You Hate to Say We Told You So But…Obama Bailouts

You Hate to Say We Told You So But…Obama Bailouts

Liz Peeks discovers the nasty truth of the Obama auto bailouts -- they were a "Hefty Union Payoff": [media-credit name="NRTW Committee®" align="alignright" width="300"][/media-credit] In the second presidential debate, Mr. Obama attacked early on, saying, “Governor Romney said we should let Detroit go bankrupt.” Note to Obama fans: GM did go bankrupt – filing for Chapter 11 protection against its creditors on June 1, 2009. It’s what happened next that the president can take credit for – a handout of $49.5 billion in taxpayer money to GM, some $27 billion of which remains outstanding, and another $17 billion to its financial arm Ally Financial, which still owes $14.7 billion. In other words, Obama didn’t save General Motors; American taxpayers did, with an assist from the Federal Reserve. While liberals rant about the bailouts of Wall Street, it is worthwhile noting that of the $417 billion in TARP funds spent to stabilize the economy, only $65 billion has yet to be repaid – and more than half of that is owed by GM and Chrysler. The latest TARP report from the Congressional Budget Office says that the government invested nearly $80 billion in those two auto giants and that taxpayers are still on the hook for roughly $37 billion. In the same report, the CBO projects that handouts to Wall Street firms will ultimately net the government a cool $11 billion profit. They say the auto industry, on the other hand, will never pay back taxpayers. According to the congressional bean counters, $20 billion is gone for good.

The Teachers Strike May Have Been In Chicago, But It's All Our Problem

The Teachers Strike May Have Been In Chicago, But It's All Our Problem

Matt Kibbe looks at why the "resolution" of the teacher's strike in Chicago is not in the best interests of the children and taxpayers of the state: The Chicago Teachers Union Strike may be resolved for now, but the events illustrate a serious problem facing the United States: union bosses are manipulating government leaders, using teachers and students as human shields in their fight to maintain power over the educational system. Their stranglehold on education has to end if our children are to have any hope of getting the education they need to compete in the world. [media-credit name=" " align="aligncenter" width="300"][/media-credit]Teacher pay got a lot of attention in coverage of the debate, but it was far from the only issue at play in the strike, which ended Wednesday under the promise of a resolution that appeased the union bullies. The primary disagreements were over who has the power to hire and fire teachers, and accountability for student performance. The union insisted that it should have the right to dictate who gets hired to fill jobs in the district. Primarily, it wanted to take hiring authority away from school principals by requiring that laid-off teachers be hired back. Union leaders also rejected the perfectly reasonable demand from the city of Chicago that standardized test scores play a role in evaluating teacher performance. A roofer is judged by how well his shingles keep out the rain. A CFO is judged by her company’s balance sheet. A journalist is judged by the accuracy and fairness of his story. Yet somehow union leaders think teachers shouldn’t be judged by the outcome of their work. Teachers’ unions exist to promote what’s best for teachers, not students. As Albert Shanker, the late president of the American Federation of Teachers, once reportedly put it, “When schoolchildren start paying union dues, that’s when I’ll start representing the interests of schoolchildren.” (Shanker’s supporters dispute that he said this, but the quotation’s staying power illustrates the accuracy with which it represents union motives.) Because they exist to protect the status quo, unions oppose the kind of meaningful education reform America needs. They oppose education tax credits, school vouchers, charter schools, merit pay, and virtually all attempts to impose real accountability. They instead support a system that sees the United States spending nearly two and a half times more per pupil today than in 1970. What have we received in return? Stagnant math and reading scores for 17-year-olds, and a decline in science scores.

The Teachers Strike May Have Been In Chicago, But It's All Our Problem

The Teachers Strike May Have Been In Chicago, But It's All Our Problem

Matt Kibbe looks at why the "resolution" of the teacher's strike in Chicago is not in the best interests of the children and taxpayers of the state: The Chicago Teachers Union Strike may be resolved for now, but the events illustrate a serious problem facing the United States: union bosses are manipulating government leaders, using teachers and students as human shields in their fight to maintain power over the educational system. Their stranglehold on education has to end if our children are to have any hope of getting the education they need to compete in the world. [media-credit name=" " align="aligncenter" width="300"][/media-credit]Teacher pay got a lot of attention in coverage of the debate, but it was far from the only issue at play in the strike, which ended Wednesday under the promise of a resolution that appeased the union bullies. The primary disagreements were over who has the power to hire and fire teachers, and accountability for student performance. The union insisted that it should have the right to dictate who gets hired to fill jobs in the district. Primarily, it wanted to take hiring authority away from school principals by requiring that laid-off teachers be hired back. Union leaders also rejected the perfectly reasonable demand from the city of Chicago that standardized test scores play a role in evaluating teacher performance. A roofer is judged by how well his shingles keep out the rain. A CFO is judged by her company’s balance sheet. A journalist is judged by the accuracy and fairness of his story. Yet somehow union leaders think teachers shouldn’t be judged by the outcome of their work. Teachers’ unions exist to promote what’s best for teachers, not students. As Albert Shanker, the late president of the American Federation of Teachers, once reportedly put it, “When schoolchildren start paying union dues, that’s when I’ll start representing the interests of schoolchildren.” (Shanker’s supporters dispute that he said this, but the quotation’s staying power illustrates the accuracy with which it represents union motives.) Because they exist to protect the status quo, unions oppose the kind of meaningful education reform America needs. They oppose education tax credits, school vouchers, charter schools, merit pay, and virtually all attempts to impose real accountability. They instead support a system that sees the United States spending nearly two and a half times more per pupil today than in 1970. What have we received in return? Stagnant math and reading scores for 17-year-olds, and a decline in science scores.

