08.10.2010 0

Public Sector Unions Line Up for Another Bailout, Promise Campaign Aid in Return

On Sunday, the Hill reported that public sector unions including the Service Employees International Union, the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees, and the AFL-CIO will all be helping to reelect congressional Democrats.

It’s no wonder. They’re explicitly thankful for a $26 billion bailout of bankrupt states like New York and California the House is voting on today in a special summer session. The bill includes $10 billion for public teachers funding, keeping as many as 160,000 teachers on the public payroll that would have otherwise been cut.

This is beyond even the appearance of a quid pro quo. House Democrats that today vote to force taxpayers into going deeper into debt to bail out the teachers unions will affirmatively be receiving additional campaign resources.

“We are set to launch a robust field plan across the country during the month of August, including advertising and grassroots events,” said Gerry McEntee, president of AFSCME, adding, “We intend to highlight the clear choice Americans will make in November between Democrats who are working to protect jobs and move the economy forward and Republicans who are willing to wreck the economy for political gain.”

Public teachers unions will get at least $40 million out the bill, once the tax money is automatically deducted from paychecks via dues and put into the union political coffers. And as the Hill notes, those resources will primarily benefit Democrats in November.

House Republican Leader John Boehner is himself livid over the kickback. “The American people don’t want more Washington ‘stimulus’ spending — especially in the form of a pay-off to union bosses and liberal special interests,” he said in a statement after the special session of Congress was announced.

“Democrats should be listening to their constituents — who are asking ‘where are the jobs?’ — instead of scampering back to Washington to push through more special interest bailouts and job-killing tax hikes,” Boehner added.

The vote to salvage the failing public sector comes despite news that private sector job growth only netted 71,000 new jobs last month. At that rate, it would take over 9 years to replace the 8 million-plus jobs that have been lost in this recession, and that’s not even factoring in new entrants into the workforce.

Unfortunately, all of this new spending has done nothing to help spur the economy into a robust recovery. Since Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi took over Congress in 2007, the government has added another $4.302 trillion to the $13.3 trillion national debt.

In fact, all this spending has not even helped states to balance their budgets. States already received $145 billion from last year’s $862 billion “stimulus,” and yet for Fiscal Year 2011, CNN reports that states face $180 billion in shortfalls.

That might have been understated, since as the Los Angeles Times reports, “Many states had already counted on the extra federal aid in their spending calculations — raising the possibility of new budget crunches if the measure failed.”

This is proof positive that Congress’ spending splurge is preventing necessary cuts and forestalling the day of reckoning for bankrupt states.

Americans for Limited Government Bill Wilson said “the states are becoming completely dependent on borrowed and printed money to balance their budgets. They refuse to make the necessary cuts to balance their budgets, and now they’re even including federal dollars in their budget tabulations.”

Wilson said that the bailout would disproportionately favor those states that spent the most money: “Out of the estimated 3.3 million public school teachers nationwide, teachers unions were expecting 160,000 layoffs this year — just 4.8 percent of all teachers. 38.1 percent of those layoffs are centered in just three states: 9,000 in New Jersey, 16,000 in New York and 36,000 in California.”

“Taxpayers should be furious,” he added. Of course, taxpayers appear to be the only constituency that is not being catered to this election year.

Robert Romano is the Senior Editor of Americans for Limited Government (ALG) News Bureau.

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