Obama’s money laundering operation in serious jeopardy
There, I said it, for that is what the giant stimulus bill of 2009 was. At long last, many of us have realized that it wasn’t a ham-handed attempt to shore up the economy via Keynesian stimulus. It was, rather, a money laundering operation. Obama and the Democrats took 800 billion dollars from taxpayers (and from taxpayers’ children and grandchildren via borrowing) and funneled it to government employee unions and other allies. Strengthened and infused with fresh cash, these allies then returned large piles of that cash back to the president and the Democrats to support their elections and reelections. A huge sector of the power structure of the left—government unions and elected officials—was massively strengthened, and you paid for it all. Obama got you to pay for his reelection, and for the aid and comfort of his political allies, whether you wanted to or not.
But public-sector unions had been a boom market for much of the last 30 years and unions and Democratic officials entered into an expensive symbiosis. Unions helped elect Democrats on the local, state and federal level. Those Democrats then helped unions organize government workers who then demanded higher pay and better benefits, some of which cycled back to the Democrats in the form of political contributions.
But the taxes that funded the arrangement have been insufficient in recent years, especially since the Panic of 2008. The answer in blue states has mostly been to raise taxes while the answer in many red states has been to curb the power of government worker unions.
These curbs account for some of the sharp decline from 2011 to 2012, as members in states like Wisconsin and Indiana where state workers were no longer forced to pay dues, opted out.
But most of the drop in government worker rolls came as local and state government workforces shrank, shrank, shrank.
Unable to support their payrolls, those governments had been forced to leave positions unfilled and even fire some workers. The Obama stimuli of 2009 and 2010 were in large part aimed at helping cash-strapped governments retain and expand their workforces. Democrats very much liked this approach because it shored up their most important political benefactors.
But in the era of divided government, there have been no stimuli and there is even the threat that federal spending would be cut.
Whatever Democrats say about Republicans and the changing demographics of America, it’s perfectly clear that the blue team cannot survive as constituted without their patrons in the government worker unions.
Unless Obama can find a way to prop up state and local payrolls, the trend will continue and as Republicans continue to hold sway in governors’ mansions and state houses, the practice of forcing state workers to pay dues will become increasingly out of fashion. It sounds icky and requires a complicated defense.
The left’s edifice is crumbling. Their model is unsustainable. The question is—how far down do they drag the rest of us before we can begin to rebuild in a sane fashion?
Ardently devoted to the cause of human freedom, he has worked at the confluence of politics, activism, and public policy for more than a decade. He co-wrote a ten-part series of video shorts on economics, and has film credits as a researcher on 11 political documentaries, including Citizens United's notorious film on Hillary Clinton that became the subject of a landmark Supreme Court decision. He is the founder of several activist endeavors, including AnyStreet.org (now a part of Western Free Press) and Liberatchik.com. He is currently the managing editor of and principal contributor to WesternFreePress.com.