Unions PR Campaign For Your Tax Dollars

by Gerri Willis

The rally in downtown Manhattan commemorating the 100th anniversary of the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire is sure to get lots of media attention today.

The fire killed 146 workers and the tragedy spurred the creation of a myriad federal agencies to make sure nothing like that ever happened again. Union activists were also expected to use the event as a forum for criticizing Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker and others who are attempting to reign in the exhorbitant costs of union pay and benefit packages --the costs of which is bankrupting state budgets across the country.

But here's what nobody is likely to mention at today's event: The biggest enemy of today's unions aren't abusive American corporate bosses. No, it's the 13-year-old Chinese girl willing to work long hours for pennies an hour.

Union leaders are constantly evoking the nostalgia of their earlier days as a way of convincing the broader public of their relevancy now. But nostalgia can't be the basis of an economic policy. Our leaders need to stop looking backwards for answers to today' problems.


This is a Mortgage Solution?

by Gerri Willis

Finally. Some honesty on an issue that most bank executives won't talk about. Bank of America Chief Executive Brian Moynihan said yesterday at a meeting with analysts in New York that the administration's push to get banks to forgive billions in troubled mortgages is unfair to borrowers who've been paying their mortgages. The White House along with 50 state attorney generals are pushing for a multi-billion dollar settlement with banks in the wake of foreclosure abuses by lenders. The problem with the solution proposed by government officials, according to Moynihan, is that it would take away any incentive for homeowners who have jobs to pay their mortgage. After all, why pay if banks are ponying up dough for people who don't? Such a scenario would only delay the recovery in housing. And, goodness knows, we've been waiting too long for that already.

President Obama's New Voodoo Economics

by Gerri Willis

Defending his budget only moments ago, President Obama says that his plan would bring spending to the levels of Dwight Eisenhower. Here's the exact quote, "Rather than throwing money at programs with no accountability or measured results, we are committed to funding only those things that work. All told, the budget cuts that I've proposed will bring annual domestic spending to it's lowest share of the ecomomy since Dwight Eisenhower."

True, but tricky. In reality, the spending that the president is talking about - domestic discretionary spending - is just 16 percent of the total that the federal government spends every year. It doesn't include entitlement programs like Medicare, Medicaid, or Social Security. Neither does it include defense spending. The truth is spending on those categories of the budget has grown like topsy.

Any real debate over reigning in government spending will have to talk about those programs.


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