April 10, 2011
Redistributing from the 'Have Nots' to the 'Haves'By Rob Kreimeyer, Jr
So, you thought all redistribution programs were created equal. Think again. For the Democrats, the budget battles in the states are not about establishing financial integrity for America. They are about establishing raw Democratic Party power and control over every level of government in America.
During the 2008 campaign, candidate Obama had the famous off-teleprompter exchange with "Joe the plumber" (Joe Wurzelbacher). Letting his guard down, Obama said he wanted to "spread the wealth around."
Redistributing wealth usually means government taking (stealing?) money from the "rich" and giving it to the "poor." The government becomes Robin Hood. The events in Wisconsin, and many other states, have shed new light on the government as Robin Hood theme, however.
The Democratic Party and their union co-conspirators have been running a scam that takes the tax payments of the "have nots" and redistributes them to the "haves." Yes, that's right. The "haves" are actually being subsidized by the "have nots." Bye, bye, Robin Hood.
Just who are these "haves"? They are the 22.5 million public sector employees of city, county, state and federal government. These are individuals who have close to life-time employment, pay that is often twice the level of an equivalent private sector employee, generous sick leave, annual leave, annual cost of living increases (even during recessions), great pension benefits, and health care benefits that private sector employees can only dream about.
The "have nots" are the private sector employees who pay the taxes that subsidize the public sector employees. Private sector employees lack job security, wages that can be half that of equivalent public sector jobs, limited or no sick leave, limited annual leave, limited cost of living increases, limited pension benefits, and partially paid health care benefits.
Stephen Moore, senior economics writer for the Wall Street Journal editorial page, wrote in an article on April 1, 2011, "Today in America there are nearly twice as many people working for the government (22.5 million) than in all manufacturing (11.5 million). This is an almost exact reversal of the situation in 1960..."
The negative consequences of this jump in public sector employment are staggering for America's political and economic future. Private sector employees (the "have nots") pay the taxes that compensate public sector employees (the "haves"), even as policies at all levels of government are destroying the private sector. If the employment ranks of the "have nots" are decimated, there will not be enough tax money available to redistribute to the "haves." (Hello, Wisconsin, New York, Illinois, New Jersey, etc. your wake-up call just came in.)
Unions (AFSCME, SEIU, NEA, AFT) are major beneficiaries of the increase in public sector employment. As public sector employment expands, union membership increases. Unions acquire power and clout through the dues employees pay the union. In addition, unions are able to mobilize their membership to vote in elections and put pressure on politicians. The debt that states have is significantly tied to the pay and benefits Unions have extracted from states. State and local governments spend $1 trillion a year for employee pay and benefits.
Just how does this redistribution scam, this unholy alliance between Democratic politicians and unions, work? The unions push for higher pay and/or increased benefits. Remember, the pay and benefits of public sector unions come from taxes. Politicians, usually Democrats, reach an accommodation over union demands. The union achieves what it wanted through the increase of membership pay and/or benefits. Now it's the unions' turn to take care of the politicians.
Dues are paid by Union members. Unions take a portion of the dues and contribute that money to campaigns of candidates the Union supports (usually Democrats). Tax money, in the form of dues, is being laundered through Unions to be contributed to candidates who support Union demands for membership pay and benefit increases. If Union membership pay goes up, dues go up, and the amount of money available to give to political parties and candidates goes up. Quite a sweet deal, all complements of the taxpayers.
The Center for Responsive Politics put together a list of the 140 "Top all-Time Donors 1989 - 2010" to national political parties at the federal level. The list is broken down into what percentage of the contributed money was given to each political party from 1989 to 2010. Information on the list was "Based on data released by the FEC on February 7, 2011".
According to the Federal Election Commission data, these four public sector unions made direct contributions to federal level candidates and the national parties as follows: AFSCME (Dem 99%, Repub 1%), NEA (Dem 93%, Repub 7%), SEIU (Dem 96%, Repub 4%), and AFT (Dem 99%, Repub 1%). These unions directly contributed $128,969,877 to the national Democratic Party and $3,760,813 to the national Republican Party during the 21 year period 1989 to 2010. (Note: beyond direct contributions to national parties, many organizations spend money on their own as direct expenditures to candidates and as communication costs to influence elections.)
Incredible sums of money are involved in this "redistributionist" revenue stream supporting the Democratic Party and Democratic candidates at all levels of government. This accounts for the ferocity of the attack launched against the reform efforts of Scott Walker and the Republicans in Wisconsin. The Democratic Party-Union complex (remember the military-industrial complex?) is so addicted to their monetary "fix" that even avoiding local and state government bankruptcies will not dissuade them from thug behavior of the vilest sort to keep the money flowing.
Eternal vigilance is requisite for citizens of a Republic like ours. Patriot citizens cannot ignore this "redistributionist" scam the Democratic Party-Union complex has been operating for the past several decades. We cannot hit the snooze button and go back to bed.
Democrats want power and control over all levels of government in our Constitutional Republic. However, the Democratic Party is no longer worthy of voters bestowing this trust and responsibility on them. Instead, this party must be confronted and opposed with the same tenacity the Democrats have used to demolish our political, economic, social and educational system. Our future and that of our children and grand children depends on our resolve to oppose what this party is doing to our Republic.