It’s All Just Part Of The Plan

Posted in Commentary at 3:12 pm by wcnews

As we all hear the tales of future glory being told by the Republicans in this state about how wonderful the economy will be in the future and what a boon this plan is we should all hearken back to one of their past deals. To get an idea of how this “tax-swap” will likely turn out all you have to do is look at the privatization/outsourcing of the HHSC. We were told of savings and streamlining and efficiency…well as we all know now, it hasn’t come close to working out like that, no matter what the wing-nuts say.

Check out this excellent article by John Young where he introduces us to a new acronym, TPBBEPPM:

It’s the great Texas Push-Button Bureaucracy-Eliminating Paper-Pusher Massacre (TPBBEPPM). I made that name up, but not the debacle that state policy makers now face. It’s a mess they’re hoping will slide right past your nose.

Now the best part about this article is not that he’s pointing to more Republican corruption in our state government. It’s the way he goes through the history of the scam. He starts out by saying that even good ‘ol Dubya couldn’t pull off this scam, the whole state had to be run by Republicans for it to happen and we even needed a Republican president to get it done. And, of course, the only one profiting from this is a corporation and not the sacrosanct taxpayer:

The big winner from all of this was Bermuda-based Accenture LLP. Having won contracts elsewhere, including a voter-purge list in Florida used in the 2000 presidential elections, Accenture led a consortium that won an $899 million contract to replace Texas’ system of determining eligibility for state services.

Oh dear, just like Mike Krusee’s toll roads, there goes your tax money to a foreign company. Couldn’t they, at least, have found a Texas corporation to screw up the HHSC? At least that way the money would have stayed in state. Nope, it had to go to the company that aided in stealing the election in 2000. Want to know where the call center went?

Last week, after massive backlogs and interminable waits for people needing help at pilot sites in Travis and Hays counties, state Health and Human Service Commissioner Albert Hawkins told Accenture to clean up its act. Meanwhile, affected eligibility centers were returning to pre-Accenture procedures. Under privatization, applications routed through a clearinghouse in Midland were backing things up like hair down a drain.

The state had advised 2,000 state eligibility workers that their jobs either were going away or they would need to reapply, in many cases requiring them to relocate.

Now, with all the delays, and with some applications that appeared to vanish after reaching Midland, the state has said, “Not so fast” to at least 1,000 of the previously unneeded employees.

Quick, does anyone know a state leader from Midland? Mr. Young closes by asking us if we should put our trust in hunches and elected officials that govern on hunches. Well hunches don’t pay the bills. It’s not hunches that’s guiding their policies, it’s greed. It’s how Republicans have been governing for decades. The plan is to kill the New Deal, aka, social spending. But they can’t tell the public they want to kill it. So they come up with things like “supply-side economics” or “privatization” or a tax-shift that’s going to bring in more money than we will know what to do with. And when it doesn’t turn out that way who pays? Well it ain’t the corporation or the politicians, it’s the people. (If I’m not mistaken I believe the oil and gas sector got quite a tax cut from the new arrangement.) It’s those 1,000 former state employees who had to find a new job because of this scam. Or the people living at or below the poverty level who aren’t getting the help they need. Keep in mind what is coming as a result of what was passed in this special session and remember we’ve seen it all before.

It was a great column Mr. Young but I think you are wrong about one thing. Hunches, I don’t think so! It’s all just part of the plan.

1 Comment »

  1. Eye on Williamson » We Need A Fix, Not Tweaking said,

    May 25, 2006 at 10:42 am

    […] But comfort is relative and Mr. Chisum and his judges pension don’t have to worry about the social services cuts that are likely as a result of any future “tweaking”, which has always been part of the plan. […]

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