Why unions are growing government

January 31, 2012 05:47

“Public unions depend entirely on tax revenues to fund their pay and benefits. They thus have every incentive to elect politicians who favor higher taxes and more government spending. The great expansion of state and local spending followed the rise of public unions.” – WSJ

This chart shows how most unions are in the taxpayer pocket and continue to fuel the vicious cycle of funding politicians who then raise their pay and benefits at the expense of the taxpayer.


Twelve of the top twenty heavy hitters in campaign contributions are unions. All twelve give over 90% to Democrats.

LEGEND: Republican   Democrat   On the fence

= Between 40% and 59% to both parties
= Leans Dem/Repub (60%-69%)
= Strongly Dem/Repub (70%-89%)
= Solidly Dem/Repub (over 90%)
Rank Organization Total ‘89-’10 Dem % Repub % Tilt
1 ActBlue $50,010,524 99% 0%
2 AT&T Inc $46,077,005 44% 55%
3 American Fedn of State, County & Municipal Employees $43,337,561 98% 1%
4 National Assn of Realtors $38,628,441 49% 50%
5 Goldman Sachs $33,360,252 61% 37%
6 American Assn for Justice $33,047,779 90% 8%
7 Intl Brotherhood of Electrical Workers $32,930,966 97% 2%
8 National Education Assn $32,021,910 93% 6%
9 Laborers Union $30,106,550 92% 7%
10 Carpenters & Joiners Union $29,154,808 89% 10%
11 Service Employees International Union $29,139,982 95% 3%
12 Teamsters Union $29,126,809 93% 6%
13 American Federation of Teachers $28,731,591 98% 0%
14 Communications Workers of America $28,273,156 98% 0%
15 Citigroup Inc $27,974,371 50% 49%
16 American Medical Assn $27,442,570 40% 59%
17 United Auto Workers $26,949,252 98% 0%
18 Machinists & Aerospace Workers Union $26,170,977 98% 0%
19 National Auto Dealers Assn $26,156,258 32% 67%
20 United Food & Commercial Workers Union $25,226,733 98% 1%

(Source Center for Responsive Politics OpenSecrets.org)

Not surprisingly the top twenty recipients of labor cash in the 2010 election cycle were all Democrats:

1 Critz, Mark (D-PA) House $396,500
2 Sestak, Joseph A Jr (D-PA) House $385,800
3 Hoyer, Steny H (D-MD) House $361,700
4 Carnahan, Robin (D-MO) $361,100
5 Murphy, Scott (D-NY) House $360,600
6 Chu, Judy (D-CA) House $359,650
7 Hanabusa, Colleen (D-HI) $339,400
8 Hodes, Paul W (D-NH) House $339,250
9 Garamendi, John (D-CA) House $338,500
10 Bishop, Timothy H (D-NY) House $333,750
11 Schauer, Mark (D-MI) House $324,525
12 Clyburn, James E (D-SC) House $317,000
13 Sutton, Betty Sue (D-OH) House $311,880
14 Reid, Harry (D-NV) Senate $309,600
15 Dahlkemper, Kathleen (D-PA) House $309,200
16 Hare, Phil (D-IL) House $303,010
17 Pelosi, Nancy (D-CA) House $302,500
18 Connolly, Gerry (D-VA) House $300,700
19 Schumer, Charles E (D-NY) Senate $299,250
20 Boxer, Barbara (D-CA) Senate $295,250

(top twenty in 2009 was also all Democrats)

Big labor also spends millions lobbying congress for union welfare bills like the prevailing wage requirement and big federal projects like Obama’s high speed rail vision. Most of Obama’s proposed ‘investment’ in infrastructure spending is really an investment of taxpayer funds into the campaign coffers of Democrats after filtering through the unions.

Center for Responsive Politics – OpenSecrets.org

Big labor lobbying for 2010 alone is over $46 million!And it happens at all levels of government. The NEA is the largest labor union and is the eighth largest contributor of campaign money to congress. 91% of the donations go to Democrats.

According to RiShawn Biddle in a Capital Research Center report:

‘The NEA took in an estimated $569 million that it spent on local, state and national political campaigns during the 2007-2008 election cycle, according to the National Institute on Money in State Politics. This made the NEA the nation’s single-biggest campaign contributor for the 2009-2010 election period…”

‘This fundraising prowess is why Harvard University education scholar Paul Peterson declares that the NEA is “in a position to tell state legislatures what to do.”’

