And So I Go: Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow

Posts Tagged ‘government employee unions

The lastest today:  Catholic priest and Protestant ministers in the military will be arrested if they perform any services  even tho they would be volunteering their time since they are not being paid.  None of our military are being paid.  Also the commissaries which are totally self supporting  have been closed.  The President is doi8ng every thing he can to make this as unpleasant on people as possible.  Stupid, petty thing like the above and like shutting down the out door WWII Memorial for Gods sake.  It is outside with no charge to get in and walk around!   And still the Democrats and the President refuse to sit down and talk to the House of Representatives to resolve their differences as our Constitution was set up to require.  I sincerely hope the American people are finally waking up to the monster who we let into our White House.

 

Much great information in the following Newsletter from the Heritage Foundation.   You can pick and choose the articles that interest you most.  Be informed People!  BB

 


Updated daily, InsiderOnline (
insideronline.org ) is a compilation of publication abstracts how-to essays events, news, and analysis from around the conservative movement. The current edition of The INSIDER quarterly magazine is also on the site.


October 5, 2013

Latest Studies: 92 new items, including the Fraser Institute’s “Economic Freedom of the World” report, and a report from the Rio Grande Foundation on how New Mexico could manage its federal lands better than the federal government

Notes on the Week: Somebody was worried the shutdown wouldn’t hurt, the last shutdown was good for the economy, the federal income tax turns 100, and more

To Do: Learn the truth about gun control

Latest Studies

Budget & Taxation
• Tax Reform, the Family, and the Pursuit of Happiness – American Enterprise Institute
• Could Dan Snyder End Publically Financed Stadiums? – Cato Institute  (These stadiums financed by you the tax payers are built for millionaire  owners for million air players to play in and then the public is charged an arm and a leg to get in to watch the games.  About time the People refused to subsidize millionaires.  Let them build and  finance their own stadiums just as movie theaters owners have to build and finance their own theaters or  bar owners have to build and own their own bars!  BB)
• Tax Reform Should Eliminate the Deduction for State and Local Taxes – The Heritage Foundation  (Tax reform from top to bottom needs done NOW.  The IRS is corrupt to the core and the middle class has to carry the burden of taxes as a share of their income while the rich have all kinds of loop holes and at the other end 47% of Americans pay no taxes at all.  This is wrong.  We need a tax that is fair to all and where all pay.  BB)
• Average Government Pensions in Illinois (Illinois Policy Institute  This is shocking!   Tell your kids to get a government job and get on the gravy train.  You can never be fired no matter how bad you do your job or how corrupt you are and the pay is outstanding.  BB) BB)
• State Pension Contributions: Taxpayers Bear the Brunt of Increasing Pension Costs – Illinois Policy Institute
• Tax Reform 2013: Setting the Stage for Economic Growth – John Locke Foundation
• A Tale of Two Labor Markets: Government Spending’s Impact on Virginia – Mercatus Center
• New Evidence of the Effects of City Earnings Taxes on Growth – Show-Me Institute
• Building on Success: A Guide to Fair, Simple, Pro-Growth Tax Reform for Nebraska – Tax Foundation
• How Tax Reform Can Address America’s Diminishing Investment and Economic Growth – Tax Foundation
• The Effects of Terminating Tax Expenditures and Cutting Individual Income Tax Rates – Tax Foundation

Economic and Political Thought
• Hayek, the End of Communism, and Me – Cato Institute
• Kludgeocracy in America – National Affairs

Economic Growth
• The Inequality Illusion – American Enterprise Institute
• Economic Freedom of the World 2013 Annual Report – Fraser Institute
• It’s the Government, Stupid – Hoover Institution
• What Economic Recovery? – Hoover Institution
• Corporate Governance and Shareholder Activism – Manhattan Institute

Education
• Protecting Students and Taxpayers: The Federal Government’s Failed Regulatory Approach and Steps for Reform – American Enterprise Institute
• The Most Interesting School District in America? Douglas County’s Pursuit of Suburban Reform – American Enterprise Institute
• Expanding College Opportunities – Education Next
• Graduations on the Rise – Education Next
• Understanding Illinois’ Broken Education Funding System: a Primer on General State Aid – Illinois Policy Institute
• 60 Questions About Common Core – John Locke Foundation
• The Missing Half of School Reform – National Affairs
• Veterans and Higher Education – National Center for Policy Analysis
• How to Correct Our Schools of Ed – Wisconsin Policy Research Institute

Foreign Policy/International Affairs
• Honduras under Siege – American Enterprise Institute
• Framework for Removing Syrian Chemical Weapons: Reasons for Skepticism – The Heritage Foundation
• India: Congress and White House Should Have Modest Expectations for PM Singh Visit – The Heritage Foundation
• International Affairs Budget Needs Stronger Congressional Scrutiny – The Heritage Foundation
• Sri Lanka: Northern Provincial Council Election Could Be Step Toward Reconciliation – The Heritage Foundation
• U.S.-Japan Security Agreement Enhances Allied Goals – The Heritage Foundation
• Syria and American Leadership – Hoover Institution
• The Perilous Future of Afghanistan – Hoover Institution

