The Obama Phone: Just Another Part of the Welfare-State Empire – Tea Party Nation

 

The Obama Phone: Just Another Part of the Welfare-State Empire – Tea Party Nation.

Posted by Seton Motley

Note: This first appeared in Breitbart.com‘s Big Government.

 

Last week delivered us another nugget of YouTube gold.  A pro-President Barack Obama woman protester outside a Mitt Romney event – who may or may not have been an $11-an-hour-paid-to-be-there SEIU agitator – was asked why she supported the incumbent.

“Everybody in Cleveland low minority got Obama Phone.  Keep Obama in President, you know?  He gave us a phone, he’s going to do more.”  (Sic)

She was asked about how one acquires an Obama Phone.

“You sign up if you’re on food stamps, you’re on Social Security, you got no income, disability….”

Asked “What’s wrong with Romney again?” our interviewee shouted:

“Romney?  He sucks!  Bad!”

And who can forget the Obama Bucks guy?  And the woman who likes Obama “because he gives me stuff?”  And the woman who asserted “I won’t have to worry about putting gas in my car. I won’t have to worry about paying my mortgage. You know, if I help (Obama), he’s going to help me.”

 

All of which demonstrates well the daisy-chain aspect – and ultimate effect – of the Washington Welfare-State.

 

Not unlike the City-State Empires of the ancient world – Mesopotamia, Sparta, Athens – the Washington Welfare-State relentlessly conquers from the free market and the fifty respective states new territory and human chattel.

 

The Washington Welfare-State does so (exclusively) via the political, via Wars (on Poverty),  and (New) Deals,  and treaties (re)negotiated every two years – “Vote for me and I’ll give you even more free stuff.”

 

President Obama has exploded the welfare rolls – food stamps, unemployment (in large part by weakening the work requirement), Social Security disability, etc.  And adding people to these programs triggers their eligibility for a panoply of others.

 

Like Lifeline – which gives free cell phones and free service to, really, just about anyone.

(Democrat) Senator Claire McCaskill…—a millionaire many times over—could apply for a free cell phone, complete with monthly service, paid for by the federal government. From what McCaskill could tell, “you just had to check the box” saying you met the income requirements, submit the form, and collect the phone….

Like just about every other government program – it’s run phenomenally well.

A 2011 audit found that 269,000 wireless Lifeline subscribers were receiving free phones and monthly service from two or more carriers. Several websites have been created to promote “free” government cell phones, including the ”The Obama Cell Phone” website at ObamaPhone.net.

Like just about every other government program – it has grown exponentially under President Obama.

In 2008, there were 7.1 million Lifeline accounts nationwide. There are 12.5 million today….

(T)he program has swelled from $772 million in 2008 to $1.6 billion.

And that’s only just getting warmed up.

(Lifeline spending) would reach $3.3 billion by 2014 absent major reforms.

And Lifeline is but a part of the gi-normous boondoggle that is the Universal Service Fund (USF).  Is your cell phone bill ridiculous?  Check the taxes:

As of the third quarter of 2012, the USF fee, which changes quarterly, equals 15.7 percent of a telecom company’s interstate and end-user revenues….

And that huge percentage of our money is going up even and ever more absurdly higher.

Proposed contribution factor for fourth quarter 2012 is…17.4 percent.

So we are hurtling towards a 20% tax rate on our monthly cell phone bill – just by and for the Federal Government.  Which was an $8 billion total take in 2010 – and hurtling ever upward.

 

And for what?  Ever greater Lifeline spending.  And a new, completely illegal nightmare – .

(T)he Universal Service Fund (will fund) the Connect America Fund, the largest U.S. broadband infrastructure program ever established, which will use $45 billion over 10 years to extend broadband deployment throughout the country….

But that $45 billion is apparently not enough:

Obama Contemplates Internet Tax

To further over-fund the…a spread-the-wealth-around universal broadband connectivity program….

Not mentioned is the $7.2 billion of broadband “stimulus” tucked into the fatty, flabby folds of the 2009 $1 trillion “Stimulus” bill.  Which was an unmitigated disaster.

The Internet ‘Stimulus’-Just as Destructive as the Rest of the ‘Stimulus’

 

Yet Another Terrible Internet ‘Stimulus’ Project

 

Broadband Stimulus Projects Need Oversight, GAO Report Says

The General Accounting Office (GAO) issued that report in August 2010.  Did the Obama Administration do anything to address the myriad problems detailed therein?  Of course not.

GAO Finds Problems with Broadband Stimulus Efforts

That report came out in August 2012.

