May 9, 2009

The Unions' Guy

Justin Katz

In effect, the Obama administration insists that some of the federal money given to the states is meant to go directly to unionized public sector workers in California:

The Obama administration is threatening to rescind billions of dollars in federal stimulus money if Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger and state lawmakers do not restore wage cuts to unionized home healthcare workers approved in February as part of the budget.

Schwarzenegger's office was advised this week by federal health officials that the wage reduction, which will save California $74 million, violates provisions of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. Failure to revoke the scheduled wage cut before it takes effect July 1 could cost California $6.8 billion in stimulus money, according to state officials.

The state lowered the maximum hourly wage of members of the Service Employees International Union from $12.10 to $10.10, and the SEIU picked up the Obamaphone.

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I know, I know.... cuz that is exactly how it works....

Are you really upset because people wages were NOT cut?

Posted by: Pat Crowley at May 9, 2009 8:27 AM

I'm sure the state of California will be just fine. They just need to cut services until people die. As long as the union guy gets his wage, well, I guess thems the breaks.

Maybe they can just let the fires burn themselves out too. Then the Obama administration can send in FEMA money to do fix everything.

Hey brother, can you spare a trillion?

Posted by: John at May 9, 2009 9:50 AM

... very good, John.

Posted by: Monique at May 9, 2009 6:25 PM

The Q. and A. below is from the FAQ section of Notice that the underlined portion of the act states that sometimes funds will go directly to a school, hospital, contractor, or other organization. People who work in a union are an organization recognized as legal and legitimate by the law of the land. So if you don't like union people having their wages restored, you'll have to lump it. Tough! For my money i.e., my taxes, the money is better spent on rank and file workers than on "The goons and the dinks, and the Company finks' who used to intimidate the work force before unionization. Tough luck. You lost. Step back.

Q: How will the Recovery Act work?

A: Very soon, the different agencies -- such as the Departments of Education; Health and Human Services; and Energy -- will decide who will receive award grants and contracts. Sometimes the money will go to a state government; other times, the funds will go directly to a school, hospital, contractor, or other organization. Agencies will then deliver that information to the team. We will subsequently make the information available on, and you will be able to track where the money is going. You'll be able to search by state or even by Congressional district; you'll be able to look up names of Federal contractors or other recipients of Federal dollars; and you'll be able to send in comments, thoughts, ideas, questions, and any responses you have to what you find.

It would have been nice to have heard ARites express concern about the mine workers in West Virginia. Charleston, West Virginia Gazette, 1/27/08

Over the last six years, the Department of Labor's Mine Safety and Health Administration did not assess civil penalties for about 4,000 violations, according to preliminary MSHA data.

The following was taken from the American Conservative blog,

The 15-month proconsulship of the Coalition Provisional Authority (CPA) disbursed nearly $20 billion, two-thirds of it in cash, most of which came from the Development Fund for Iraq that had replaced the UN Oil for Food Program and from frozen and seized Iraqi assets. Most of the money was flown into Iraq on C-130s in huge plastic shrink-wrapped pallets holding 40 “cashpaks,” each cashpak having $1.6 million in $100 bills. Twelve billion dollars moved that way between May 2003 and June 2004, drawn from accounts administered by the New York Federal Reserve Bank. The $100 bills weighed an estimated 363 tons. Full Text Here
Comments please, ARites, or forever hold your peace about wasteful spending.

Posted by: OldTimeLefty at May 9, 2009 9:23 PM

I wanted to comment to OTL’s challenge. I have to admit there is small part of his response which is reasonably valid, especially considering the source.

Government waste is hardly limited to Democratic or Liberal groups and OTL has a further point when he says the issue is really about defining what is considered wasteful spending versus efficient or cost-effective spending. There are different views among conservatives and liberals, but also much common ground about that which is wasted yet mostly reported on a straight partisan line.

With respect to this specific issue of the Obama admin insisting some of the federal money going toward wage cuts for union workers, I do not agree with that criterion. Yet IF the federal government is going to provide money to the states, it does seem fair that they have a say on how that money is spent. It’s just another symptom of the bigger issue of the federal government getting unnecessarily involved in domestic business operations.

Posted by: msteven at May 11, 2009 2:16 PM
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