Health Care  (Need to read all of these People)
• Health Care Exchanges Impose $5.3 Billion in Costs, 16 Million Hours – American Action Forum
• Premium Increases for “Young Invincibles” Under the ACA and the Impending Premium Spiral – American Action Forum
• More Consolidation and More ‘Political’ Competition, Less Patient-Centered Market Competition – American Enterprise Institute
• Obamacare: Destined to Flop? Part II – American Enterprise Institute
• Obamacare: Destined to Flop? Part III – American Enterprise Institute
• Obamacare: Destined to Flop? Part IV – American Enterprise Institute
• More Good News as the Medicare Drug Benefit Approaches Ten Years – e21 – Economic Policies for the 21st Century
• Obamacare’s Insurance Exchanges: “Private Coverage” in Name Only – The Heritage Foundation
• Part-Time Illinois: Work Hours Have Dropped Since ObamaCare Signed into Law – Illinois Policy Institute
• Reforming Medicaid with Technology – Institute for Policy Innovation
• Conservative Health-Care Reform: A Reality Check – National Affairs
• The Uninsured Crisis under Obamacare – National Center for Policy Analysis

Immigration
• Biometric Exit Tracking: A Feasible and Cost-Effective Solution for Foreign Visitors Traveling by Air and Sea – Center for Immigration Studies
• Remittances Abet Mexican Officials’ Irresponsible Behavior – Center for Immigration Studies
• Shaping our Nation: How Surges of Migration Transformed America and its Politics – Crown Publishing Group

Information Technology
• Consumers Would Benefit from Deregulating the Video Device Market – Free State Foundation
• No Picking Favorites: The Proper Approach to the Upcoming Incentive Auction – Free State Foundation
• Proposals Like the AT&T/Leap Merger Promise Consumer Benefits – Free State Foundation
• Two Sides of the Internet’s Two-Sidedness: A Consumer Welfare Perspective – Free State Foundation

Labor
• Above the Law: Unions are Often Exempt from Laws on Extortion, Identity Theft, and Whistleblower Protection – Capital Research Center  (This is especially true concerning the public sector or government workers unions.  These are the people who are paid with your taxes but do not have to conform to the same rules you have to conform to on your job.  The “rubber room” teachers in New York who can not be fired so they sit all day in a room and read newspapers or play cards while still getting paid.  Other cities and states have “rubber rooms” too!   Also if you have been watching the farce of the IRS hearings you know that government workers don’t even have to answer to Congress!  BB)

Monetary Policy/Financial Regulation  (more heart-burn news you should be aware of.  BB)
• What Now for Monetary Policy? – American Enterprise Institute
• Dodd-Frank Strikes Again – Hoover Institution
• Fannie, Freddie, and the Crisis – National Affairs

National Security
• AQAP’s Role in the al Qaeda Network – American Enterprise Institute
• DHS Acqusition Practices: Improving Outcomes for Taxpayers Using Defense and Private-Sector Lessons Learned – American Enterprise Institute
• NATO at Sea: Trends in Allied Naval Power – American Enterprise Institute
• Biofuel Blunder: Navy Should Prioritize Fleet Modernization over Political Initiatives – The Heritage Foundation
• Kenya Attack Reminds the U.S. of the Need to Maintain Effective Domestic Counterterrorism Programs – The Heritage Foundation
• Kenya Attack: Vigilance Required to Combat al-Shabaab’s Resurgence – The Heritage Foundation
• U.S. Counternarcotics Policy: Essential to Fighting Terrorism in Afghanistan – The Heritage Foundation
• The Strategic National Stockpile: Vital to Maintain, Critical to Improve – Hudson Institute
• Journalism or Espionage? – National Affairs

Natural Resources, Energy, Environment, & Science
• Small Business Implications of Greenhouse Gas Regulation – American Action Forum
• Climate Data vs. Climate Models – Cato Institute
• The Energy Wealth of Indian Nations – George W. Bush Institute
• Congress Should Stop Regulations of Greenhouse Gases – The Heritage Foundation
• A Tale of Two Parks – PERC – The Property and Environment Research Center
• The Economic Possibilities of Unlocking Energy Resources on New Mexico’s Federal Lands – Rio Grande Foundation
• A Texas Capacity Market: The Push for Subsidies – Texas Public Policy Foundation
• Does Competitive Electricity Require Capacity Markets? The Texas Experience: A Summary – Texas Public Policy Foundation

Philanthropy
• ACORN International: Wade Rathke Shakes Down the Whole Wide World – Capital Research Center
• Philanthropy by the Numbers – Manhattan Institute

Regulation & Deregulation
• Insurance as Gun Control? – Cato Institute
• Kosher Certification as a Model of Private Regulation – Cato Institute
• Reconceptualizing Corporate Boards – Cato Institute
• Government Overreach Threatens Lives – Hoover Institution
• Reinvigorating, Strengthening, and Extending OIRA’s Powers – Mercatus Center

Retirement/Social Security
• Reforming Old Age Security: A Good Start but Incomplete – Fraser Institute

The Constitution/Civil Liberties
• Concealed Carry: Illinois Supremes Catch Up on the Second Amendment – The Heritage Foundation
• Protecting the First Amendment from the IRS – The Heritage Foundation
• The Fourth Amendment and New Technologies – The Heritage Foundation
• Real Judicial Restraint – National Affairs
• The Libertarian Challenge to Obamacare – Reason Foundation

Transportation/Infrastructure
• Government Shutdown and the Future of Transportation Funding – The Heritage Foundation
• Why the DOT’s Role in Funding and Regulating Transportation Should Be Reduced – Mercatus Center

Welfare
• A New Approach to SSDI Reform – Cato Institute

 

Notes on the Week

Somebody was worried the government shutdown might not hurt enough. The tactic of government officials impairing the most highly visible and valuable services in order to make funding cuts really hurt is so well known that it has a name and even a Wikipedia entry: The Washington Monument Syndrome. That means us rubes just might look it up and realize what’s going on this week during the government shutdown—or, as Fox News more appropriately calls it, “government slimdown.”