 

Two years later, exact same assessment of the utterly unaltered $7.2 billion broadband Internet spending mess.

 

And now the Obama Administration – massive expanders of the Federal Government Welfare-State – wants to spend $45 billion more.  Unexamined, unaccounted for – and in unaccountable, fiat fashion.

 

Extraordinary idea.

 

KNIGHT: Supreme opportunity to right a wrong – Washington Times

KNIGHT: Supreme opportunity to right a wrong – Washington Times.

High court should repeal law before it sickens the nation

By Robert Knight – The Washington Times

In March, the Supreme Court will hear the challenge by 26 states and the National Federation of Independent Business to the constitutionality of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, better known as Obamacare. A ruling is expected by midsummer.

Although many provisions don’t kick in until 2014, this 2,700-page mess is already giving America’s health care system a bad cold, which will morph into pneumonia if the law is not overturned. A few of the symptoms already have emerged:

Adding costs: Some doctors are charging patients extra fees for basic services such as processing forms. Without malpractice tort reform, which Obamacare rejected, doctors themselves are facing higher insurance fees along with anticipated bureaucratic regulatory costs.

Reducing coverage:Faced with a mandate to ignore pre-existing conditions, insurance companies have dropped child-only coverage.

Hiking premiums: Health insurance premiums have risen across the board by an average of 9 percent in 2011, according to the Henry J. Kaiser Foundation, with Obamacare accounting for about 20 percent of that increase. Costs are slated to rise annually under Obamacare. In 2014, a new tax on fully private health coverage plans kicks in, raising costs another few percentage points. President Obama’s promise during an interview with AARP in July 2009 that, “If you are happy with the health care you’ve got, then keep it” should become the signature punch line for late-night comedians.

Enriching D.C. firms: An army of lobbyists has made millions hounding Washington lawmakers, and the lobbying continues. In 2009 and 2010, 1,251 organizations reported that they had employed lobbyists for and against various provisions of Obamacare, according to the Center for Responsive Politics.

Violating federalism: More than half of the states are in open rebellion, with many refusing to create federally mandated state exchanges and 27 states (the 26 plus Virginia in another case) are suing the federal government.

Unilaterally ignoring part of a law:In October, Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius scrapped the long-term care program known as the CLASS Act, which the late Democratic Sen. Edward M. Kennedy had championed as a cost-saving measure while conservatives claimed that it would break the bank. The Obama administration finally found CLASS’ budget-busting reality too much to ignore. Conservatives cheered.

But wait. How can the administration toss aside a provision in a law passed by Congress and signed by the president? The White House does not have authority to order a do-over. Just because conservatives rightly oppose this boondoggle does not mean its demise came through a constitutionally sound remedy.

Picking winners and losers: More than 1,000 waivers were issued, exempting groups from a rule prohibiting them from offering maximum payouts to individuals of less than $750,000. The waivers were all over the place, going to the Cracker Barrel and Ruby Tuesday restaurant chains, the Chickasaw Nation, Aspen Snowmass, the Maharishi University of Management, the Atlantis Casino Resort and Spa and big insurers such as Aetna. As the Daily Caller reported, 38 out of 204 waivers granted in April went to restaurants, nightclubs and hotels in House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi’s San Francisco district.

Dozens went to unions that heavily supported Mr. Obama’s election campaign. The largest was snagged by the American Federation of Teachers, with 351,000 members covered. Waivers also went to the Teamsters, Service Employees International Union (SEIU), International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, Communications Workers of America, the Laborers’ Union and United Food and Commercial Workers.

After a wave of public criticism, the waiver program was halted, with no new applicants or extension requests accepted after Sept. 22. “Millions of Americans are now in plans that cannot impose annual limits below $750,000, and that limit will increase in the coming years until 2014 when no annual dollar limits will be permitted for non-grandfathered plans,” according to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. Translation: If you’re not in by now, you’re out of luck.

Killing jobs: Fearing higher mandated costs, many companies are laying off employees or delaying new hiring. Shortly after Obamacare was signed into law in March 2010, firms such as Caterpillar, John Deere and AT&T announced that it would cost them hundreds of millions of dollars, which would lead to layoffs. Back in February, testifying before the House Budget Committee, Congressional Budget Office Director Douglas Elmendorf conservatively estimated that Obamacare could cost 800,000 jobs over the next decade.

