Obama appoints an SEIU man with ties to Blago.
One of Big Labor’s priorities in Washington is to place allies in key government jobs where they can overturn existing labor policy without battles in Congress. This is a very good reason for the Senate to hold a hearing on the nomination of Craig Becker to the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB).
Mr. Becker is associate general counsel at the Service Employees International Union (SEIU), which is most recently in the news for its close ties to Acorn, the disgraced housing shakedown operation. President Obama nominated Mr. Becker in April to the five-member NLRB, which has the critical job of supervising union elections, investigating labor practices, and interpreting the National Labor Relations Act. In a 1993 Minnesota Law Review article, written when he was a UCLA professor, Mr. Becker argued for rewriting current union-election rules in favor of labor. And he suggested the NLRB could do this by regulatory fiat, without a vote of Congress.
Yet now that he could soon have the power to act on this conviction, Mr. Becker won’t tell Congress if this is what he still believes. In written responses to questions from Republican Orrin Hatch, Mr. Becker promised only to “maintain an open mind about whether [his] suggestions should be implemented in any manner.” That sounds like his mind is made up but he won’t admit it lest it hurt his confirmation.
Mr. Becker also won’t give a clear answer about his role in preparing several pro-labor executive orders issued by President Obama shortly after inauguration. Mr. Becker’s name was found in at least one of the documents, suggesting that he had written it.
When asked by Sen. Hatch if he was “involved or responsible in any way” for these executive orders, Mr. Becker responded: “I was not responsible for [the specific executive orders] except as described below. As a member of the Presidential Transition Team, I was asked to provide advice and information concerning a possible executive order of the sort described. I was involved in researching, analyzing, preliminary drafting, and consulting with other members of the Transition team.” In other words, Mr. Becker was the main author but would rather not say so explicitly.
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A hiring tax credit returns from the dead.
The White House is finally coming to realize that taxes affect job creation. Terrific. Its solution seems to be to bribe employers for hiring new workers, albeit only for a couple of years. Less than terrific.
Alarmed by the rising jobless rate, Democrats are scrambling to “do something” to create jobs. You may have thought that was supposed to be the point of February’s $780 billion stimulus plan, and indeed it was. White House economists Christina Romer and Jared Bernstein estimated at the time that the spending blowout would keep the jobless rate below 8%.
The nearby chart compares the job estimates the two economists used to help sell the stimulus to the American public to the actual jobless rate so far this year. The current rate is 9.8% and is expected to rise or stay high well into the election year of 2010. Rarely in politics do we get such a clear and rapid illustration of a policy failure.
This explains why political panic is beginning to set in, and various panicky ideas to create more jobs are suddenly in play. The New York Times reports that one plan would grant a $3,000 tax credit to employers for each new hire in 2010. Under another, two-year plan, employers would receive a credit in the first year equal to 15.3% of the cost of adding a new worker, an amount that would be reduced to 10.2% in the second year and then phased out entirely. Why 15.3%? Presumably because that’s roughly the cost of the payroll tax burden to hire a new worker.
The irony of this is remarkable, considering the costs that Democrats are busy imposing on job creation. Congress raised the minimum wage again in July, a direct slam at low-skilled and young workers. The black teen jobless rate has since climbed to 50.4% from 39.2% in two months. Congress is also moving ahead with a mountain of new mandates, from mandatory paid leave to the House’s health-care payroll surtax of 5.4%. All of these policy changes give pause to employers as they contemplate the cost of new hires—a reality that Democrats are tacitly admitting as they now plot to find ways to offset those higher costs.
Alas, their new ideas are little more than political gimmicks that aren’t likely to result in many new jobs. Congress doesn’t want to give up revenue for very long, so it would make the tax credits temporary. Thus anyone who is hired would have to be productive enough to justify the wage or salary after the tax-credit expires—or else the job is likely to end. An employer would be better off hiring a temp worker and saving on the benefits for the same couple of years. read the rest in opinion Wall Street JournalRead Full Post | Make a Comment ( None so far )
By Michelle Malkin
I hate to say “I told you so.”
But, well, I told you so.
GOP Sen. Lindsey Graham has signed on to the Democrats’ massive green redistribution scheme masquerading as a planet-saving, national security-enhancing “energy independence” scheme.
Can John McCain and the rest of the Climate Change Republicans be far behind?
First, a quick trip down GOP eco-sellout memory lane:
McCain on offshore drilling: For it before he was against it before he was for it again; Update: McCain’s astounding flip-flop on windfall profits tax, plus a new global warming alarmist ad By Michelle Malkin • June 16, 2008 04:28 PM
Now, the announcement of Graham’s alliance with Big Government Democrats. In the NYTimes, natch:
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…we refuse to accept the argument that the United States cannot lead the world in addressing global climate change. We are also convinced that we have found both a framework for climate legislation to pass Congress and the blueprint for a clean-energy future that will revitalize our economy, protect current jobs and create new ones, safeguard our national security and reduce pollution.