In theory, a total lapse in funding shouldn’t be an opportunity for bureaucratic game playing: Services are either essential and remain functioning as per the Anti-Deficiency Act, or they are closed. But under the Obama administration, shutdown means finding ways to turn off things that don’t have an off switch or don’t require work to maintain. A few examples:

The National Mall: The Obama administration’s Office of Management and Budget instructed the National Park Service to put up barriers to the monuments on the National Mall. That included the World War II Memorial (funded mostly by private money, by the way). On Tuesday, a group of World War II veterans arrived to visit the memorial as part of the Honor Flight program. The barriers carried the message “Because of the Federal Government SHUTDOWN, All National Parks Are CLOSED,” but someone moved the barriers aside, letting World War II veterans visit the World War II Memorial.

The group had appealed for help arranging its visit directly to the White House, but was turned down. [Daily Caller, October 1] The Park Service also told one Honor Flight group that was planning a Friday visit that its members faced arrest if they tried to enter the closed monument. [NorthWestOhio.com, October1]

On Wednesday, as Paul Bedard notes, more federal employees were sent to re-fortify the barricade at the World War II Memorial than were detailed to stop Islamic terrorists attacking U.S. embassy personnel in Benghazi, Libya. [Washington Examiner, October 2] Later on Wednesday, the Park Service announced that the World War II Memorial would be opened—but for veterans only!

Park Service Police are still on duty because they are deemed essential employees. They are essential, we gather, for telling citizens to leave open-air spaces that are not normally patrolled. That’s how shut down this government is!

Claude Moore Colonial Farm: The Park Service also shut down Claude Moore Colonial Farm in McLean, Va., even though it is entirely funded by a private non-profit organization. The Park Service says it has to shut down the site because it sits on federal land. However, Anna Eberly, Managing Director of Claude Moore Colonial Farms, told supporters by email that the Farm had never been closed down during previous budget impasses. Eberly continued: “You do have to wonder about the wisdom of an organization that would use staff they don’t have the money to pay to evict visitors from a park site that operates without costing them any money.” [Townhall.com, October 2]

Bus turnaround lane at George Washington’s Mount Vernon. George Washington’s Mount Vernon is also operated by a private foundation, and the Park Service can’t close it down because it doesn’t own the land either. But the service still did what it could to make itself a nuisance by putting up barriers to the bus turnaround lane just outside the site. The bus turnaround lane is on land owned by the Park Service. Check out the photo posted by Newt Gingrich:

a

Government websites. A number of government websites are carrying the message: “Due to a lapse of federal government funding, this website is unavailable. We sincerely regret this inconvenience.” But if you go to a government page and get that message, then you’re still on the government page. Nobody turned anything off; they just changed the content. Does that make sense? Julian Sanchzez says it’s possible but unlikely there is a security reason for walling off the regular content. He notes:

The main page at NASA.gov redirects to a page saying the site is unavailable, but lots of subdomains that, however cool, seem “inessential” remain up and running: the “Solar System Exploration” page at solarsystem.nasa.gov; the Climate Kids website atclimatekids.nasa.gov; and the large photo archive at images.jsc.nasa.gov, to name a few. There are any number of good reasons some of those subdomains might be hosted separately, and therefore unaffected by the shutdown—but it seems odd they can keep all of these running without additional expenditures, yet aren’t able to redirect to a co-located mirror of the landing page.

Still weirder is the status of the Federal Trade Commission’s site. Browse to any of their pages and you’ll see, for a split second, the full content of the page you want—only to be redirected to a shutdown notice page also hosted at FTC.gov. But that means… their servers are still up and running and actually serving all the same content. In fact they’re serving morecontent: first the real page, then the shutdown notice page. If you’re using Firefox or Chrome and don’t mind browsing in HTML-cluttered text, you can even use this link to navigate to the FTC site map and navigate from page to page in source-code view without triggering the redirect. [Cato Institute, October 1]

Bonus shutdown melodrama: FLOTUS’s fingers furloughed from tweeting:

Due to Congress’s failure to pass legislation to fund the government, updates to this account will be limited. #Shutdown

— FLOTUS (@FLOTUS) October 1, 2013

FLOTUS, of course, is the Twitter handle for First Lady Michelle Obama.

It might be that a lot of inessential government really is inessential. The political prognosticators say the 1995/1996 government shutdowns show that budgetary impasses are a bad idea, but the economics, says Tim Cavanaugh, tell a different story:

Despite the greatly ballyhooed furloughs of government employees, unemployment stayed even at 5.6 percent during November 1995, the period of the first spending gap, which ended when a deal cut by President Bill Clinton and Republican legislators allowed government to stay funded at 75 percent.

Unemployment actually dropped to 5.5 percent during the second spending gap, which was more complete than the first.

Unemployment continued to plummet in the months following the shutdown, as a hamstrung Clinton allowed the rate of government spending increases to slow and headed toward the eventual budget surpluses that became the highlight of Clinton’s legacy. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, unemployment dropped half a percentage point within a year of the first shutdown and had dipped below five percent by the spring of 1997.