It’s already doing so, and here’s an example: More than 700,000 Americans have hip or knee replacements each year, and as baby boomers age, the numbers are likely to rise. Michigan-based Stryker Corp. makes many of those devices, but thanks to a tax provision tucked into Obamacare, Stryker faces nearly $100 million in new costs starting in 2013. So the company has announced it will begin laying off 1,000 employees. In rust-belt Michigan, that’s a very unhealthy development.

In March, Rep. Mike Rogers, Michigan Republican, sponsored the Health Care Waiver Fairness Act (H.R. 984), which basically would exempt every American from Obamacare, but it hasn’t made it out of committee. Back in January, the full House passed the Repealing the Job-Killing Health Care Law Act (H.R. 2) sponsored by Majority Whip Eric Cantor, Virginia Republican, which would have nullified Obamacare. It was euthanized on Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid’s operating table.

While we all wait for the Supreme Court to weigh in, Obamacare is lurching across the nation’s health care system like Frankenstein’s monster, leaving destruction in its wake. It’s not just the costs, but the top-down concept. Obamacare effectively turns free citizens into dependents of an overweening government.

Let’s hope and pray the court sends Obamacare into cardiac arrest so America’s economy – and promise of individual liberty – can get into the recovery room.

Robert Knight is senior fellow for the American Civil Rights Union and a columnist for The Washington Times.

Occupy Oakland’s Dangerous “Strike” Follies – Michelle Malkin – Townhall Conservative

ILWU logo.

Image via Wikipedia

Occupy Oakland’s Dangerous “Strike” Follies – Michelle Malkin – Townhall Conservative.

The next stage of the Aimless Occupation of America is upon us: On Wednesday, rabble-rousers in the San Francisco Bay Area will walk off jobs they don’t have and encourage everyone else around the country to abandon work to protest high unemployment.

The Occupiers are calling their organized day of inaction a “Mass Day of Action.” The Carpenters Local 713, the Service Employees International Union, the United Auto Workers and the Industrial Workers of the World have all endorsed the “general strike.” Longshore workers and their union agitators are rooting for the shutdown of the Port of Oakland. Teachers unions will push students and educators to play hooky. Their posters urge: “No Work. No School. Occupy Everywhere.”

A city suffering from chronic poverty, out-of-control crime, a $76 million budget deficit and a 15 percent unemployment rate (nearly 50 percent for Oakland’s youth) can hardly afford such social justice follies. But a pushover Democratic mayor and an overwhelmed police force have left what’s left of gainfully employed Oakland taxpayers at the mercy of professional freeloaders and anti-capitalism saboteurs.

Instead of unequivocally condemning efforts to paralyze downtown commerce, Oakland city officials have all expressed sympathy for the protesters. For a brief moment, the city council president fretted meekly about the city’s image after a violent clash between Camp Chaos inhabitants and law enforcement officers last week. Nevertheless, city leaders — or rather, city enablers — have informed public employees that they can use vacation or other paid time to ditch their offices and raise their fists in solidarity with the Occupiers.

Instead of targeting local bank branch managers and private-sector entrepreneurs, the protesters should be camping out at government offices and asking where all the tens of millions of dollars in federal Obama stimulus funding went over the past two years — including $40 million from the Department of Health and Human Services, nearly $30 million from the Department of Housing and Urban Development, $26 million from the Department of Justice, $24 million from the Transportation Department, $15 million from the Department of Education, and $5.3 million from the Environmental Protection Agency.

One local analysis found last year that the Oakland Housing Authority squandered nearly $11 million in federal project renovation and clean-up stimulus grants to create a measly 10.7 jobs.

It would all be an amusing object lesson on the impotence of the welfare state, if not for the looming shadow of violence that hangs like stubborn Bay Area fog over the movement. In 2003, a like-minded mob of police-provoking anarchists, anti-war organizers and progressive activists descended on the Port of Oakland to coordinate a “Day of Action.” They hurled concrete, wood and iron bolts at cops while attempting to block military shipments to soldiers in wartime — and then whined about police brutality.

Fast-forward eight years. This week’s “Day of Action” is spearheaded by the likes of Oakland rapper Boots Riley, a militant, self-declared “communist” who penned “5 Million Ways To Kill a CEO” (“Toss a dollar in the river and when he jump in/If you find he can swim, put lead boots on him and do it again”) and “Lazy Muthaf**kas” (“You ain’t never learned to drive or tie your shoe/I got my ear to the street and my eye on you/… You’re a lazy **********! Lazy **********!). After the 9/11 attacks, I reported on Riley’s appalling album cover depicting him partying in front of a doctored image of the World Trade Center being blown up.