A Wall Street Journal article makes the point:

” …. unlike in the private economy, a public union has a natural monopoly over government services. An industrial union will fight for a greater share of corporate profits, but it also knows that a business must make profits or it will move or shut down. The union chief for teachers, transit workers or firemen knows that the city is not going to close the schools, buses or firehouses.

This monopoly power, in turn, gives public unions inordinate sway over elected officials. The money they collect from member dues helps to elect politicians who are then supposed to represent the taxpayers during the next round of collective bargaining. In effect union representatives sit on both sides of the bargaining table, with no one sitting in for taxpayers. In 2006 in New Jersey, this led to the preposterous episode in which Governor Jon Corzine addressed a Trenton rally of thousands of public workers and shouted, “We will fight for a fair contract.” He was promising to fight himself.

Thus the collision course with taxpayers. Public unions depend entirely on tax revenues to fund their pay and benefits. They thus have every incentive to elect politicians who favor higher taxes and more government spending. The great expansion of state and local spending followed the rise of public unions.” [emphasis added]


Take a look at the growth in public sector unions:


There has been a long time shakedown of the American taxpayer with unions conspiring with Democrats to fleece the taxpayer. But something funny happened on the way to the bank. The taxpayer has run out of money.

This doesn’t seem to matter to the unions or the Democrats. Obama is possibly the worst of the bunch. Unions spent millions to help Obama get elected and he is paying them back in spades.

Recent paybacks to unions by Obama include overturning a 76 year old rule to make it easier to unionize airlines and more importantly a new executive order requiring all government contracts be to union companies. Both of these union payoffs were done without needing or even asking for congressional approval.

That is why Obama took the unprecedented and illegal step of appointing his union cronies to the National Labor Relations Board without congressional approval.

Close to half of Obama’s first $820 billion stimulus bill went ‘to entities that sponsor or employ or both members of the Service Employees International Union, federal, state, and municipal employee unions, or other Democrat-controlled unions‘ according to Ben Stein in an article last year in The American Spectator about the stimulus. More recently, congress passed the $30 billion ‘teacher bailout’ bill which funneled approximately $16 billion to union teacher and other public employee union jobs.

Obama usurped a long history of banking and creditor laws when he bailed out GM and Chrysler. In return for campaign support Obama gave partial ownership of both auto companies to the UAW and shafted the bond holders who had legal legitimate claims on the assets of the companies.

An earlier IBD Editorial pointed out the sweetheart deal Obama gave the UAW:

“Given that the wasteful work rules that UAW bosses — wielding government-granted monopoly-bargaining power over employees — insisted on for decades were largely what drove GM into bankruptcy, they certainly didn’t deserve kid-gloves treatment. Yet that’s what they got.

A UAW-controlled auto retiree health care fund was owed $20 billion by GM before the bailout.

Under the White House-dictated terms, UAW-appointed fund managers got back half of what they were owed in cash, whereas taxpayers who were owed $19.4 billion didn’t get a dime back in cash.

Instead, the Obama administration “forgave” this entire loan on taxpayers’ behalf and earmarked an additional $23.5 billion for the company’s trip through bankruptcy. In exchange for the nearly $43 billion funneled to GM, taxpayers acquired a “60.8% equity stake” in GM.”

It should be noted that the UAW is one of the most politically active of all unions. The union gave $2,119.937 to the 2008 campaigns 99% of which went to Obama and the Democrats. They gave another $1,106,500 in this past 2010 election cycle 100% of which went to Democrats. That is a total of $3,226,437 in just the last two election cycles. That does not include the phone banks, neighborhood canvassing and get out the vote efforts. Since 1990 the UAW has donated $26,510,252 of which 99% went to Democrats.

Not a bad return on investment when you consider they received billions back in ownership and benefit funding.

So in reality taxpayer money was used to pay off unions so that they could then campaign for Democrats and lobby for special favors from those same Democrats. This is change alright. An increase in arrogant corruption that is off the Richter scale.

And the cycle continues as long as citizens allow public employees to be union.


By Michael Whipple, Editor usACTIONnews.com


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