grow government? ... no more examples required

Discussion in 'Politics & Religion' started by FeenixRizin, Sep 11, 2009.

  1. ONE TERM ... VOTE THE LEFTISTS THE HELL OUT! This is the change they believe in, roll California's woes out nationwide in the interest of "fairness".
    And people wonder why the left is so distrusted and hated. "carbon taxes" .. yeah, right. Save The Polar Bears, Fund a Government and/or Union Pension!

    Candidate in a State of Dystopia

    By George Will | SAN DIEGO — Becoming governor next year will be a daunting challenge for California's Republican insurance commissioner, but Steve Poizner has surmounted other obstacles, as when he volunteered to teach without pay in an East San Jose high school. After he sold, for $1 billion, one of the technology companies he founded after moving to California from Texas, and after serving as a White House fellow, he walked into San Jose's school district office, explained that he graduated No. 1 in his class at the University of Texas, earned a Stanford business degree and now wanted to teach American government to high school seniors. A functionary declared: "Nothing you have said qualifies you to be in the classroom."

    Undeterred, he placed calls to the district's 12 high school principals. Eleven did not return his calls. The 12th, whose students were mostly from working-class Hispanic families, gave Poizner the opportunity he describes as the hardest, and most rewarding, thing he has ever done.

    On his first day it rained, the roof leaked and he probably violated union contracts by moving a trash can to catch the seepage. When some parents — they were plumbers — offered to fix a broken water fountain, they were spurned. The education code, by which state legislators micromanage California's thousands of schools at the behest of teachers unions, is, Poizner says, 2,000 pages "and growing rapidly." He is disgusted that more than half of the 600,000 employees in primary and secondary education are not in classrooms. The most "telling statistic," he says, is that in Los Angeles (where one in three school dollars goes to teachers' pensions) 25 percent of public school teachers send their children to private schools. Other signs that tell of California's dystopia are:

    Having institutionalized envy in a steeply progressive income tax, California depends on 200,000 wealthy taxpayers for 25 percent of its revenue. The state ranks behind only liberal New York in the number of outward-bound moving vans. More people would flee if they could sell their homes. Between 1990 and 2007, the state lost 26 percent of its factory jobs and 35 percent of its high-tech manufacturing jobs. "Detroit, only with sunshine," says Investor's Business Daily. In Nevada (no personal or corporate income tax; sales taxes lower than California's), a Las Vegas organization lures Californians with a talk titled "California Has Lost Its Mind and Las Vegas Is Providing Psychoanalysis."

    California has the lowest debt rating of any state, the fourth-highest unemployment rate (11.9 percent) and its job growth rate since 2000 is almost 20 percent below the national average. Some county and state public safety employees retire at 50 receiving at least 90 percent of their final year's pay, forever. Taxpayers pour more than $3 billion a year into state employee pension funds, 10 times more than they did 10 years ago, and still there are large unfunded liabilities for which taxpayers are liable. More than 5,000 retired state employees' annual pensions exceed $100,000. If public employees did not begin drawing pensions until age 65, California would save half a trillion dollars through 2030.

    Between 1997 and 2007, the state workforce, including public school employees, grew 24 percent, to almost 900,000. Government spending has grown 40 percent faster under Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger than under his Democratic predecessor. Since 2005, state spending has increased twice as fast as inflation and population. Democrats blocked allowing parents to enroll their children online in state health programs because it might have endangered unionized clerical jobs. As the state prepares to release tens of thousands of felons from prison to comply with a court order and help balance the budget (in 2002, prison guards received a 37 percent raise), it has 19,000 illegal immigrants incarcerated.