Like fellow Occupier, 9/11 conspiracy theorist and Oakland community organizer Van Jones, Riley has long stoked anti-police grievances. In “Pork and Beef,” he rapped: “If you got beef with c-o-ps/Throw a Molotov at the p-i-gs.”

Add to this toxic mix the thugs of the International Longshore and Warehouse Union. The planned march on Oakland’s port is being billed as an expression of “solidarity with longshore workers in their struggle” against grain importer EGT. In Longview, Wash., wildcat union workers cut train brake lines, smashed windows, dumped grain and took hostages earlier this fall to protest the company’s decision to employ not non-union workers, but workers from a competing shop. A federal judge fined the ILWU $250,000 after it defied a court restraining order. Even Obama’s National Labor Relations Board was forced to issue a complaint against the union’s “violent and aggressive” actions.

The unapologetic local union president vowed: “It’s going to get worse before it gets better.” Mark those words.

TIMMONS: The NLRB’s anti-jobs plan – Washington Times

TIMMONS: The NLRB’s anti-jobs plan – Washington Times.

Labor board forces rules on employers that wouldn’t pass Congress

By Jay Timmons- The Washington Times

A few unelected officials in downtown Washington are rapidly accomplishing what 535 men and women in Congress refused to do.

The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) has launched an aggressive agenda and is well on its way to achieving the goals of the Employee Free Choice Act (EFCA), a wide-ranging bill that would have reshaped the labor system in the United States.

Although the EFCA was a priority of organized labor, it never won the approval of Congress – even when one party controlled the House, Senate and White House. But who needs Congress when an ideological agency is at the ready?

The NLRB has long been a lightning rod. It’s true the agency is independent. The board members don’t have to answer to the president. But the president puts them there, and they clearly can bring an agenda with them. With gridlock in Congress, the board can fill the breach left by the legislature and make policy that could never survive the democratic process.

Manufacturers got a sense of the current board when President Obama set off a nomination fight by naming Service Employees International Union (SEIU) lawyer Craig Becker to the board. Mr. Becker’s history of partiality derailed his confirmation chances. Prior to his nomination, he had advocated restrictions on employers’ rights, such as limits on their speech and ability to communicate with employees during representation campaigns, leading Sen. Orrin Hatch, Utah Republican, to describe him as “the most radical nominee to the NLRB in my experience in the Senate.” Mr. Becker couldn’t clear the Senate, but the president put him on the board through a recess appointment.

Including Mr. Becker, the NLRB is down to just three members – two Democrats, both appointed by President Obama, and one Republican. At full strength, the board comprises five members, three of the president’s party and two of the other party.

Mr. Becker’s recess appointment runs out at the end of the year, so the board could be reduced to just two members. That may explain all the recent action at the NLRB – the Supreme Court ruled in 2010 that the board cannot render decisions if there are just two members.

So what has the board been doing? The short answer is that it’s putting jobs at risk by introducing uncertainty for job creators and potentially imposing new costs on employers. The more employers have to spend figuring out the new rules and complying with them, the less they can use to invest in their firms and hire new workers.

The NLRB is pushing the limits of its regulatory authority to upend our time-tested labor system. It recently finalized a 194-page rule to require employers to put up posters informing employees they have the right to organize. The NationalAssociationofManufacturers thinks the agency does not have the statutory authority to do this, and we have filed a lawsuit against the board. The proposed “ambush elections” rule would speed up the time from when a union files for an election and when the election is held. The measure contains a timeline – as few as 10 to 14 days – that would severely limit the period during which an employer could communicate with its employees prior to a union certification vote. It’s a matter of fairness – employees should have the ability to make an informed decision by hearing from both the union and the employer.

Majority rules on the board, and the board has issued several 3-1 decisions (the board’s fourth member recently retired) that will have a significant negative impact on employees and employers alike.

Its August decision in the SpecialtyHealthcare case reverses years of precedent and imposes new burdens on employers. The decision opens the door for the creation of multiple unions, with as few as two members, in a single workplace. Imagine a shop floor with employees represented by not one but multiple unions, and the resulting headaches and costs for employers, which would have to spend time and money negotiating with multiple parties.

In another ruling, the board said employees can’t challenge a union certification done through the card-check process even if a majority of employees don’t want to be represented.

All of these decisions and proposed rules will have an impact on manufacturers, particularly small businesses, which don’t have the resources needed to navigate the complex new processes. They will have to get up to speed, potentially at the expense of new jobs and investment. In fact, when the National Association of Manufacturers asked its members about the NLRB’s agenda, 69 percent said it will hurt job creation.