More surprisingly, gross domestic product increased during both quarters covered by the Clinton-era shutdowns. According to the Bureau of Economic Analysis, GDP began the fourth quarter of 1995 at $7.7 trillion and ended the second quarter of 1996 at $7.9 trillion. By the end of the second quarter 1996 GDP had topped $8 trillion.

Personal consumption expenditures, gross private domestic investment and personal income also increased during and immediately after the shutdown.

The GDP numbers are particularly striking because government spending is given outsized weight in GDP measures, which assume that every dollar in federal spending results in a full dollar’s worth of economic activity. Nevertheless, GDP continued to climb despite the suspension of transfer payments. [Daily Caller, September 29]  ( if 800,000 government workers are considered  “non-essential” for this shut down then it makes one wonder just how many are non-essential  for good doesn’t it??  This is especially true when these government workers make on average 30% more than those of us who pay their salary and the fact that their performance of their jobs whether good or bad is protected by government employee unions so they can’t be fired no matter what they do or don’t do.  BB))

A glitchy MacGuffin: This week Democrats in the Senate shut down the federal government in order to keep Obamacare open. But Obamacare is not exactly open in the way that its supporters were hoping:  (READ ON:)

The Borinquen Health Center in Florida said only about 5 percent of the nearly 400 people who sought guidance in a 48-hour period were able to access Healthcare.gov, the website portal for consumers in 36 states where the federal government is operating exchanges, also known as marketplaces. [Insurance Journal, October 4]

Even MSNBC had trouble:

But beyond the software glitches is an even bigger problem with the online portals. John McAfee, a pioneer in anti-computer virus software, tells Neil Cavuto:

There is no central place where I can go and say, “OK, here are all the legitimate brokers, the examiners for all of the states” and pick and choose one.

Instead, any hacker can put a website up, make it look extremely competitive, and because of the nature of the system—and this is health care, after all—they can ask you the most intimate questions, and you’re freely going to answer them. What’s my Social Security number? My birth date? What are my health issues? […]  (BEWARE!  BB)

It’s not something software can solve. I mean, what idiot put this system out there and did not create a central depository? There should be one website, run by the government, you go to that website and then you can click on all of the agencies. This is insane. […] [Y]ou can imagine some retired lady in Utah, who has $75,000 dollars in the bank, saving her whole life, having it wiped out in one day because she signed up for Obamacare. And believe me, this is going to happen millions of times. This is a hacker’s wet dream. I mean I cannot believe that they did this.

Video of the week: Another fine entry in the Health and Human Services’ ObamaCare Video Contest. You know who takes no prisoners when it comes to ObamaCare? Remy:

September 30 was a good day in the courts for free speech, thanks to the Institute for Justice. The libertarian public interest law firm won two decisions striking down campaign finance regulations in both Mississippi and Arizona that prevented ordinary citizens from speaking out on politics:

In the Mississippi caseJustice v. Hosemann, Judge Sharion Aycock of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Mississippi ruled that Mississippi’s campaign finance scheme was an unconstitutional burden on small groups and individuals. Mississippi’s restrictions applied to any individual or group that spent more than $200 to talk about an initiative to amend Mississippi’s Constitution. The law was challenged by five friends from Oxford, Miss.—Vance Justice, Sharon Bynum, Matt Johnson, Alison Kinnaman and Stan O’Dell—who simply wanted to join together and speak out in favor of then-Initiative 31—an effort that would provide Mississippi citizens with greater protection from eminent domain abuse. But Mississippi’s $200 threshold is so low that it was impossible for them to even run a single quarter-page ad in their local newspaper without having to become a political committee.

Judge Aycock found that Mississippi’s campaign finance requirements were so complicated that “a prudent person might have extraordinary difficulty merely determining what is required” and that “potential speakers might well require legal counsel to determine which regulations even apply, above and beyond how to comport with those requirements.”

And:

In the Arizona caseGalassini v. Town of Fountain Hills, Judge James A. Teilborg of the U.S. District Court for the District of Arizona struck down Arizona’s similar regulatory scheme. The Arizona laws had been challenged by Dina Galassini, a resident of Fountain Hills, Ariz., who in 2011 sent an email to 23 friends and neighbors, inviting them to join her in a protest against a $44 million road bond by making homemade signs and joining her on a street corner. “Little did she realize,” as Judge Teilborg noted, “that she was about to feel the heavy hand of government regulation in a way she never imagined.”

Almost immediately she received a letter from the town clerk telling her to stop speaking until she had registered with the town as a “political committee” under Arizona’s campaign finance laws. Represented by IJ, Galassini challenged the Arizona law, securing an injunction that allowed her to hold her street-corner protests.

Galassini said, “I was stunned to learn that I needed to register with the government just to talk to people in my community about a political issue. All I could think was, ‘How can this be allowed under the First Amendment?’”

Now Judge Teilborg has granted Galassini a final victory, declaring that Arizona’s definition of “political committee,” under which she was regulated, is vague, overbroad, and unduly burdensome. [Institute for Justice, October 1]

Happy 100, federal income tax! My how you’ve grown! From Dan Mitchell, here are some snapshots of your younger years, starting in 1913:

The top tax rate was only 7 percent, the tax form was only 2 pages, and the entire tax code was only 400 pages. And a big chunk of the revenue actually was used to lower the tax burden on international trade (the basic tariff rate dropped form 40 percent to 25 percent).

But just as tiny acorns become large oak trees, small taxes become big taxes and simple tax codes become complex monstrosities. And that’s exactly what happened in the United States.

