal is to favorably influence votes that will increase spending
for their departments. So, in effect, these officers are lobbying
legislators and they too are funded by taxpayers.
take this one step further. Follow closely, because, to quote Alice
in Wonderland, it gets "curiouser and curiouser."
State Personnel Department, euphemistically called Human Resources,
determines salary levels for all positions. To decide a department
headís salary range, personnel uses a formula that considers a number
of factors. One of the most prominent is size of annual budget.
A department head with a two million-dollar budget is assumed to
have more responsibility than a director managing a one million-dollar
budget. Therefore, the two million-dollar department head is awarded
a higher rate of pay.
government agencies are labor intensive, an effective way to significantly
increase a departmental budget is by adding more employees. However,
a 100-employee department consisting mostly of clerical level positions
would generate a lower directorís salary than a similar sized agency
that had more supervisory and managerial positions. So, by hiring
more employees and promoting employees into higher paying jobs,
a department head could enhance his rate of pay.
the other hand, cutting the number of employees and lowering expenses
will reduce a departmentís annual budget. But a director who takes
this approach should not expect an increase in his pay range. In
all likelihood, his salary level will be adjusted downward by the
by creating a sub rosa motive for directors to seek more funding
for their departments, Personnel Departments indirectly encourage
expansion of the size of government. And directors soon learn that
inefficiency can be more rewarding than efficiency. The cost of
government increases and the beleaguered taxpayer foots the bill.
him mail] is a CPA living in
Beaufort, SC, an unreconstructed Southerner, and an opponent of
© 2002 LewRockwell.com
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