Why the Democratic Party-Union relationship is corrupt

Michael Barone nails it — it’s a kickback scheme:

Public unions force taxpayers to fund Democrats

Everyone has priorities. During the past week Barack Obama has found no time to condemn the attacks that Libyan dictator Moammar Gadhafi has launched on the Libyan people.

But he did find time to be interviewed by a Wisconsin television station and weigh in on the dispute between Republican Gov. Scott Walker and the state’s public employee unions. Walker was staging “an assault on unions,” he said, and added that “public employee unions make enormous contributions to our states and our citizens.”

Enormous contributions, yes — to the Democratic Party and the Obama campaign. Unions, most of whose members are public employees, gave Democrats some $400 million in the 2008 election cycle. The American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees, the biggest public employee union, gave Democrats $90 million in the 2010 cycle.

Follow the money, Washington reporters like to say. The money in this case comes from taxpayers, present and future, who are the source of every penny of dues paid to public employee unions, who in turn spend much of that money on politics, almost all of it for Democrats. In effect, public employee unions are a mechanism by which every taxpayer is forced to fund the Democratic Party.

So, just as the president complained in his 2010 State of the Union address about a Supreme Court decision that he feared would increase the flow of money to Republicans, he also found time to complain about a proposed state law that could reduce the flow of money to Democrats.

Emphases added. How is this any different in any real sense from a supplier winning an order from a business and then kicking back a portion to the manager who awarded the contract? In the real world, this kind of garbage would land both parties in court.

Barone makes a couple of other points worth noting: the first is that Wisconsin (and now Ohio and Indiana) is not the opening battlefield of this fight. In 2005, with California already facing serious budget problems, the Governator had four propositions placed on the ballot for a special election. Three of them, as I recall, dealt with some aspect of union/pension reform. The unions, particularly the teachers union (sound familiar?) and the leftist nurses union, spent $100 million dollars in a successful effort to defeat all four measures. Oh, and that money was all supplied by taxpayers in the form of dues, regardless of their own preference.

(For the record, it was the 2005 special election that, in my opinion, broke Schwarzenegger’s governorship. He never recovered the influence and initiative he had at that point, and increasingly “went along to get along” with our progressive legislature. It wasn’t until 2009-2010 that he recovered enough political strength to take on pensions again, scoring a significant victory that went largely unnoticed. See Tim Cavamaugh’s “Farewell, My Lovely.”)

Barone also takes on the argument Obama made that unions have made “enormous contributions” to our economy and society by asking pointedly, “what contributions?”  What studies show the benefits of strong public unions compared to states without them? Indeed, as he points out:

Their incentives are to increase the cost of government and reduce down toward zero the accountability of public employees — both contrary to the interests of taxpaying citizens.

Which is why the corrupt mutual-patronage scheme the Democrats and the public employee unions have going has to end. For the good of all taxpayers and the fiscal health of our municipalities, states, and nation, let’s hope Governor Walker is more successful than Governor Schwarzenegger.

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)

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9 Responses to Why the Democratic Party-Union relationship is corrupt

  1. Greg says:

    As usual. Spot on

  2. [...] other words, it’s a kickback scheme, and we have to end it for the good of the [...]

  3. [...] the taxpayers hog.” Others claim that because unions tend to support Democratic candidates, “public employee unions are a mechanism by which every taxpayer is forced to fund the Democrat… And the conservative think tank The Heritage Foundation released a video explaining that public [...]

  4. [...] Funded by national Democratic Party organizations, funding by George Soros backed organizations and funding by Unions on the national level; these are the Democrat resources coming to bear on the eight GOP state [...]

  5. Genius says:

    Okay smart guy, what do you call Republicans and energy companies? What do you call Republicans and banks? What do you call Republicans and Big Agribusiness?

    You are an intellectually bankrupt, dishonest shill for highlighting the Democrat’s main source of funding without looking at the Republicans. Also, the AFL-CIO is more than just public unions. It doesn’t matter, though, because unions confer benefits to all workers without- in many states- requiring those covered to pay dues.

    You write off contributions, but explain this to me:

    http://www.stateofworkingamerica.org/charts/view/124

    Union membership decreases economic inequality; something which- “studies show” (to use your tainted words- contributed to the massive financial crisis which threatened our entire economy.
    How about the fact that union coverage is- if anything- somewhat beneficial to worker productivity?

    http://www.stateofworkingamerica.org/charts/view/125

    Write that off if you will, but it definitely shows that unions at least do not hinder; but arguably encourage greater worker productivity.

    Albert Einstein was not required to join a union; but he did. He knew they were good for the country.

    Your implications are shallow, ignorant, and totally devoid of real intellectual support. You are obviously an ill-educated and cripplingly-biased individual.

    • screw genius says:

      Energy companies get more subsidies from Democratic lead Congresses. Banks get more subsidies from Democratic lead Congresses. Big Agribusiness get more subsidies from Democratic lead Congresses. All three groups spend more lobby dollars on Democrats than Republicans because Democrats will shill for anybodies silver. Simple.

  6. MadAlfred says:

    Wow. Leftist idiots do exist. “Genius” is such a misnomer.

  7. [...] So, since card-check died as a federal effort, union bosses shifted their efforts to preserve their empires to the state level. SB104 is one of their victories, and the problems described in the above quote occur under the state law, too. I have to ask: if unionism is such a good thing, why are labor bosses and Democrats so darned afraid of secret ballots? Maybe there’s another reason… [...]

  8. [...] This is what happens in general when labor unions are allowed to become a labor cartel, to have a monopoly over the supply of labor: with no fear of competition, union bosses can concentrate on feathering their own nests. (I wonder how long it’s been since Trumka actually got his hands dirty in a mine?) With public employee unions, the situation is even worse, since political leaders are negotiating with the public’s money, not their own, and thus have less incentive to worry about the economic consequences, which may not come about until years later. (I posted a good video explaining this last March.) Combine a labor cartel with control over other people’s money, and you have a recipe for what we see so often at the local, state, and federal levels: a kickback scheme. [...]

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