We now have a top tax rate of 39.6 percent, and it’s actually much higher than that when you include the impact of other taxes, as well as the pervasive double taxation of saving and investment.

And the relatively simply tax law of 1913 has metastasized into 74,000 pages of Byzantine complexity. [Cato Institute, October 3]

In case this week hasn’t provided enough liberal media bias, check out the highlights from last year. Last week we were in Oklahoma City for the State Policy Network Annual Meeting, but if we hadn’t been there, we’d surely have been at the annual Media Research Center Gala, featuring the Dishonors Awards. The event is always a hoot for recognizing the worst and the dimmest media personalities of the year for their liberal bias. We’ll point to one highlight: With a quote that you probably remember, Melissa Harris-Perry won the Dan Rather Memorial Award for Stupidest Analysis :

We have never invested as much in public education as we should have, because we’ve always had kind of a private notion of children. Your kid is yours, and totally your responsibility. We haven’t had a very collective notion of these are our children. So, part of it is we have to break through our kind of private idea that kids belong to their parents, or kids belong to their families, and recognize that kids belong to whole communities. Once it’s everybody’s responsibility, and not just the household’s, then we start making better investments.

Charles Krauthammer won an award of a different sort: the 7th Annual William F. Buckley Jr. Award for Media Excellence. You can see all the fun in the video below:

On the front lines: Last week we enjoyed seeing the State Policy Network hand out three deserving awards at its annual meeting in Oklahoma City.

Fighting for worker rights in Michigan: Joseph Lehman, President of the Mackinac Center, won the Roe Award, which is given every year to a leader “in the state public policy movement whose achievements have greatly advanced the free market philosophy.” The award is named after Thomas A. Roe Jr., founder of the State Policy Network. Lehman first worked for the Mackinac Center in 1995, and became President in 2008.

The Center achieved its biggest victory last December when Michigan lawmakers passed right-to-work legislation, which says joining a union can’t be made a condition of employment. The Center had been working for that policy since 1994. Lehman said: “The Roe Award created an occasion to focus attention on the Mackinac Center’s influence on better policies for Michigan, such as freedom to work. I accept the award on behalf of our team and dedicate it to them.” [Mackinac Center, September 30]

The Center has also been at the forefront of fighting the involuntary unionization of home health care and home daycare workers. We interviewed Lehman about those battles and more for our Winter 2013 issue of The Insider.

Promoting liberty in North Carolina: The John William Pope Foundation and the North Carolina-based think tanks the John Locke Foundation, the Civitas Institute, the N.C. Institute for Constitutional Law, the John William Pope Center for Higher Education Policy, and the N.C. Education Alliance won SPN’s Network Award. The Network award recognizes the accomplishments of state-based organizations promoting free enterprise. These six organizations won the award for their close work together on a variety of issues in North Carolina, from taxes, to corruption, to education. [John William Pope Foundation, October 2]

Fighting backdoor unionization in Minnesota: Jennifer Parrish, an in-home child care provider in Rochester, Minn., won the Unsung Hero Award (sponsored by the Vernon K. Krieble Foundation). In 2005, Parrish became active in fighting efforts to unionize home child care workers when a union organizer come to her house and used bullying tactics and deceptive claims to get her to sign a petition for unionization. Eventually, Parrish become a leader in the anti-unionization movement—all on her own time and using her own resources. [PostBulletin.com, September 27]

To Do: Learn the Truth About Gun Control

• Check out the new film, Assaulted: Civil Rights Under Fire, which explores the racial and class biases of gun control proponents and shows how those biases still operate. The film is narrated by rapper and actor Ice-T. You can catch a special screening of filmat 7 p.m., October 8, at the Muenzinger Auditorium at the University of Colorado-Boulder. The screening will be followed by a Q&A session featuring Second Amendment scholar and Independence Institute research director David Kopel.

• If you’re in the D.C./Northern Virginia area you might consider visiting George Washington’s Mount Vernon—since it’s open! It’s unaffected (mostly) by the government shutdown, because it is funded entirely by private money. It also happens to be one of the best of the presidential historical sites.

• Get ready for the Values Voter Summit, which will be held October 11-13 at the Omni Shoreham Hotel in Washington, D.C. This year’s theme: “Standing for Faith, Family and Opportunity for All.” Among the confirmed speakers: Ryan Anderson, Star Parker, Sen. Rand Paul, and Cal Thomas.

• Learn how GMO labeling laws spread consumer misinformation. The Heritage Foundation will host a discussion with Gregory Conko of the Competitive Enterprise Institute, L. Val Giddings of the Information Technology & Innovation Foundation, and Julie Gunlock of the Independent Women’s Forum. The discussion begins at noon on October 8.

• See a movie about a real-life American hero. Captain Phillips, starring Tom Hanks, chronicles the 2009 hijacking of the Maersk Alabama by Somali pirates and the ensuing standoff in which Captain Richard Phillips was taken hostage aboard a lifeboat. The film opens nationwide October 11.

• Help honor Vaclav Klaus, former President of the Czech Republic who helped guide his country from Communism to freedom. The Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation will award Klaus its Truman-Reagan Freedom Medal at a ceremony at the George Town Club in Washington, D.C. on October 8. The ceremony begins at 8 p.m. with a reception to follow. For more info or to RSVP, email info@victimsofcommunism.org.

