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In the Tank for Big Labor

Obama is making union dreams come true.

Jul 19, 2010, Vol. 15, No. 41 • By PEYTON R. MILLER
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And labor unions have not been docile since 2008. They funded a multi-million-dollar “grassroots” effort to counteract opposition to Obamacare, whose mandates and subsidies will generate new demand for health services, and thus more dues-paying union members in the health sector. As J. Justin Wilson of the Center for Union Facts points out, the activism was also part of a broader advocacy of a federal beachhead in certain industries, which allows unions to lobby the government for favorable regulations. More directly, the Democratic health care bill included a $10 billion bailout of mismanaged retiree health plans that will benefit numerous former union workers.

Just last month, Obama asked Congress for another $50 billion, on top of what the stimulus already provided, to prevent states from firing employees. While he’s stopped campaigning for EFCA, the president may yet have an opportunity to sign it in some form. AFL-CIO president Richard Trumka is determined to see card check attached to an urgent bill while Democrats still have decisive congressional majorities. Democratic leaders have indicated that the lame duck session following the November elections may be the best opportunity. 

Even if no other pro-union legislation comes to pass, President Obama has more than paid off big labor’s $400 million investment, albeit at the expense of the rest of the country.

Peyton R. Miller is the editor of the Harvard Salient and a Student Free Press Association intern at The Weekly Standard.

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