Government Spending

The "Special Interests" That Rarely Get Called as Such

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In fairness, it's only another $50 billion this time

At the Washington Examiner, Timothy P. Carney makes and documents an important point:

Government employee unions — through their employees and political action committees — have contributed more money to congressional candidates this election than all the PACs, executives and employees of the entire oil industry, according to data from the Center for Responsive Politics. Because 92 percent of public-employee union money goes to Democrats, President Obama's party has raised more money from these unions this cycle than Republicans have raised from Wall Street.

Along the same lines, local and state governments have spent more on lobbying this year than the health insurance industry or defense contractors.

By any measure, local and state governments and public sector unions are an entrenched special interest. By any measure, they are also the prime beneficiary of President Obama's latest $50 billion spending proposal. […]

Whatever the supposed virtues of this huge handout to profligate politicians and bloated bureaucracies, it is, objectively, a proposed $50 billion transfer of wealth from ordinary taxpayers to a politically connected special interest that overwhelmingly and aggressively favors the party in power.

Link via Carney's great Twitter feed. Reason.tv's "3 Reasons Why Public Sector Employees Are Killing the Economy" below:

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  1. Oh wow, that actually makes a lot of sense dude. WEll done.

    Lou
    http://www.ip-spoofing.net.tc

  2. Whatever the supposed virtues of this huge handout to profligate politicians and bloated bureaucracies, it is, objectively, a proposed $50 billion transfer of wealth from ordinary taxpayers to a politically connected special interest that overwhelmingly and aggressively favors the party in power.

    One could also say that about their pay.

  3. Speaking of special interests, has anyone read what the NRA is going to do with regard to the DISCLOSE Act? Outrageous.

    1. Are you surprised?

    2. I’m glad I never gave those assholes any money. Gura’s Second Amendment Foundation has more balls, anyway.

  4. Obama wants everyone to work for the government, and everyone to belong to the union. That way, he gets to decide exactly how much each of us get. It would be like Twentieth Century Motors. And it would all collapse the same way.

  5. I’m afraid to watch the video. Punching my screen at work is likely to get me fired. That guy looks punchable.

    1. Punching my screen at work is likely to get me fired.

      So I’m guessing your not a government worker?

    2. he is very punchable. I have to watch him on the local news all the time. He’s a caricature of a union boss.

  6. I’m all for prohibiting the government to negotiate with any union or government employee organization. They can still unionize, spen their dues on electing candidate they prefer, they just won’t have anyone to bargain with.

    1. I contend that Union contracts should be negotiated with their real employers: The public.

  7. Unions should only be limited to the private sector

    1. They have already destroyed every industry there. On to greener pastures.

      1. God, if they could only destroy the government the way they’ve wrecked the auto and steel industries…

        1. Thomas Andrews: The elections will buy you time, but minutes only. From this moment on, no matter what we do, government will founder.
          Ismay: But this ship can’t sink!
          Thomas Andrews: She is made of government workers, sir. I assure you, she can. And she *will*. It is a mathematical certainty.

          1. +1 to Hockey Guy

        2. Unfortunately, they destroyed those industries by acting like govt workers.

        3. they are detroying the government, short term the credibility, long term the finances. even if greece is a extreme case there is no sign that the citizens in the g8 countries continue to believe in parties or unions….
          party affiliation is dropping in most of the countries and, oh, have a look at us: unionmembership outside of government and auto/steel is almost zero!!
          job well done unions: government bankrupt, us deundiastrialized

  8. By any measure, local and state governments and public sector unions are an entrenched special interest.

    How many of the people running in circles shrieking “Corporations are not PEEPUL and they can’t have rights!” Feel the same way about government entities and the people who work for them.

  9. Pretend my last comment was not completely riddled with errors.

    1. No, no, the errors added just the right tone.

  10. If your going to have public employee collective bargaining, it should be conducted by someone like me who would offer the union only two choices: steak knives or 3rd prize.

    1. See this watch? It costs more than your car.

      1. Coffee is for closers.

  11. You know, I have no problem with organized labor in the private sector. If workers want to get together to make a redress of greivances to their employers, then I’m all for it. That’s as American as apple pie.

    In the public sector, however….that’s when I start to get nervous.

  12. Interesting that the only government organization that actually needs to exists, the military, doesn’t have a union. Of course they have guns, so there’s that.

  13. Why do government workers need unions anyway? After all, from what the lefties here tell me, I gather that government is virtue personified, and the friend of the worker. Unlike those dirty greedy capitalists.

    1. Yes, if a pleb like me is supposed to accept whatever the government does to me because “we” voted for it, why shouldn’t government employees have to accept whatever the government offers to pay them? After all, “we” voted for that government.

      1. Maybe we need a law that says that the same day that the union members get to vote to accept their contract the common plebians get to vote whether they are willing to pay for it.

        If the plebians reject it the city workers have to stay on the job at the old pay and benefit rate.

        Hey, majority rule, ain’t it the way to go?

  14. Instead of rewarding them another fifty billion, public sector workers who benefited from the last illegitimate pork package ought to be docked a couple of thousand from their paychecks per year until it is paid back plus penalty for lobbying for the son of a bitch legislation.

  15. Whatever the supposed virtues of this huge handout to profligate politicians and bloated bureaucracies, it is, objectively, a proposed $50 billion transfer of wealth from ordinary taxpayers to a politically connected special interest that overwhelmingly and aggressively favors the party in power.

    But it’s different! It’s not like they’re oil companies.

    1. The real joe could’ve said that, and actually meant it.

  16. Yawn.

    Let me know when the oil companies and health insurers allow the citizenry to vote them out if they don’t like the job they’re doing.

    State governments aren’t special interests. Government serves everyone, so everyone has an interest in having a healthy, functional government.

    1. Let me know when the oil companies and health insurers allow the citizenry to vote them out if they don’t like the job they’re doing.

      You mean like not buying stuff from them so they go bankrupt – like Arthur Andersen, the Douglas Aircraft Co, or that towing company in Detroit?

      I got good news for you, Dan T, you can already!

      Now, when I can fire the United States Government, then we’ll really be cooking.

    2. An individual vote is absolutely irrelevant to the outcome of an election. And even if I vote against the party that takes power I still have to obey its edicts.

      If I chose not to patronize a specific oil company or insurance company it has absolutely no say over anything I do. If enough people don’t patronize them, they go out of business.

      Or perhaps you were thinking of companies that have government granted monopolies or that get bailouts. Of course that’s what you’re thinking of; that’s the system you support and vote for every single election.

      Doctrinaire democrats (ie people who fetishize democracy, not members of the political party) have to be the most clueless fucking people in the world.

      1. Isaac, I disagree.

        They are clueless, yes, but the most clueless people I have ever encountered in my life where students studying public administration at U of Md. They weren’t doctrinaire democracy fans. They fetishized bureaucracy.

        1. Good point.

          Just when you think you’ve found the bottom someone finds something even worse. 🙂

          As noted, I still get a chuckle out of people who think majority rule is how everything should get decided.

          Everything that is except public employee pay and benefit rates.

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