Advertisements

Update read also:  Sunlight on SEIU Part II: SEIU’s White House Go-To Man Still on Union Payroll in 2009

Labor Unions: Employment at Wal-Mart Like Slavery

Purple People upheaval: What’s behind SEIU thug-in-chief Andy Stern’s resignation?; Update: The shadow of Richard Trumka; SEIU issues statement

This is a neat diversionary tactic to take away bad news for the Democrats in the November elections, but it is a very serious threat.   I am bringing forth a previous post because it is a must read.  And I am offering several other more recent post from Big Government that you must see.   Watch the union bosses converging on the White House where they are made welcome.  In fact Andy Stern avowed Communist is the head of SEIU Service Employees International Union which is probably the most egregiously  hostile.  Watch for union workers acting badly; you will see this all over the news since the MSM is so in sympathy  with thuggery.  BB

See also:  Union Thuggery and Theatrics: When is Enough Enough Already?

National Backlash Against Public Pensions Illinois state assembly passed a bill which makes some long overdue reforms on government employees retirement benefits. It has not yet been signed by the governor so it is not yet law but is getting a lot of back lash from the unionized public employees.  The law does not affect these workers as it only applies to “New” employees!

Want to Understand Lack of Public School Teacher ‘Accountability?’ Look to How Their Union’s Union Operates


Post title: Big Labor is coming after you.

Unions: Forever War

Unions have been at war with the people since the 1960’s when they began to lose their membership and therefore the huge piles of money commonly called Union Dues.  Look up the unions and you will find they all have mob connections.  First the mobs extorted people and were into every sleazy crime imaginable, then they cleaned up their act and move into gaming  big time in the 1940’s and 1950’s taking over Nevada.  Not being happy with that huge pot of gold they looked around and saw the perfect take over of all the people:  labor unions.     Big Labor hasn’t but 5% of the population as members, but 70% of these are service related and government employees.  Big trouble for We the People if these government employee unions are not stopped dead in their tracks.  Look at California, New York and Greece!  Government employee unions have bankrupted these places and they are now coming after the rest of us.

Unions have big money from all these union dues behind them and since they certainly don’t spend this money on the members they can spend it trying to get your vote.  Wake up America and  don’t swallow the kool aid.  You did in 2008 and look what it has gotten you.  don’t let it happen again.

How influential are unions?  Well Andy Stern it president of the SEIU Service Employees International Union and he is the top visitor to the Obama White House!  You want to know who Andy Stern is and what he believes and what he wants to do to this country then just go to YouTube and listen to him.  He makes no bones about what he intends for We the people.

The Wall Street Journal is reporting:

The AFL-CIO plans to roll out its biggest political campaign ever, surpassing the $53 million spent in 2008 to help elect President Barack Obama, to try to avert a repeat of the 1994 midterm election when Democrats lost a majority in Congress.

If that sounds a bit aggressive, that’s nothing compared to the powerful head of the AFSCME public employee union, who is saying “The time has come to draw a line in the sand…Regardless of your party affiliation, if you’re not with us, you are against us.”

(We’re pretty sure we’ve seen other people get hammered for using the same language, but we digress…)

It’s certainly interesting that unions are doubling down on their failed bet. But anything can happen when you wish upon a star

see also:

UPDATE:  According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), from 1998 to 2008 public employee compensation grew by 28.6%, compared with 19.3% for private workers.

UPDATE:  Led by Greece’s two biggest unions, tens of thousands of Greeks walked off the job Wednesday as part of a 24-hour nationwide general strike protesting the Socialist government’s deficit reduction efforts.

American Thinker: Obama and the Government Employees

See it coming so We the People had better head it off at the pass.  Germany , one of the richer countries in the European Union, has said they would not bail Greece out of the economic disaster they are now in.  Greece is only the first of several European countries to be taken down by their government employees unions.  Fully 10% of the population is employed by the national government.  I don’t know the figures for the local governments but they too are unionized and holding the tax payers hostage.  California. Illinois and New York are two states who are on the brink of going bankrupt because of their unionized public sector unions who have outrageous wages and benefits.  At some point We the People of the other 48 will be asked to bail these people out.  what will our government do?  We can be pretty sure what the President and the Democrats will do and that is why I and other keep writing and warning about it.

This is a great article from American Thinker  giving a lot of facts and some  historical perspective.   Remember one thing always: nothing changes but the date!  We have now, and have always had,  takers and givers, and liars and sheeple.

February 12, 2010

Obama and the Government Employees (BIG LABOR UNIONS, or SEIU and Obama’s friend Andy Stern.)

By Ed Lasky

//
//

Barack Obama may not have learned much at Harvard regarding the Constitution, but he did learn in Chicago how politics works: the Chicago way. Reward supporters, and keep the bribery as opaque  as possible. Chicago mores have been brought to Washington.

There has recently been a flurry of critical columns examining the devastation done to our nation’s fiscal health by government workers. Our cities, states, and federal government are in critical condition. Cities have begun declaring bankruptcy, and states such as California and Illinois are tottering. The federal government, which supplied a big chunk of stimulus dollars merely to keep states on life support, is running massive deficits and accumulating debts as far as the eye can see. What caused the problems?

There are two sides of the ledger responsible. Declining state tax receipts (considered “earnings” by government) played a role (the receipts side). But the real scourge has been on the expense side of the ledger: salaries and pension benefits given — and I do mean given — to government workers.

Public-sector unions have amassed great power to extract taxpayer dollars from politicians. Politicians reward government workers with our dollars, and they in turn are rewarded at election time by donations, free labor (phone banks, people who pass out flyers), and votes.

