Big Labor Lobbyist Dominate CA Legislative Agendas

Big Labor Lobbyist Dominate CA Legislative Agendas

Brian Calle of the Orange County Register took notice when California's lobbying reports revealed that the biggest special interest in the Golden State is big labor.  Specifically, the California Teacher's Association (read: Union) spent more money on lobbying than anyone else in the state.  The President Obama says Big Labor is not a special interest.  The facts show otherwise: Lobbying, unsurprisingly, is commonplace and aggressive in U.S. state capitals and in Washington, D.C. Special interests and their paid representatives flock to legislators and bureaucrats, seeking favors, like pigs rushing to a full trough. The problem at the state and municipal level is that too many treasuries are depleted, and to refill the troughs special interests urge policymakers to find or enhance “revenue sources” – a euphemism for new or higher taxes. In Sacramento, the California Teachers Association, the state's behemoth education union, spent more money on lobbying in 2011 than any other group in the Golden State, according a Los Angeles Times analysis of data from the California Secretary of State's Office. The CTA, boasting 340,000 members, spent $6,574,257 last year, a lobbying tab more than $1.5 million greater than the second-place spender (unsurprisingly, another union), the California State Council of Service Employees, an affiliate of the Service Employees International Union, one of the largest and most powerful labor outfits in North America.

Union's Keep Pushing Taxes Higher in California

Who can forget the Chicago Teachers Union Activist above, but that attitude does not seem to be exclusive to Illinois.  California Gov. Jerry Brown is pushing a new scheme to force tax increases on the taxpayers in the Golden State and not surprisingly, it is the teacher's union pushing the plan behind the curtain?  From the OCRegister: Gov. Jerry Brown says the odds improved last week that voters will approve tax increases in November because he and the California Federation of Teachers merged their separate tax-raising schemes into one. This was not a compromise. Mr. Brown caved in to union pressure. Public employee unions were major financial backers of the governor's 2010 election campaign. In seeking huge tax increases to pay for government spending, he is doing unions' bidding. By merging initiatives, Mr. Brown agreed to reduce the increase he sought in the sales tax from a half cent to a quarter cent. But he agreed to seek a larger income-tax increase tax on more-affluent taxpayers. The new initiative would raise the top tax rate by 1 percent for those earning $250,000, 2 percent for incomes exceeding $300,000 and 3 percent on $500,000 and more. The state's top rate already is 10.3 percent, for those earning $1 million a year. The combined initiative is projected to raise $9 billion compared with the $7 billion the governor previously proposed. The tax increases would last seven years, rather than the previous five years.

Union's Keep Pushing Taxes Higher in California

Who can forget the Chicago Teachers Union Activist above, but that attitude does not seem to be exclusive to Illinois.  California Gov. Jerry Brown is pushing a new scheme to force tax increases on the taxpayers in the Golden State and not surprisingly, it is the teacher's union pushing the plan behind the curtain?  From the OCRegister: Gov. Jerry Brown says the odds improved last week that voters will approve tax increases in November because he and the California Federation of Teachers merged their separate tax-raising schemes into one. This was not a compromise. Mr. Brown caved in to union pressure. Public employee unions were major financial backers of the governor's 2010 election campaign. In seeking huge tax increases to pay for government spending, he is doing unions' bidding. By merging initiatives, Mr. Brown agreed to reduce the increase he sought in the sales tax from a half cent to a quarter cent. But he agreed to seek a larger income-tax increase tax on more-affluent taxpayers. The new initiative would raise the top tax rate by 1 percent for those earning $250,000, 2 percent for incomes exceeding $300,000 and 3 percent on $500,000 and more. The state's top rate already is 10.3 percent, for those earning $1 million a year. The combined initiative is projected to raise $9 billion compared with the $7 billion the governor previously proposed. The tax increases would last seven years, rather than the previous five years.

Wisconsin Reality vs. Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn's "Reality Rendezvous"

Wisconsin Reality vs. Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn's "Reality Rendezvous"

Imagine what would happen in Wisconsin if they gave private sector employees the same freedoms. "Our rendezvous with reality has arrived."  That is what Illinois Governor Pat Quinn said this week as he unveiled his state budget.  Their economic slap in the face comes nearly one year after we took steps to get our fiscal house in order. As we were passing legislation requiring state employees and teachers to make modest contributions to their health insurance and pensions to help offset necessary cuts, Quinn and Democrats in Illinois passed massive tax increases. I told you then that our path, although a more difficult one, was the correct path to take.  Now, it couldn't be more clear that we were right.  We closed a massive $3.6 billion budget deficit without raising taxes and without massive layoffs. Illinois, meanwhile, is in even more economic peril because of  tax increases that clobbered their families and businesses.  To try to fix the mess he created, Governor Quinn is out with a budget that proposes the closing of numerous prisons, 60 state offices, laying off 1,100 state employees and cutting Medicaid by $2.7 billion. It's so bad that $8 billion in bills would still go unpaid and state worker pensions costs will rise by more than $1 billion.  Even faced with that, Quinn and Illinois democrats are refusing to tackle the issue, instead calling on "task forces" to be created to look into ways to reign in skyrocketing health care and pension costs.