Our partnership represents a fresh attempt to find consensus that adheres to our core principles and leads to both a climate change solution and energy independence. It begins now, not months from now — with a road to 60 votes in the Senate.
It’s true that we come from different parts of the country and represent different constituencies and that we supported different presidential candidates in 2008. We even have different accents. But we speak with one voice in saying that the best way to make America stronger is to work together to address an urgent crisis facing the world.
This process requires honest give-and-take and genuine bipartisanship. In that spirit, we have come together to put forward proposals that address legitimate concerns among Democrats and Republicans and the other constituencies with stakes in this legislation. We’re looking for a new beginning, informed by the work of our colleagues and legislation that is already before Congress.
Read the rest at Michelle Malkin.com
Any successful efforts by Congress to cut off federal funding to scandal-plagued ACORN would have little effect on the community organizing group’s overall operations, its chief executive officer said on Tuesday.
“We didn’t have government funding for years,” said ACORN CEO Bertha Lewis. “We may not have government funding in the future.”
Lewis said ACORN typically receives about $2.5 million to $3 million annually from the federal government – roughly 10 percent of its $20 million to $25 million annual budget. Member dues and private sources make up a much larger chunk of the budget, she said.
After a series of undercover videos surfaced showing ACORN employees giving advice to conservative activists posing as a prostitute and a pimp, opponents in Congress have sought to cut the group’s sources of federal money. In recent weeks, both the U.S. Census Bureau and the Internal Revenue Service have also ended partnerships with ACORN.
But Lewis, who spoke Tuesday at Washington’s National Press Club, called the congressional actions a case of “modern day ACORN McCarththyism,” and she dismissed a report by the Republican staff of the Senate Finance Committee alleging that ACORN used some charitable funding for political purposes.
Last month, the group suspended new intakes to its service programs throughout the country, pending the results of an independent review led by former Massachusetts Attorney General Scott Harshbarger.
Lewis, who said her remarks were part of a “set-the-record-straight tour,” said the group would continue to pursue a lawsuit against the makers of the videos as well as the conservative Web site, Breitbart.com, where they first appeared.
Read more of this article on Politico.com
FOX News Poll: Opposition to Health Care Reform Grows
A majority of Americans oppose current health care legislation and think the plans being considered cost too much, give too much power to Washington and take decisions away from them and their doctors.
As Congress takes action on health care reform, public opinion on the issue remains divided and, at times, contradictory. The latest FOX News poll shows a decline in support for health care reform over the past two weeks.
Currently, one-third favors the legislation being considered (33 percent) and a slight majority (53 percent) opposes it. This compares to 38 percent favoring and 48 percent opposing the legislation two weeks ago (15-16 September 2009).
Americans are split along party lines in their support of health reform. A majority of Democrats favors the legislation (60 percent) while a large majority of Republicans opposes it (85 percent). Independents, an important swing group, are more likely to oppose health reform than favor it (57 percent oppose and 27 percent favor).
The poll was conducted by Opinion Dynamics Corp. from September 29 to September 30 for FOX News among 900 registered voters. The poll has a 3-point error margin.
Americans’ beliefs about what would happen if health care reform legislation were to pass sheds light on why opposition may be growing. Majorities agree the plans being considered cost too much money (62 percent), give too much power to Washington (60 percent) and take decision-making away from them and their doctor (54 percent).
This last number is particularly important. The failure of President Clinton’s attempt at health care reform is often attributed to the public’s belief that it would lead to a loss of personal control over health care decisions.
However, while Americans are concerned about what will happen to their own health care if reform passes, they are also concerned about what will happen to others if reform does not pass. Three out of four are concerned that Congress will pass reform legislation that is bad for them and their family (49 percent very concerned and 25 percent somewhat concerned).
At the same time, a large majority (70 percent) is concerned that if Congress fails to pass health reform, many Americans will be left without insurance (41 percent very concerned and 29 percent somewhat concerned).
A majority of Americans are also willing to pay more for their health insurance in order to provide insurance for all Americans (60 percent). Just over one in three would pay $100 more per year (35 percent), while about one in five would pay $500 or more (25 percent). One-third of Americans (33 percent) volunteer the fact that they would pay nothing extra.
Tami Buhr is a senior project manager at Opinion Dynamics Corporation Fox News.comRead Full Post | Make a Comment ( None so far )