Obamaland’s assault on Boeing went from economic tragedy to political farce during a House Oversight Committee field hearing in South Carolina on Friday. Lafe Solomon, acting counsel of the National Labor Relations Board, dropped this gem:
Multiple reports suggest Andy Stern will be leaving his job as head of the politically powerful SEIU. The union, which represents healthcare and public employees, was instrumental in passing healthcare reform. In other words, he has contributed in two ways to America’s fiscal woes. First, health reform may prove a budget fiasco since its tax hikes and spending cuts were used to expand coverage rather than cut the budget deficit. Second, fat pay and benefit packages for public sector unions are a big reason so many states like California have long-term fiscal woes. As this David Feddoso story found:
Looks like British civil servants are striking over budget plans to cap severance pay (via Clusterstock). A sign of things to come in the United States, where tight government budgets are going to force spending cuts and layoffs. The dissatisfaction over American education plays into this, too. The political impact of this will be fascinating since the public employee unions may be the most important Democratic interest group.
This USA Today story has the kind of numbers that stick with people:
Overall, federal workers earned an average salary of $67,691 in 2008 for occupations that exist in both government and the private sector, according to Bureau of Labor Statistics data. The average pay for the same mix of jobs in the private sector was $60,046 in 2008, the most recent data available. These salary figures do not include the value of health, pension and other benefits, which averaged $40,785 per federal employee in 2008 vs. $9,882 per private worker, according to the Bureau of Economic Analysis.
The great Ed Yardeni thinks the POTUS is repeating FDR’s mistakes:
In 2016, I expect that Mr. Geithner will make the following speech: “We have tried spending money. We are spending more than we have ever spent before and it does not work. And I have just one interest, and if I am wrong … somebody else can have my job. I want to see this country prosperous. I want to see people get a job … We have never made good on our promises … I say after eight years of this Administration we have just as much unemployment as when we started … and an enormous debt to boot.”
The Nobel Committee in Norway says it awarded President Barack Obama the 2009 Peace Prize for “his extraordinary efforts to strengthen international diplomacy and cooperation between peoples.” (Congratulations, Mr. President.) In particular, the committee noted Obama’s multilateral approach on the issues of climate chance and nuclear disarmament.
It was at this point during the president’s Ohio speech to GM workers today that I thought he was going to talk about card check: “And yes, just in case you were wondering …”
Some Democrats thought they would have a much easier time pushing through changes in healthcare, trade and labor policy thanks to the recession. The theory was that economic insecurity would nudge people toward the warm embrace of government. Obviously that does not seem to be happening. Indeed, past polls showed that economic downturns actually make people more skeptical of Big Government. Apparently, that is also true of Big Labor. This from a recent Gallup poll:
American equity investors have suffered a lost decade of portfolio performance — the S&P 500 is about where it was back in 1998 — and trillions of dollars of lost net worth, so it may seem a terrible time to hit them with a $100 billion-a-year investment tax. And, of course, it is.