An easy way for President Obama to help businesses and create more certainty would be to stop the NLRB. This week, the National Association of Manufacturers, partnering with the National Federation of Independent Business, launched an ad campaign in several states calling on members of Congress to support the Protecting Jobs From Government Interference Act. This is a joint effort by small-business owners and manufacturers who are deeply concerned about the stark economic consequences of the NLRB’s actions.

Now is the time to stop these burdensome regulations and actions that threaten jobs and economic growth.

Jay Timmons is president of the National Association of Manufacturers.

Failed Liberal Progressive Social Programs Bankrupting America (via Village of the Banned)

Failed Liberal Progressive Social Programs Bankrupting America The United States of America has had a AAA credit rating since 1917. That rating survived WWI, the Great Depression, World War II, The Korean War, Vietnam, Jimmy Carter, 9-11, and those “unfunded” wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. It however could not survive less than one term of the current President’s misguided “Social” Policies. The Smoking Gun of America’s Financial Meltdown [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LPSDnGMzIdo&feature=player_ … Read More

via Village of the Banned

Union Sells Out Members to Job-Killing Enviros and Obama Reelection Bid – John Ransom – Townhall Finance

Union Sells Out Members to Job-Killing Enviros and Obama Reelection Bid – John Ransom – Townhall Finance.

The recent Obama debt downgrade has left the United Auto Workers in a shaky bargaining position says an economist with the Center for Automotive Research according to the Detroit Free Press.

And it’s a good example of how the Obama administration support may erode at the grassroots while still enjoying confidence of big donors and big organizers like the UAW.   

Auto workers were counting on better auto sales from a robust economy and climbing shares prices to help them win higher wages. They were told that the Obama administration’s plan for the economy would lead to that end by the homestretch of the 2012 presidential election.

But with the outlook for the economy uncertain and recent market declines, the UAW will have a tougher time selling management on taking care of union workers even if the Obama administration is the majority shareholder in the domestic auto industry.

“The steep stock market declines will put pressure on UAW labor negotiators and will force hourly workers to recognize the shaky reality of the nation’s economy, said Sean McAlinden, senior economist for the Center for Automotive Research,” according to the Free Press.

“And that means less hiring, less production and less overtime and some fear about job security,” McAlinden told the Detroit newspaper. “We are not going to hit 13 million in industry sales this year.”

Instead, according to McAlinden, the union big-wigs will have to spend the rest of the summer selling rank and file membership on a smaller deal. It doesn’t matter how upset the rank-and-file gets. Union leadership will ensure that a quiet labor deal gets shoved down their throat.  

Because the Obama administration is such a big partner of labor unions, the auto workers can’t afford to embarrass the president the way the SEIU did in recent negotiations with state governments and hospitals over pay and benefits. The union brass has to protect the “leader” Obama, at all costs, especially if the economy falters further.

TV pictures of purple-clad aging hippies with SEIU logos slathered across their chests still sets off average Americans who don’t get the Cadillac benefits, so to speak, and the job security that union workers, especially government workers, enjoy.   

Ford, which took no bailout, says “it spends $58 an hour to provide wages and benefits to UAW members, $8 more than the average labor costs at the mostly nonunion U.S. factories of foreign automakers such as Hyundai Motor and Toyota Motor, according to Businessweek. GM and Chrysler, which took government money, wrung concessions from workers that include no-strike clauses. The no-strike guarantee was to prevent embarrassing the Obama government with more aging hippies striking for another $2 dollars on $50 an hour wage.  GM and Chrysler pay labor costs of between $50 and $56 respectively.  

After taking criticism about the automotive bailout, which was really a bailout for union workers, much as the state bailouts were too, neither the union nor the Obama administration can relish the idea of labor leaders rioting for better wages in the Potemkin Village that the administration has created in the domestic auto industry.

Lately the media have been busy reporting how many green jobs auto jobs were created by the administration in Michigan. The UAW and the usual suspects from the environmental left recently said that 38,000 green automotive jobs have been created in Michigan.

“The reality is that cleaner vehicles have already led to more jobs,” said Peter Lehner, executive director of the Natural Resources Defense Council, in a written statement according to the Louisville Courier-Journal’s website. “Our report shows how strong fuel efficiency standards have employed people nationwide, so stronger standards will certainly mean even more job growth in the future.”

No so. As I reported previously, higher fuel efficiency standards are expected to kill about 500,000 million jobs at a time that job creation is at a premium.