    Poizner, whose rivals for the Republican nomination include former representative Tom Campbell and former eBay chief executive Meg Whitman, expects to benefit from the electorate's mood swings. In 2003, it soured on Gray Davis, the archetypal political lifer (he was Gov. Jerry Brown's chief of staff), replacing him with Schwarzenegger, who then was the muscular amateur and who now is the incredible shrinking action hero. Poizner thinks California's dialectic of disgust will elevate him — a slight, bespectacled entrepreneur who is the only Republican other than Schwarzenegger to be elected statewide since 1994. Getting a state sickened by multiple toxic policies to elect someone whose name sounds like poison may be difficult, but perhaps not more so than getting to teach, unpaid, in East San Jose.

    Read the Union Health-Care Label
    Get ready for Detroit-style labor relations in our hospitals.


    In the heated debates on health-care reform, not enough attention is being paid to the huge financial windfalls ObamaCare will dole out to unions—or to the provisions in the various bills in Congress that will help bring about the forced unionization of the health-care industry.

    Tucked away in thousands of pages of complex new rules, regulations and mandates are special privileges and giveaways that could have devastating consequences for the health-care sector and the American economy at large.

    The Senate version opens the door to implement forced unionization schemes pursued by former Govs. Rod Blagojevich of Illinois in 2005 and Gray Davis of California in 1999. Both men repaid tremendous political debts to Andy Stern and his Service Employees International Union (SEIU) by reclassifying state-reimbursed in-home health-care (and child-care) contractors as state employees—and forcing them to pay union dues.

    Following this playbook, the Senate bill creates a "personal care attendants workforce advisory panel" that will likely impose union affiliation to qualify for a newly created "community living assistance services and support (class)" reimbursement plan.

    The current House version of ObamaCare (H.R. 3200) goes much further. Section 225(A) grants Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius tremendous discretionary authority to regulate health-care workers "under the public health insurance option." Monopoly bargaining and compulsory union dues may quickly become a required standard resulting in potentially hundreds of thousands of doctors and nurses across the country being forced into unions.

    Ms. Sebelius will be taking her marching orders from the numerous union officials who are guaranteed seats on the various federal panels (such as the personal care panel mentioned above) charged with recommending health-care policies. Big Labor will play a central role in directing federal health-care policy affecting hundreds of thousands of doctors, surgeons and nurses.

    Consider Kaiser Permanente, the giant, managed-care organization that has since 1997 proudly touted its labor-management "partnership" in scores of workplaces. Union officials play an essentially co-equal role in running many Kaiser facilities. AFL-CIO President John Sweeney called the Kaiser plan "a framework for what every health care delivery system should do" at a July 24 health-care forum outside of Washington, D.C.

    The House bill has a $10 billion provision to bail out insolvent union health-care plans. It also creates a lucrative professional-development grant program for health-care workers that effectively blackballs nonunion medical facilities from participation. The training funds in this program must be administered jointly with a labor organization—a scenario not unlike the U.S. Department of Labor's grants for construction apprenticeship programs, which have turned into a cash cow for construction industry union officials on the order of hundreds of millions of dollars each year.

    There's more. Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus has suggested that the federal government could pay for health-care reform by taxing American workers' existing health-care benefits—but he would exempt union-negotiated health-care plans. Under Mr. Baucus's scheme, the government could impose costs of up to $20,000 per employee on nonunion businesses already struggling to afford health care plans.

    Mr. Baucus's proposal would give union officials another tool to pressure employers into turning over their employees to Big Labor. Rather than provide the lavish benefits required by Obamacare, employers could allow a union to come in and negotiate less costly benefits than would otherwise be required. Such plans could be continuously exempted.

    Americans are unlikely to support granting unions more power than they already have in the health-care field. History shows union bosses could abuse their power to shut down medical facilities with sick-outs and strikes; force doctors, nurses and in-home care providers to abandon their patients; dictate terms and conditions of employment; and impose a failed, Detroit-style management model on the entire health-care field.

    ObamaCare is a Trojan Horse for more forced unionization.

    Mr. Mix is president of the National Right to Work Committee.
  3. Ricter


    But George, on the plus side, California is probably in the top two or three states for social stratification! (Side note: Don't you think that might have a larger role to play in "envy", than its tax system?)