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The Unbearable Lightness of Being Big Labor

April 27, 2009

The most transparent and ethical administration evah! strikes again. This time Team Obama proves its unmatched hypocrisy moral superiority through the repealing of financial disclosure rules for workers’ unions. The union bosses’ argument to which the Labor Department gave an empathetic nod was that it’s just so much work to report all that information about financial ties and received payments. Their lawyers are quoted as describing the rules as “onerous.”  Hah! The French Cowboy is slamming his hand against his forehead: why didn’t I think about this? Here I am filling out my tax forms every year, meticulously attaching the necessary additional documents for proof of my statements, while all I had to do is to tell the authorities that this is just too “onerous” and they would’ve given me a waiver!

Ah, you say, but your case is different: the unions are having such an easy time with the Obama administration because they’re practically in charge of the Labor Department. And right you are. Deborah Greenfield worked on the Obama transition team and is now a high-ranking official at Labor. Yet only last year she was among the AFL-CIO lawyers who filed the lawsuit against the disclosure rules the Obama administration is now generously reversing. Elections have consequences, as they say, and so have staffing decisions. The Washington Times article linked above mentions two other Obama staffers who worked for workers’ unions before they came to the White House. But let me assure you, this changes nothing about the fact that Obama has delivered on his promise not to employ any persons who had the word ‘Lobbyist’ written on their business cards. (Although, of course, he hasn’t.)

It’s a crazy world. If you run a company with a few hundred or more employees you’re targeted for punitive taxes, routinely called greedy and selfish, and get blamed for every slump in a pseudo-free market. Never mind that it’s government’s intrusion into your affairs that makes you try to find friends in DC, not the other way round; or that the product you make is actually bought by people willingly so that one might assume that you are, in fact, contributing to society’s welfare. But if you say you represent people who receive above-market wages (thereby elbowing those who would be willing to work for less into unemployment) and it is part of your job definition to retrieve tax-financed alms you don’t even have to disclose your financial ties because if you say that you’re a good guy everyone just believes you. After all, you can’t be greedy because you know that people don’t necessarily want something in return when they’ve given you money.

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