38,000-500,000 equals 462,000.    

As usual, the enviros know more about the math that kills jobs than the math that actually creates real, paying jobs for for-profit companies. Michigan’s unemployment rate is 46th out of 50 states at 10.5 percent, despite leading the nation in “green auto” jobs. The national rate is 9.1 percent.

It would be better for Michigan if they led the way in something other than unemployment and union delegates.

As the union brass sells out to the environmental left, the Obama administration and anyone else willing to treat them with the relevancy that they can’t get on their own, it’s past time for union rank and file in the automotive industry to understand that the top of the union doesn’t represent them.   

The UAW has done bang up job representing the enviro-whackos at the Natural Resources Defense Council, though.

Their own workers?

Not so much.   

Let’s see how long auto workers let them get away with it.

Mr. Green Jobs Boondoggle Rides Again – Michelle Malkin – Townhall Conservative

Mr. Green Jobs Boondoggle Rides Again – Michelle Malkin – Townhall Conservative.

Van Jones, President Obama’s disgraced green jobs czar, is back with a radical progressive plan to rescue America … from his old boss.

The problem, posits Jones, is that his fellow community organizer in the White House hasn’t spent enough, regulated enough or taxed enough to achieve their perverse version of the “American Dream.” What the country needs to “get the economy back on track,” according to Jones and his league of leftists, is more government-created make-work. Oh, and a hefty side of Big Labor pork.

Jones recently teamed up with George Soros-funded retread MoveOn.org, Democratic Rep. Jan Schakowsky of Illinois, the AFL-CIO and Service Employees International Union to launch a “Rebuild the Dream” movement. Borrowing a yellowed page from has-been GOP House Speaker Newt Gingrich, Jones and Company this week released their own “contract” to solve the “jobs crisis.” The top two agenda items in this not-so-new contract echo Obama’s longstanding calls for: 1) multibillion-dollar “investments” in America’s infrastructure (see my column last week on the White House’s renewed push for a government-supported infrastructure bank) and 2) “21st-century energy jobs” (which Obama claims he is creating this week by forcing tightened fuel efficiency standards down automakers’ throats).

The supposedly visionary document is a carbon copy of standard Democratic talking points. It’s the same old, same old with a dash of Jones’ swagger on top for flavor.

Jones’ Contract for the American Dream laments: “Our workers are sitting idle, while the work of rebuilding America goes undone.” Obama issued the same lament last September: “It doesn’t do anybody any good when so many hardworking Americans have been idled for months, even years, at a time when there is so much of America that needs rebuilding.”

But the AFL-CIO and SEIU bigwigs to whom both Jones and Obama are beholden stubbornly oppose putting a vast population of hardworking, nonunion Americans back to work. Keep in mind: Through anti-competitive “project labor agreements” enforced by White House executive order, private contractors bidding on public infrastructure projects are required to hand over exclusive bargaining control; to pay inflated, above-market wages and benefits; and to fork over dues money and pension funding to corrupt, cash-starved labor organizations. These PLAs undermine a fair bidding process on projects that locked-out, nonunion laborers are funding with their own tax dollars. And they benefit the privileged few at the expense of the vast majority: In the construction industry, 85 percent of the workforce is nonunion by choice.

And remember this: While Jones and his union pals talk a lofty game about protecting American workers and creating American jobs, they march in lockstep with the open-borders lobby and promoters of another blanket illegal alien amnesty. The SEIU, one of Jones’ most powerful Contract for the American Dream co-sponsors, continues to push for the DREAM Act illegal alien student bailout, opposes enforcement of employer sanctions and brazenly recruits illegal alien workers/voters to its ranks.

As for the green jobs racket, gobs of Obama money has already been spent on them — and unemployment has continued to hover near double digits. Jones’ pipe dream jobs would be better dubbed “brown jobs” to reflect the color of the sewer down which untold millions have been flushed in the name of environmental stimulus salvation. There’s also a distinctly blue tint to these supposedly eco-friendly green jobs. Blue, that is, for partisan Democratic agendas and allies. Federal green jobs funds have subsidized, among others, the SEIU’s nationalized health care activists in Maryland, the UAW Labor Employment and Training Corporation, the Blue Green Alliance (a union conglomerate), the 1199 SEIU Family of Funds and a United Steelworkers front group, the Institute for Career Development.

The Contract for the American Dream is a contract for continued wealth redistribution from taxpayers to Democratic special interests from a failed prophet of green jobs boondogglery. Sound familiar? Van Jones may have left Washington, but his spirit, alas, is alive and well in his mentor’s nightmare policies.