“Fully one-third of the ‘stimulus’ money went to state and local governments — an obvious payoff to public employee unions that contributed so much to Democrats,” as Michael Barone noted. Barone describes the corruption at the core of this dealing:

Public-sector unionism is a very different animal from private-sector unionism. It is not adversarial but collusive. Public-sector unions strive to elect their management, which in turn can extract money from taxpayers to increase wages and benefits — and can promise pensions that future taxpayers will have to fund.

The results are plain to see. States such as New York, New Jersey and California, where public-sector unions are strong, now face enormous budget deficits and pension liabilities. In such states, the public sector has become a parasite sucking the life out of the private-sector economy.

Obama and the Democrats have been well-rewarded for their patronage. Unions contributed up to 400 million dollars to Democrats in 2008 and engage in skullduggery to advance their aims. The latest revelation: a union-funded slush fund secretly targeting GOP candidates through the use of money-laundering and front groups. Unions have funded all sorts of political activity — undoubtedly the major reason Obama, in one of his first acts as president, ended union disclosure rules requiring them to report how their members’ dues were being spent. So much for transparency.

This is one reason why the recent Supreme Court decision leveling the playing field, allowing corporations to exercise their First Amendment rights by contributing to candidates, inflamed unions and President Obama. He violated precedent by attacking the Supreme Court in his State of the Union address. Maybe the title should be changed to State of the Unions.

Franklin Roosevelt, of all people, was alert to the danger of this collusion between politicians and unions. He maintained that “the process of collective bargaining, as usually understood, cannot be transplanted into the public service.” Yet it has been transplanted; today, a majority of union workers for the first time work for the government. And the government has brought good things to them.

Government work is one sector of our economy that is booming (besides pawnshops and bankruptcy lawyers). Rich Lowry noted the paradox: We suffer, and government workers prosper.

For most Americans, the Great Recession has been an occasion to hold on for dear life. For public employees, it’s been an occasion to let the good times roll.

The percentage of federal civil servants making more than $100,000 a year jumped from 14 percent to 19 percent during the first year and a half of the recession, according to USA Today. At the beginning of the downturn, the Transportation Department had one person making $170,000 or more a year; now it has 1,690 making that.

The New York Times reports that state and local governments have added a net 110,000 jobs since the beginning of the recession, while the private sector has lost 6.9 million. The gap between total compensation of public and private workers has only widened during the downturn, according to USA Today. In 2008, benefits for public employees grew at a rate three times that of private employees.

Nor does the boom look likely to end anytime soon.

The President’s new budget can be symbolized by the old wartime poster: Uncle Sam Wants You. Until Barack Obama came into office, the number of federal employees had held relatively constant. But that was so 2008. That number jumped from 1.875 million in 2008 to 1.98 million in 2009, and it looks to jump a farther in 2010 — a 14.5% leap in two years. (And the boom is in federal agencies, not the military; hiring at the IRS, EPA, and the Justice Department is a big portion of the increase. Big Brother is getting bloated — maybe we can get Michelle to work on this obesity problem.)

These jobs come with munificent salaries and benefits.

Federal workers now earn, in wages and benefits, about twice what their private sector equivalents get paid. They often have Cadillac health plans and retirement benefits far above the private sector average: 80 percent of public-sector workers have pension benefits, only 50 percent in the private sector. Many can retire at age 50.

The pensions are manipulated upwards and gold-plated, too, as I noted in “Taxpayers: Eat your hearts out, suckers.” Many others have begun to notice the drain on public finances by pensions for government workers, and the public pension tsunami has just begun.

This is the engine driving our ballooning deficits and public debt. Merely rolling federal employee pay back to where it was in 1998 relative to the private sector and shifting state and local government pay back to 2005 relative levels would save $116 billion annually from government costs.

We know this will never happen as long as Democrats are in power. They like this perpetual motion machine. A government bureau, Ronald Reagan quipped, is the nearest thing to eternal life we’ll ever see on earth. But we can try, and there is certainly potential for Republicans to seize on this problem as it begins to gain traction in the public mind. The issue seems tailor-made for Tea Partiers.

Meanwhile, Big Brother, like many big brothers, has become a bully. The Internal Revenue Service is on a hiring binge to crack down on taxpayers; fees on candy, plastic bags, iPod downloads, sugar, and many other things that make life fun are going up and up; our tax rates are inflating; and studies show that there has even been an explosion in parking tickets and fines for every picayune sort of “violation” that the bureaucrats can dream up in all their spare time — phantom taxes, they have been called. The leviathan must be fed.

The massive debt accumulating will be our responsibility to pay in the decades ahead. Obama blames Bush for the problems he inherited, but we know whom to blame for the problems our children and grandchildren will inherit. This debt will be an albatross around the neck of our economy. Our taxes will go toward these pensions and debt repayment instead of investments that will help our economy grow.

But even this good deal is not good enough for Barack Obama. He is a very mischievous man whose Modus Operandi is to distract and defame and engage in a great deal of sleight of hand. If he truly is a “sort of God” (as one of his adoring Newsweek pundits characterized him), that God would be Janus of two faces. While he talks the talk about the deficit and freezing discretionary spending, Obama engages in a spending binge that would make Imelda Marcos proud. But look what else the Magician-in-Chief is doing: giving even more money and benefits to government workers, and doing it in a very untransparent and sneaky way.


