Tag Archives: AFL-CIO

The Ugly Head Of Good Intentions

Henry Waxman and... his brother?

Pro-Abortion Democrat Bart Stupak joined Henry Waxman in chiding AT&T, Caterpillar, and several other large corporations who have adjusted their balance sheets in response to some of the first changes of the Health Care Socialization bill to take affect.

These large corporations have been enjoying a substantial tax deduction in return for their paying for their retirees prescription drugs. Because they had built their budgets around the savings this program gave them, as this program ends, they have to report the loss of this expected revenue.

And it’s significant amounts we’re talking here. After all, several hundred million here, a billion there, and pretty soon we’re talking real cash.

So Henry Waxman, from California (“sorry folks” says this former Californian)…

…sent AT&T, Caterpillar and Deere a sharp letter, questioning the charges and saying he wanted top officials from those companies to testify at an April 21 hearing he has scheduled on the issue.

What, he didn’t get enough validation of his supposed superiority after grilling Mr Toyoda of Toyota motors?

Congress is on a power trip the likes of which I haven’t seen before.

Bart Stupak joined in sending the letter which, among other things presumably, said:

The new law is designed to expand coverage and bring down costs, so your assertions are a matter of concern.

Ah, the ugly head of good intentions.

Some studies (which no doubt the Congress-people held to savagely in order to assuage their own consciences for this dastardly deed) projects savings of $3000/employee for employers under this bill.

Unlike the government, though, businesses have to abide by what are called Generally Accepted Accounting Principles, or GAAP (pronounced “gap”) which requires, among other things, that expenses be reported in the financial quarter in which they are incurred. A significant loss of revenue cannot be offset, on the books, with a hoped for or expected long term savings. The company can report that expected savings in their reports to shareholders in order to rally them up and encourage them to keep their investments. But to use a hoped-for (not even really expected) long term savings to offset a current expense is a serious No-No. And if the government were held accountable for it’s accounting, it might actually know that.

So AT&T and these other companies did what they were supposed to do.

Even the AFL-CIO isn’t very enthusiastic about this particular provision:

Gerry Shea, the A.F.L.-C.I.O.’s chief strategist on health care, stopped short of calling for a repeal of the provision. “We’re very concerned about the disruption that could be caused because of this, with people being pushed out of employer plans,” he said. “With all the changes we’re looking at because of the new health legislation, we feel you don’t need this.”

And the President’s response?

White House officials said the provision would not affect job creation because it does not take effect for three years and any charge for a given year would not be large.

They’re reflecting the reality of the situation reflected, in turn, badly on those who jammed this travesty of a Health Care bill through. And one thing we can be sure about, people on power kicks don’t like being shown to be liars and cheats. And since their on a power kick, in all likelihood they’ll use that power kick to try and arm-twist until they get what they please.

So, word of advice to AT&T and Caterpillar and all those other companies writing down significant losses: Don’t go to Washington. They’re out for your head and they’ll stage a show and the MSM will go along because they don’t like you either. You’ll not get a fair shake.

Instead, take your message to the masses. Use that advertising budget to do PSAs on TV, radio, newspapers, and internet. Go viral with your message on Youtube and the like. I’ll even post it here if you do it.

Show the hollow nature of these good intentions. Show how blinded the Congress was by their own ambition and greed that they crafted this nightmare. Show that it’s not just a nightmare for you and others with large pocketbooks, show that it’ll be a nightmare for us as you have to cut benefits and trim payroll.

Good intentions have once again reared their ugly head. Lets cut it off this time.

Quotes from NYTimes article “Companies Push To Repeal Provision Of Health Law”.

Political Payback

In this video, Tom Bates, President of the Bucks County AFL-IO pledges to show local Democrat candidates how politically powerful the AFL-CIO is. We’ll show the candidates of Bucks County what we can do for them, he dreams.

“And just think what they will do for us later,” he says and recites a litany of union subsidies such as Employee Free Choice, health care, and project labor agreements. “Just think what that will do for labor and working people.”

Money and volunteers may be Tom’s only draw because his presentation style… well, lacks charisma.

Dem’s Cut Funding To Agency That Holds Unions Accountable

While Democrats want to increase the Department of Labor’s budget by nearly $1 billion, they are leaving the little agency that oversees union transparency out. The agency currently receives $47.7 million and President Bush wanted to increase the budget to $56 million. Instead, Democrats have set funding at $45.7 million.

Clearly, union bosses are calling the shots on Capital Hill.

Predictably, unions take a “Who? Me?” approach, raised eyebrows and all. “The statistics are cooked,” associate general counsel to the AFL-CIO, Deborah Greenfield, said to The Hill.She said DoL double-counts convictions (If one union boss is convicted of 5 different crimes, the agency counts five convictions, not one.). She told The Hill that an AFI-CIO study on union bosses says that less than four-one hundredths (4/100 or .04) of 1 percent of union officials are guilty of crimes against their unions.”

Also note: Democrats who voted for the Kline amendment were Reps. Dan Boren (Okla.), Bud Cramer (Ala.), Lincoln Davis (Tenn.), Brad Ellsworth (Ind.), Tim Mahoney (Fla.), Mike McIntyre (N.C.), Harry Mitchell (Ariz.) and Heath Shuler (N.C.). Sixteen Republicans voted against the Kline amendment, including Reps. Mark Kirk (Ill.), Ray LaHood (Ill.) and Christopher Shays (Conn.).

Read the Wall Street Journal editorial here: Congress’s Union Dues
Read The Hill’s news report here: Sec. Chao criticizes House for cutting union oversight funds

Public Servant Strikes Immoral?

Who would believe that the father of alphabet soup, the champion of Big Labor who used big government price and spending controls to rescue the U.S. economy from the Great Depression (Actually, WWII rescued the U.S. economy from the Great Depression.) believed that public sector strikes were immoral.

Unlike today, in the 40’s and 50’s, the notion that teachers should engage in collective bargaining – much less go on strike to get districts to meet their demands – was controversial.

Resistance came even from the ranks of traditional organized labor. In 1959, AFL-CIO President George Meany declared: “It is impossible to bargain collectively with government.”

Public servants are just that: public servants. When public servants strike, they disparage their role as public servants and betray the public they serve. Sadly, the public, who often believe the rhetoric of striking public servants, pay both the injuries incurred during strikes and the increased, and sometimes unsustainable, benefits, salaries and working conditions “won” by the strike.

When “Freedom” Is Not Really Freedom

The AFL-CIO mentioned a new study on its blog yesterday:

Employee Free Choice Would Mean Millions More Get Health Insurance – If the Employee Free Choice Act becomes law, 3.5 million more people could receive health insurance and 2.7 million more could gain pension benefits, according to a report released yesterday by the Campaign for America’s Future.

Could it be true that this substantial number of workers will get what the AFL-CIO calls “relief”? How would it happen? Only if 3.5 million people began to pay the union dues, of which, the AFL-CIO gets a cut… and the AFL-CIO becomes free of financial limits to engaging in even more political activity.

In the new “freed” state in which workers gain health insurance and pension benefits, they will also be forced to pay dues (dues that are sometimes more than workers earn, and pay for union “benefits” (A UFCW local mandates a $5 monthly fee for a life insurance policy that pays out $2,500).

While union negotiated health benefits are good, who wants to be part of pension systems similar to those provided by airline companies (that had to be assumed by the federal government) or the Big Three automakers (who are not buying out their employees and facing bankruptcy) or even most government pensions (which are chronically overburdened and under funded like New Jersey’s).