On average, Uncle Sam spends nearly twice as much when the government outsources a job as it would if it just hired another "expensive" federal worker.
I live nine blocks from the U.S. Capitol, so many of my neighbors depend on the government for their livelihoods. A few — a scientist, an editor, a Secret Service agent — belong to that often mocked and rapidly shrinking category known as "civil servants." The government writes their paychecks, lets them buy into a decent health insurance plan, and runs a respectable pension system for them. Some belong to — and are protected by — powerful unions. Their generous benefit packages and job security are the stuff of legend.