SCOTT: Pivoting to jobs, Mr. Obama? – Washington Times

SCOTT: Pivoting to jobs, Mr. Obama? – Washington Times.

Start by not killing them in my district

Rep. Tim Scott

Since the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) decided to sue the Boeing Co. for opening a new assembly line in my hometown of North Charleston, S.C., countless people have approached me regarding the situation. I want to share three numbers that go a long way toward showing what is threatening jobs – not just in South Carolina, but across our country.

c $60.7 million: The president of the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) stated in May 2009, “We spent a fortune to elect Barack Obama – $60.7 million to be exact – and we’re proud of it.”

c 6.9 percent: The percentage of our nation’s private-sector work force that belonged to a union in 2010.

c 11,000: The number of direct and indirect jobs the presidentially appointed NLRB is threatening to kill by suing Boeing in a misguided attempt to protect Big Labor.

If you are like me, you look at the numbers above and shake your head. Despite dwindling numbers, Big Labor drives a significant portion of work-force politics and policy decisions in our nation. Labor leaders are able to do so through a well-honed system of influencing workers and requiring many workers to accept membership in a union as a condition of employment, with fees ranging up to $800 annually. This amounts to more than $8 billion in membership dues annually in the private sector alone. Yet only 10 percent of current union employees voted to unionize in their workplace.

Since the era characterized by union boss Johnny Friendly in the 1950s classic film “On the Waterfront,” unions have resorted to various pressure tactics to influence the work force. Today, union leaders continue to seek far-reaching changes in the law to help them keep up the pressure. In fact, union-sponsored card-check legislation sought to eliminate union elections altogether. If a couple of union members could obtain your signature on a piece of paper, it counted as a vote, eliminating the need to hold an actual election. Thankfully, this legislation failed before Congress.

Now, to level the playing field for all workers, I have introduced the Employee Rights Act. This is not anti-union legislation but a mechanism to ensure that all workers have the ability to make their voices and opinions heard.

First and most important, the Employee Rights Act would give employees the right to a federally supervised secret-ballot election when deciding whether or not to join a union, and it would require a majority of all employees represented by the union, regardless of union membership, to approve a collective-bargaining agreement or a strike via a secret-ballot election prior to union leaders ordering one. By mandating secret ballots for these two scenarios, we can protect workers from intimidation and threats, which so often taint the process.

The bill also would require unions to stand for re-election every three years, as opposed to the current system, which all but guarantees the union forever. As proof of how hard it is to remove a union, 593 attempts to do so were processed by the NLRB in 2009 with fewer than half even receiving a vote and many being abandoned because of intimidation by union leaders.

This issue has gained added importance following the NLRB’s recently proposed rule that would allow union elections to be certified in as little as 10 days. Employees deserve more than 10 days to have their future and the future of prospective employees decided. The Employee Rights Act addresses this by requiring at least 40 days for election certification, which is the current average processing time.

Finally, my legislation also would give employees more power over how their dues were spent in support of political parties and advocacy organizations. Despite polls in 2010 showing union membership is 42 percent Republican, 93 percent of union contributions go to Democrats. Employees who don’t want their dues spent on political contributions are forced to undergo an onerous process to receive a refund. The act would change this so employees would need to opt-in in order for their dues to be used in this way.

Every one of these measures has polled at higher than 60 percent favorable this year and would ensure all workers’ voices were heard. We cannot allow Big Labor to drive policy, and we cannot allow more situations like the current NLRB case in South Carolina to occur. This legislation would go a long way toward remedying both.

Rep. Tim Scott is a South Carolina Republican.

SEIU Shows No Restraint Despite Restraining Order – John Ransom – Townhall Finance

SEIU Shows No Restraint Despite Restraining Order – John Ransom – Townhall Finance.

While the rest of us spent the week worrying about what to do to get the U.S. economy going again- with job creation being the biggest issue- those All-American job killers, the various chapters of the SEIU, were up to their usual games of making sure Americans didn’t get paychecks or fair play.

Let’s look at this week’s “hit” parade:  

According to the Washington Post a “judge ruled this week that the Service Employees International Union improperly coerced workers caught in the middle of SEIU’s high-stakes turf battle with a breakaway union in California, potentially invalidating a 2010 election involving 43,500 employees” who work in healthcare.

At issue was a competing union’s claims that the SEIU used coercion, intimidation and threats improperly to foil elections that would have helped the other union. Apparently, when you run a union there is a right way and a wrong way to threaten the workers you represent.

