Can you say graft?
Via the Washington Times.
It has become clear that the president and those in the majority in Congress have sorely misjudged the ire of the American people. Waving that anger away as racism, ignorance or just plain “anti-incumbent” sentiment, they fail to realize that at the core, Americans have grown incredibly angry over the way their money is being spent. One thought the president might have gotten the message, declaring that the era of bailouts was over. And yet, as in so many other instances when the Democrats have said one thing and done just the opposite, the United States’ labor unions can expect a reported $165 billion to ensure they are able to meet the demands of their struggling pension funds. It’s safe to say that when Obama says there will be no more bailouts, the American people can expect a bailout.
The best we can say about this is that it is terrible public policy – enshrining years of bad pension management coupled with an entitlement policy founded on idiotic assumptions. At its worst, it is outrageous – a bald-faced payback for the years of Big Labor’s fealty to the Democratic Party machine, a machine that operates against the best interests of rank-and-file union members by creating policies that have eviscerated the U.S. manufacturing sector and driven jobs overseas.
What’s more, there’s reason to suspect that at least some of that money will be spent by the unions to make sure their candidates in office – the ones who support union causes and issues – remain in office.
This speculation is supported by the fact that at least two major unions reportedly are gearing up to spend $100 million to re-elect congressional members currently seated, despite reports that the American public is losing faith in the direction they’re going with economic recovery. Both the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME) and the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) have pledged to spend millions for Democratic incumbency protection. The AFL-CIO also is planning to help Democratic candidates retain their seats but has not divulged the amount it plans to spend.
……considering that unions gave nearly $400 million to Obama and the Democrats in 2008 for campaign contributions, as well as millions more for in-kind contributions, it is fair to suspect that the bailout is political payback for support during the election.
All of this begs an interesting question: If the unions had $400 million to give to Obama to help him get elected, why didn’t they use that money to prop up their own pension funds?……
This is not the first payoff given to the unions since Obama took office:
About one-third of the $787 billion stimulus package passed in February 2009 was directed at state and local governments, which have been facing declining revenues and are, mostly, required to balance their budgets.
The policy aim, Democrats say, was to maintain public services and aid. The political aim, although Democrats don’t say so, was to maintain public-sector jobs — and the flow of union dues to the public employees unions that represent almost 40 percent of public-sector workers.
Those unions in turn have contributed generously to Democrats. Services Employee International Union head Andy Stern, the most frequent nongovernment visitor to the Obama White House, has boasted that his union steered $60 million to Democrats in the 2008 cycle. The total union contribution to Democrats has been estimated at $400 million.
In effect, some significant portion of the stimulus package can be regarded as taxpayer funding of the Democratic Party. Needless to say, no Republicans need apply.
Giving a taxpayer-funded payout to union thugs responsible for voter intimidation and mafia-style strong-arm tactics, is reminiscent of Tammany Hall.
If George W. Bush had done this, or indeed any of the crap pulled by the Dems since their putsch in November 2008, the MSM would be in the throes of a grand mal seizure.