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  • Obamacare Full of Favors for Big Labor

    Teamsters General President James Hoffa, left, UAW President Ron Gettelfinger, flank President Barack Obama

    Candidate Obama campaigned as a fierce opponent of special interests that use their clout and connections to secure special favors from the government. As President, Obama has made it clear that he only objected to particular special interests getting handouts. Obama happily gives some liberal special interests loopholes and exemptions from the laws that affect everyone else.

    The closed-door negotiations over the health care bill have made this clear. Unions strongly objected to the excise tax on “Cadillac” health plans. By some estimates the tax would hit one in four union members. Union lobbyists pressured the White House to drop that tax. After a high-profile meeting between Obama and union lobbyists on Monday, the unions apparently have gotten what they asked for: the excise tax will not apply to collectively bargained health plans. The tax that unions found so onerous will now apply to everyone but them.

    What a deal. Unions want the health care spending, but they do not want to pay for it. Obama gave them just that. It also makes for a great recruiting pitch: join a union, get a tax cut.

    That is just one of the many handouts unions get in the health care bill. It sets aside $5 billion to subsidize the costs of employer health benefits for early retirees. Few nonunion employers, of course, pay pension and health benefits for workers to retire at 55.

    Or consider the small business exemption from the employer mandate for businesses with less than 50 employees. All businesses, that is, except construction companies. The costly employer mandate applies to any construction firm with more than four workers. Why would Congress kick small construction contractors when they are down? Because the construction unions asked Congress to. They did not want their small competitors to get out from under the bill’s costs and gain a competitive advantage. What if those costs put small contractors out of business? That is just too bad.

    Obama’s handouts for unions go beyond the health care bill:

    • All that federal spending on public works construction projects? The President’s Executive Order on Project Labor Agreements reserves most of those jobs for union members.
    • The Detroit bailout was bad policy in its own right. Now the pensions of union retirees at GM subsidiaries will get generous taxpayer top-ups to prevent benefit cuts. The pension plans of nonunion retirees, however, will not get a cent.
    • The law requires unions to partner with federal “green job” training programs. Union members will stand first in line for the “green jobs” Obama talks about creating.

    Time and again this administration has given unions privileges denied to other Americans. Perhaps this should not surprise. Organized Labor spent hundreds of millions of dollars electing President Obama and the current Congress. Now the President has given them a healthy return on their investment. Isn’t that the way Washington works?

    It should not. Congress should write laws that apply equally to all citizens to promote the common good – not to pay off political constituencies. Obama promised to change politics as usual. We’re waiting to see if he’ll do that.

    Posted in Economics [slideshow_deploy]

    20 Responses to Obamacare Full of Favors for Big Labor

    1. Joel Downs, Hurst, T says:

      It seems to me that any federal law, such as this tax loophole that treats one group of citizens differently from another group, is a violation of the Equal Protection clause of the 14th amendment. Therefore, it appears to be a good idea to litigate the proposition that the 14th amendment should apply to federal law in the same way it applies to state laws.

    2. Garland, Georgia says:

      Just another BO MARX step toward socialism.

    3. Al, Florida says:

      For Sale…everything in Washington. Why should it be any different from the senators from Nebraska, Louisian, and Arkansas. This feeding frenzy was triggered by not having a balance of power in our government. Now the American people know what all the hope and change is all about. Read the Culture of Corruption and you will see that this is just business as usual.

    4. John Lynch, Montauk, says:

      The more I read about the back-room negotiations the worse it gets. Whatever happened to 'equal protection under the law’? Doesn't article 14 guarantee this protection?

    5. Mike, Columbus says:

      Equal protection for those who support BHO only. All others be damned. Chicago thug politics on steroids. Forget the Consititution. America is officially on life support under this "leadership."

    6. Dale, Cincinnati says:

      Some months back I stated that organized labor would use Obamacare as a recruiting tool. This is exactly what is in the current language. There would be an incentive for non-union labor and businesses to unionize. Employees would benefit from Cadillac heath care plans and business owners would see reduced taxes.