Redistribution,  Big Labor style

Redistribution, Big Labor style

[media-credit name=" " align="alignright" width="300"][/media-credit]The Obama administration's Delphi debacle -- when union members were made whole at the expense of non-union workers -- continues to hound the White House.  The Free Beacon looks at the scandal: Fred Arndt and his brother Dave came to General Motors straight out of high school. They spent their entire careers building the engine cooling systems that increase the lifespan of Cadillacs and other vehicles. Dave worked in assembly; Fred, one year younger, qualified for GM University, which propelled him to work as a draftsman and engineer. They worked the line side-by-side. Dave built the parts Fred had designed. The brothers made their way to Delphi, an auto supplier spun off from GM that builds components—seats, instrument panels, steering and suspension systems—for cars. After more than 30 years with the company, the brothers retired in their native Michigan. They watched as Delphi’s growing labor costs dragged it into Chapter 11 bankruptcy in 2005. It would not emerge until 2009 when the government stepped in with $50 billion for GM. And then the Arndt brothers’ paths diverged. Fred, 64, lost his health, dental, and life insurance, along with 70 percent of his pension. Dave lost five percent of his health insurance and some dental coverage… …[Fred]  Arndt is one of the more than 20,000 non-union Delphi employees that have seen their pensions wiped out by the government-directed bankruptcy. While the pension fund covered the retirement packages of executives, the majority of employees are middle class white-collar workers: engineers, accountants, and secretaries.

Obama Funnels Taxpayer Funds to Big Labor Allies

Judicial Watch has uncovered massive evidence that the Obama Administration has rewarded its big labor allies with lucrative federal grants, including millions of dollars to help them strengthen unions in Iraq. The information comes straight from government records gathered in the course of a lengthy investigation into the administration’s tight relationship with the nation’s powerful labor movement. Since Obama moved to the White House federal funding for big labor has skyrocketed to the tune of tens of millions of dollars. A chunk of the money is being funneled to unions so they can increase labor organization around the globe, the records show. In most cases the American taxpayer dollars are going to leftist groups in the developing world. For instance, the American Center for International Labor Solidarity has received nearly $3 million to strengthen labor unions in Iraq. The group is the international arm of the American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organizations (AFL-CIO), the nation’s largest federation of unions representing 12 million workers. The AFL-CIO offshoot also got a chunk of change from Uncle Sam for various other causes. For example, it raked in an additional $2.5 million for “labor outreach” last year and $1.2 million from the State Department to combat human trafficking in Asia. Earlier this year the group got an additional $721,310 for more labor outreach. This brings the total amount of federal grants awarded to the Solidary Center to $71,652,403, the records show.  JW compiled a spreadsheet of all the transactions. The Solidarity Center is run by politically-connected figures in the labor movement. Former AFL-CIO President John Sweeny is chairman of the board, former AFL-CIO executive councilman William Lucy is vice chairman and current AFL-CIO President Dick Trumka is the secretary and treasurer. The center was founded in 1997, but didn’t receive federal assistance till a decade later.

Obama’s (Un)American Auto Bailout

Obama’s (Un)American Auto Bailout

[media-credit id=7 align="alignright" width="300"][/media-credit]The untiring Michelle Malkin continues to try to educate Americans about the Obama auto bailout scandals and the real impact on the American people: Cue “Fanfare for the Common Man” and rev up the Government Motors engines. Wednesday is Great American Auto Bailout Day at the Democratic National Convention. Party propagandists have prepared a prime-time-ready film touting the “rescue’s” benefits for American workers. UAW President Bob King will sing the savior-in-chief’s praises. Only in a fantasyland where America has 57 states, “JOBS” is a three-letter word and bailouts are “achievements” does Obama’s rescue math add up. “Now I want to do the same thing with manufacturing jobs, not just in the auto industry, but in every industry,” Obama vows. God help the American worker. But like all of the economic success stories manufactured by the White House, the $85 billion government handout is a big fat farce. While Team Obama lambastes GOP rival Mitt Romney for outsourcing, Government Motors is now planning to invest $1 billion over the next five years — not in America, but in Russia. That’s on top of $7 billion total in China, close to $1 billion in Mexico, and $600 million for a shirt sponsorship deal with Manchester United, the British soccer club. GM is once again flirting with bankruptcy despite massive government purchases propping up its sales figures. GM stock is rock-bottom. Losses continue to be revised in the wrong direction. According to The Detroit News, “The Treasury Department says in a new report the government expects to lose more than $25 billion on the $85 billion auto bailout. That’s 15 percent higher than its previous forecast.”