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September 6, 2011
Labor Dept. power grab rewards Obama's union allies
In a stealthy bureaucratic move, an Obama political appointee is rewriting rules to enrich unions, economically harm developers, and hinder future construction. The Washington Post takes Obama's Labor Department to task for deciding "with a stroke of a bureaucrat's pen" to reward unions while imposing crippling costs on everyone else . The issue involves one of unions' favorite pieces of legislation: The Davis-Bacon Act.
The 1931 Act has required contractors to pay construction workers "prevailing wages" for construction projects involving "public buildings or public works' funded by the federal government or by the District of Columbia.
The prevailing wages usually mean the highest union wages for that community. As an aside, this is one reason why Obama prefers government expansion: funding for the government comes with many strings attached -- especially the one that requires federal funds be used in ways that empower unions-regardless of the costs to taxpayers and the budget.
Until now, the plain language of the statue has been followed: that the Act applies only to "structures funded, owned or occupied by the U.S. or District governments".
But we live in the Age of Obama and all prior definitions, agreements, understandings are null and void at the whim of Barack Obama and his team.
The Washington Post editorializes:
Investors were assured that the Davis-bacon Act did not apply. After all, no federal money went into the project and no government offices would be located there once the project was completed. Even a civil servant at the Labor Department agreed, But then Nancy Leppink, an Obama political appointee and the acting administrator of the U.S. Department of Labor's Wage and Hour division, entered the picture and overruled her underling.
The Washington Post continues:
The result: increased costs for developers, less development going forward, and damage to the economy as a whole. The rule by fiat also undermines confidence -- who can calculate the risks of undertaking projects when the government can decide "with a stroke of the pen" to undermine the economics of the development? Even after a great deal of money has been poured into projects with the understanding that the federal government would not swoop in and decide to enrich union coffers at the expense of investors.
Obama's political appointees are the culprits who often undermine the work and the decisions of bureaucrats who are more knowledgeable and experienced.
This is just one more example of the modus operandi of President Obama and his appointees: ignore previous agreements and precedent, throw free enterprise into the ditch, in order to reward union allies.
Hasn't Obama been talking about putting country before politics? His administration is all about politics -- especially getting Barack Obama reelected and his appointees keeping their jobs.
Here is his hypocrisy in full bloom: he needs union money and help for his upcoming election. Therefore he uses regulatory power to transfer wealth to unions.
Given this environment can anyone blame business for being seized by paralysis?
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