      Who pays? Non-union shops. It wouldn't be long before this group of business owners would be DOA. As business shut down, unemployment rises. As shops go union tax revenue on health care premiums drops. Before long Obamacare is on the same footing as social security, welfare, medicare, medicaid, and all other federally funded mandates….bankrupt. By then Obama is out of office admiring his legacy….another nail in America's coffin.

    7. Jill, California says:

      We can only hope that the provisions of this bill become so obscene that (1) enough members of Congress wake up and vote against it or (2) it is quickly defeated in out court system. That's the only up side I can see to nonstop bad news coming out of Washington.

    8. Drew Page, IL says:

      Right out of Animal Farm, "all animals are equal – some animals are more equal than others". substitute the words 'special interest groups' for animals and there you have it.

      The author of the above article seems shocked, shocked to find that president Obama's actions are the opposite of candidate Obama's promises. Do tell.

    9. Jeanne Stotler, Wood says:

      This is the most corrupt administration in history, we now have Chigago style, mob rulled politics in Washington. If people had listened to what was said, which was really no plans, solutions etc., then they would not have voted for BHO, those who voted for him because they wanted free living were dillusional. The Gov't isn't going to pay your mortgage, gas bill etc without taking it from us the tax payer, and I frankly believe that you go out and work, then pay for your own the same as the rest of us. NO FREE LUNCH.

    10. Tim Az says:

      Do a little homework and you will discover that the majority of union leaders have been or are currently members of socialist organizations. That is why they are brothers in arms with the current administration. Birds of a feather flock together.

    11. Andy, New York says:

      Contrast Obama's position on special interests during the campaign: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bCIi4KekN5w

    12. Ben C. Ann Arbor, MI says:

      Good point Dale. I hadn't looked deep enough into the stratagey of the unions. Thanks for your insight.

    13. Pingback: Behind Closed Doors, Unions Win, You Lose! « A Nation ADrift-Why?

    14. paul says:

      Big labor is bullying this president the same way they bullied business and gave them no choice but to go overseas.

    15. Ron Thompson says:

      Over the course of the last year, I have come to dislike Unions, because of the deception! Not the members but the leadership. I see jobs being lost, regardless of affiliation with unions or non-union. Yet, while the jobs are being lost the leaders are covertly working with the administration to implement a bigger plan that will result in bigger Union job losses. All be talk of or thought that Unions are exempt, you as an individual aren't! you will be paying the exorbant taxes just like everyone else and be manipulated through the healthcare program, you will have, the same way the non-union people will be! Your current plan is a much better plan! one last thing, what your leaders are doing is quietly pushing everyone into a single payer, government run program, not at all the same as being talked about. The bottom line, no matter if you are Union or Non we all will be paying for the healthcare plan, while the leaders, senator, congresspeople don't. they have their own!

    16. Kevin Pa. says:

      I don't know how any thinking person can have any faith or confidence in, not just this administration, but all of Washington. I did not vote for President Obama, but I was willing to see where and how he would lead the country. I certainly don't like where we're headed and I'm amazed at how little he gets called on by most media when he faills to deliver on well documented pledges. Health care being debated on C-span is the most recent not honored pledge. And now it seems the unions will get a pass on the tax on 'Cadillac' plans. Who, indeed, is going to end up bearing the cost of this Nutopia? We (middle class/under $200,0000) schmucks.

      If a man or woman can look you in the eye and pledge to do something and then not fulfill that pledge, you simply can never, ever trust them after that. This applies universally, regardless of party, race, religion, or whatever.

    17. Pingback: LABOR WINS , WE LOSE!!! « JaxConservative

    18. Pingback: Brand New Cadillac Will Get The Excise Tax « Around The Sphere

    19. Pingback: Unions waivers are proof Obamacare must be repealed [Reader Post]

    20. Pingback: Obamacare Subsidizes Health Benefits for State and Local Government Retirees | The Conservative Papers

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