Barack Obama is planning a major overhaul of the Federal government pay system that would boost pay for government workers while loosening scrutiny on how they do their jobs.


When he released his budget, there was a section titled “Improving the Federal Workforce.” Sounds good, right? But watch what the man and his minions do, not what they say.

First, the document tries to justify the high salaries government workers are paid (responding to the mounting criticism).


But then comes the trickery, disguised as “reform” and “refreshing” the system. This team is addicted to euphemisms (and their thesauruses are well-thumbed).


John Berry, director of the Office of Personnel Management, is engaged in a major effort to overhaul the G.S., or General Schedule, classification and pay system that began in 1949. Change is coming, and it will gladden the hearts and fill the wallets of government workers. In a Washington Post interview, Berry

mused about eliminating the first two ranks of the 15-grade GS system and adding grades 16 and 17. Berry did not explicitly advocate a pay raise for federal workers during the interview, but those in the added grades presumably would be paid more than the current top rate.


Berry made noises about tying pay to performance (consider this chaff to deflect observation and criticism), but then he tipped his hand:


“I’m a strong proponent of breaking the chain to the desk and breaking the chain to the time clock,” he said. He wants government to “move in a direction to empower and trust our employees to get the job done … and not focus so much on where they’re sitting and what hours they’re sitting there.”


Does that sound like a plan to increase efficiency of government workers? Give them higher pay, but allow them to set their own hours and work from…where? Starbucks? Home? The zoo?


And how is this “reform” going to happen? Are the people or our representatives going to have a say in how our money is spent? Need one ask?


The plans are in the final stages and will be put in place by a presidential memorandum or executive order. In other words, they’ll be implemented by presidential fiat. This is the form of government we have now — or at least did, before Scott Brown was elected.

Government work…our growth industry.

Greek workers strike as government tightens belt – CNN.com

The country of Greece is on its back and going down the drain fast.  In an effort to save the nation the legislatures have attempted to cut the very lucrative government workers benefits.  This is the outcome: they go on strike.

Take a good look at what the Unionized government workers are doing in their own country that is literally on the ropes.  Do they care?  Hell no they don’t care and neither do their thugocracy Mafia run union bosses as they called the strikes.   This will be the United States if Obamanation is allowed to continue to grow.  Already the average federal worker outpaces the  civilian worker in pay by  $30,000 a year, and in benefits   that amount to $40,000 a year.  President Reagan warned against unionized federal workers and was able in the early 1980’s to stop a strike by the air traffic controllers union that would have sent the American economy into a tail spin.  He fired them all!  Every last striking air traffic controller was fired and never again was hired to oversee air traffic in our nations air ports.  But if all federal employees are permitted to unionize then the entire government and therefore the nation can be closed down at the whim of a hoodlum.

We need to go back to the Constitution and put a Congress in place who will outlaw workers unions for federal employees.  Never should We the People allow ourselves to be held up to ransom by our own employees.  If federal workers want to unionize they are free to get low paying jobs in the private sector!

Read this and weep.  Yesterday word came out that the European Union was going to bail Greece out.  Well don’t look now but because of socialistic governments France, Spain, Portugal and Italy are in line right behind Greece.   You might recall the riots in France two years ago when the government tried to change a union ruling that says once a worker is hired he can not be fired for any reason.  This is the reason businesses in France can not compete because they have too much dead work on their pay rolls.  This is why the young people in France can not get jobs and unemployment among the young is up to 50%.  the riots were by both union workers and oddly enough young people who didn’t want the governmnt to change the runion rules even if it meant jobs for them.  then again the welfare benefits in france are so good who would want to work for a living.  This is why France has been hanging on by its teeth for decades NOW AND IS A WORLD PLAYER ONLY IN NAME AND NOT IN SUBSTANCE.   Any time you hear of France making some offer on the world stage you can take that to mean the United States tax payers are menat to pick up the tab!  this is just a little side lesson in international politics.

Another history lesson:  The European Union is that group formed by all the European countries to do good things and give the countries an arena to discuss mutual problems and agree on solutions rather than going to war.  Something like the United Nations was supposed to be.  Now it is a body  that no one elects and no one seems to have any control over but they can tax each member state for funds to carry out their little projects meant to destroy the sovereignty of each European country.  Google the European Union and see just what the people on the streetws think of this body. BB

e umbrella civil servants trade union ADEDY, which called the strike, said most of its 500,000 workers were on strike, though that number could not be confirmed. When strikes are called in Greece, non-union members often will join those on the picket lines. //

Video: Greece struggles with debt//

//

//

RELATED TOPICS

The workers are protesting government plans to raise the age at which workers can claim pensions. The age varies for different public services, but in general, women can retire at 60 and men at 65; the government wants men and women to retire at 65.

The government is also proposing cuts in workers’ bonus pay, which for many is a large percentage of their income, as well as a hiring freeze.

Greece’s government says the measures are the only way to cut budget deficits and get its national debt under control.

ADEDY Vice President Ilias Vrettakos said he recognizes the government’s problem, but that it is not the worker who should suffer. He said the bankers created the problem for Greece, so the bankers should pay.

Vrettakos said the union is willing to compromise only if the government first attacks what the union sees as widespread corruption among top levels of society.

The strike is the first of what is expected to be several across Greece in the coming weeks. Another major strike is scheduled for this month.


See topic cloud at bottom of page for specific topics.

Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 97 other followers

BB’s file cabinet

Advertisements