“SEIU has been promoting itself an as advocate for labor law reform and workers, and against coercion and intimidation, but no institution has done more to coerce and thwart workers about which union they want to join,” said John Borsos, vice president of the breakaway union via the Post.

A little further up the road, in Washington state, the SEIU was slapped with a restraining order this week when hospital employees tried to call a strike against Olympic Memorial Hospital.

At issue is the long-standing prohibition against public service employees going out on strike and disrupting vital services such as police, firefighting and hospitals. The right to strike had been agreed to in a previous agreement, but since that agreement expired, the common lawful prohibition against public workers going on strike still stands.

“In issuing its order, the Court found that if SEIU members were allowed to strike, the hospital district would ‘suffer actual and substantial injury,’” reports the Sequim Gazette.

Yeah, but that would be nothing to the “actual and substantial injury” that would have been suffered by the patients.  

“We are pleased with the Court’s decision on this matter, as it protects our patients,” said OMC CEO Eric Lewis.

Apparently when you run a union there is a right way and a wrong way to threaten the patients your workers are supposed to care for.

In Buffalo, New York workers at a nursing home walked off the job a few days ago because management asked workers with less than six years of service to pay ten percent of the premium for single-employee coverage. Wages were slated to increase and contributions for family insurance plans were to remain the same, says local radio station WBFO 88.7.

Apparently when it comes to threatening the elderly and the infirm, unions can do just about anything they want.

And don’t expect the SEIU assault on America to slacken either.

The union just put $500,000 into a fund with some Hollywood big-shots, including head of Dreamworks Animation, Jeffrey Katzenberg, to try to bolster Obama’s reelection chances.

What a great combination: unions and Hollywood people who play “let’s pretend” for a living.

Maybe now all the threatening, coercion and intimidation can take on a more creative hue.

Maybe Katzenberg can bring us SEIU in 3D.

Oh wait.

No need to animate that. It’s already being done.

Obama Kills Another 500,000 Non-Union Jobs – John Ransom – Townhall Finance

Obama Kills Another 500,000 Non-Union Jobs – John Ransom – Townhall Finance.

Obama just destroyed another 500,000 jobs for Americans- at least ones who aren’t unionized. .

Flanked by flunkies from the government-dependent auto makers, the world’s largest shareholder in the American auto industry, Brarack Obama, imposed increased fuel standards on companies making cars in the United States. By 2025 auto makers will have to meet fuel efficiency standards that brings “new cars to 54.5 miles a gallon by 2025, roughly double the current level, in a bid to reduce U.S. oil consumption,” says the Wall Street Journal.

According to the Journal effort by the administration to raise the current fuel standard just to “the 35.5 mpg target by 2016 will cost the industry more than $50 billion.” The administration didn’t provide the Journal with costs for the 2025 standard but expect it to cost a ton, jobs-wise and financially.

$50 billion is about 100,000 American jobs- that’s non-union jobs.

That, in short is where all the jobs have gone under the Obama administration.

Makes one wonder if the only reason why the president doesn’t ban cars altogether is because of the union jobs.

Non-union jobs just aren’t that big of a deal.

As the foreign auto makers point out the rules are written to favor the Detroit, union-controlled, domestic auto makers.

“Not all auto makers support Mr. Obama’s plan,” says the Journal.

“German auto makers Daimler AG and Volkswagen AG both declined to send representatives to Mr. Obama’s announcement. Representatives for both companies, whose sales in the U.S. are dominated by passenger cars, said the deal would put their companies at a disadvantage, by setting relatively modest requirements for large pickups like the kind that Detroit auto makers like GM, Ford and Chrysler have long produced.”

Coincidentally, the United Auto Workers have targeted German automaker Volkswagen AG’s Tennessee plant as “a focal point in union efforts to gain a foothold among foreign auto makers’ U.S. manufacturing operations,’ reports the Journal in a separate story.

On Thursday I wrote about how the SEIU is facing racketing charges related to possibly using federal regulatory pressure against private companies in order to facilitate union organizing in non-union shops.

While thus far there have been no allegations regarding the UAW, there certainly is the consequent regulatory pressure.  

As The Journal notes: “The union has run into particularly stiff opposition at foreign-owned plants in Tennessee and other Southern states, where cultural sentiment against unions runs deep and right-to-work laws allow workers to opt out of unions where they exist. Nissan workers in Tennessee rejected UAW representation by 2-1 ratios in 2001 and 1989.”

Ah, but it’s nothing a little regulatory pressure can’t get around. 

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