The Billionaires' Vision For America is Very Different From Our Founders'

The billionaire class in America sees the world very differently from our Founding Fathers.

In fact, they're actually working to dismantle the very government that our Founders established.

And the perfect example of this is an on-going fight in Tennessee, led by Republican Governor Bill Haslam.

Haslam's family owns the "Pilot Flying J" chain of truck stops that pepper America's interstates, and he's personally worth around $2 billion, making him America's richest politician.

At the beginning of his second term, Haslam brought on several well-paid consultants to work in the so-called "Office of Customer Focused Government" on a project to outsource 1 out of every 5 state workers, or 20% of the state's public workforce.

The plan was simple, but sweeping: the government would privatize the management and maintenance of every single piece of state property, campuses, parks, office buildings, and even armories, a total of more than 10,000 jobs.

Haslam tried to put this plan into effect without any input from Tennessee's legislature, or its citizens, by using an approach he called "vested outsourcing" that would have allowed favored corporations to help write the request for proposals.

And if it hadn't been for a tipster getting in touch with a leader of Tennessee's public higher-education union, the United Campus Workers, the plan could have gone into effect in July of this year.

According to Melanie Barron and Jeffrey Lichtenstein who first reported this story for "Portside", the plan would mean that billions in revenue could be funneled to a single private company.

Barron and Lichtenstein also report that one of the rumored top contenders for the contract is Jones Lang LaSalle, which is already a state contractor AND a company that Haslam has reportedly invested in, in the past.

Thanks to the United Campus Workers union though, Haslam's plan to quietly gut Tennessee's state government and funnel taxpayer dollars to his billionaire buddies has been put on hold, for now.

Haslam was forced to abandon his plan after workers mobilized for months, collecting signatures, educating voters, and ambushing Haslam at events with demands to "Put the People First."

Dalton Brown described the win to Barron and Lichtenstein, saying: "We forced Republican members of the legislature to side with their constituents."

It's great that Republicans were forced to side with their constituents during that vote, but the fight is far from over.

Now, Haslam is trying to sanitize the plan by insisting that the private contractor will rehire "qualified and productive employees" of the state.

And if that doesn't work, Haslam is more than happy to try to drag out the process until the public loses interest, and then he can sign the contract in February 2017 and put the plan into effect as soon as March 2017, less than 6 months from now.

No matter how unpopular this billionaire governor's proposal is among the people of his state, Haslam will try and try again to outsource his state's public jobs to the private sector, and so will Republican governors around the country.

And their attempts have absolutely nothing to do with saving their states money or balancing a budget.

It has everything to do with the fact that the Republican party has been taken over by Southern racists and far-right libertarians who hate the American form of democratic republican government that our Founding Fathers set up.

Professor Kevin O'Leary recently described on this program how racists and far-right libertarians became the core of the Republican party.

As America's richest politician, Haslam is the perfect example of who actually benefits from right-wing politics.

And his attempt to privatize one-fifth of the state's workforce is the perfect example of how the libertarian worldview is fundamentally different from anything that our Founders envisioned.

While on this show, Professor O'Leary also described the historic context for America as a fundamentally "liberal" country: the rejection of the principles of privilege, hierarchy, inequality, and exclusion.

But when Republican billionaires like Bill Haslam try to gut the government that our Founders established and "run his state like a business," he is vying for privilege, hierarchy, inequality, and exclusion.

So far as Republicans are concerned, if we really have to have a government, it should benefit the rich and "deserving", not average people and working families.

Haslam isn't the only Republican who is trying to secretly sell our government off to corporations and billionaires, this is the end goal of every ALEC-controlled legislature and Republican politician at every level across the country.

It's time to restore faith in our American government, and that means voting anti-American-government Republicans out of office on election day come November.

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