Soak the Rich: ConocoPhillips

Senator Sherrod Brown (D-OH) and President Obama know that filling the $1.62 trillion U.S. budget deficit for Fiscal 2011 means forcing big corporations to pay their fair share. As a white-guilt-ridden private industry lackey, the least I can do is help with the calculations!

President Obama may be hedging on the EPA’s righteous destruction of American polluters, but that doesn’t mean dirty corporations are off the hook. Sure, we’ve already soaked Exxon and Chevron, but the ill-gotten gains of a few more polluting fat-cats will cover the nation’s budget deficit!

Now Soaking: ConocoPhillips

None of ConocoPhillips’s 29,900 employees will lose their jobs if Sherrod Brown and Barack Obama work their not-at-all-socialist magic. The only funds & individuals holding ConocoPhillips’s 1.37 billion outstanding shares of stock who suffer will be the ones who deserve to.

Don’t worry: this punitive tax policy won’t increase the cost of travel, heating, shipping, or plastics!

We, The People who support Sherrod Brown’s fiscal policies, hold these leftist conceits to be self-evident.

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OEA: “Even in this economy, don’t take concessions”

The Ohio Education Association (OEA) is Ohio’s largest government union and the biggest in-state donor to union front We Are Ohio. Accompanying their cynical “solidarity” rhetoric, union apologists point to slight concessions made since Senate Bill 5 passed, insisting Senate Bill 5 is unneeded.

Before going on strike against OEA just one year ago, OEA employees represented by the Professional Staff Union (PSU) had this to say on August 6, 2009 [Update, 09-16-2011: Here's a PDF copy, since union staff have blocked access to the website]:

The Professional Staff Union is bargaining its contract with the OEA.  So far, there have been 4 bargaining sessions, all of which have been disappointing and unproductive.  The OEA bargaining team has not brought a single counter proposal to the table so far.

Emphasis in the original. It gets worse:

Is this how OEA should act as a union?  Absolutely not.  Disappointing?  Absolutely.

Especially when earlier this year, at its Collective Bargaining Conference in January, OEA was telling you to “bargain hard” stating that “even in this economy, don’t take concessions,” “if the district has money, get it while it’s there” and, “if you can’t get money, at least get language.”  Apparently, OEA believes that’s what’s good for you, but not for the Professional Staff who work tirelessly for you & your members.

OEA fights to avoid providing the benefits they demand for members, while as recently as 2009 the union was instructing locals to squeeze taxpayers for all they could. In 2009, Ted Strickland was governor and the sensible reforms of Senate Bill 5 would have been unheard of. I’m sure that’s a coincidence.

Here’s a table that follows the above quotes from OEA staff –

On November 8, vote for sensible reforms to the power of union bosses who demonize elected officials while playing hardball with their own employees. Vote Yes on Issue 2!

…If you need it, there’s plenty more proof that OEA should not be trusted.

 Cross-posted at Third Base Politics.

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Obama’s Hostage Hypocrisy

As noted at Third Base Politics and elsewhere, there are limits to the “new tone” called for by President Obama amid efforts to blame a deranged individual’s violence on the tea party movement. Strangely, the dividing line varies depending on your political beliefs. It’s almost as if the moderate king of hope and civility wants to silence opposition to his lefter-than-left policies.

Words are one thing, but actions are another. Surely the President of the United States is against taking hostages in service of a political goal?

Hundreds of Longshore workers stormed the Port of Longview, overpowered security guards, damaged rail cars and dumped grain at the center of a labor dispute that also stopped work at four other ports on Thursday, officials said.

[...]

The International Longshore and Warehouse Union believes it has the right to work at the facility, but the company has hired a contractor that’s staffing a workforce of laborers from another union, the Portland-based Operating Engineers Local 701.

The International Longshore and Warehouse Union is one of many under the AFL-CIO umbrella. How forcefully do you expect President Obama to decry the union’s actions?

The White House has announced that nearly two dozen guests will sit with first lady Michelle Obama to watch President Obama deliver his jobs speech to a joint session of Congress.

The list of business, labor and political leaders includes GE Chairman Jeffrey Immelt, AOL co-founder Steve Case, AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka and Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley.

Remember, this is the same president who claimed Republicans were holding America hostage during the debt ceiling debate. It’s the same president who is holding trade agreements -ahem- hostage because the GOP won’t agree to another union bailout.

When her president has friends like these, America’s economy hardly needs enemies.

Cross-posted at Third Base Politics.

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OEA Employee: “They appear not to understand the basic concepts of collective bargaining”

The Ohio Education Association (OEA) is We Are Ohio‘s biggest in-state donor and the largest government union in the state. For folks who trade in “solidarity” and take dues for their collaboration services, OEA bosses have a surprisingly awful relationship with their own employees.

Don’t believe me? Just last summer, OEA staffers represented by the Professional Staff Union (PSU) went on strike against the OEA.

What’s more, PSU blog entries from summer 2009 tell a story similar to the one I’ve shared from summer 2010. In an OEA employee’s words, from a July 31, 2009 post [Update, 09-16-2011: Here's a PDF copy, since union staff blocked access to the website]:

Unfortunately, there was little or no movement on the part of OEA. They appear to not understand the basic concepts of collective bargaining. The PSU team attempted to get OEA to commit to present counter offers in the future. While OEA says “we are prepared to come with what needs to be done”, Larry Wicks (OEA Executive Director) refused to commit to any specifics.

It remains to be seen whether OEA will come back to the table with a real commitment to bargaining.

According to an OEA staff member, “they appear to not understand the basic concepts of collective bargaining.” Why should Ohio taxpayers trust the OEA with immense power over how public schools operate? Read the PSU blog for yourself – nearly every post reveals stunning hypocrisy on the part of the union bosses.

OEA employees can’t rely on the union, and neither should you – on November 8, empower taxpayers instead of union bosses. Vote Yes on Issue 2!

If you need it, there’s plenty more proof OEA should not be trusted.

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OEA Employee: “OEA failed to bargain in good faith”

The Ohio Education Association (OEA) is Ohio’s largest government union and We Are Ohio‘s biggest in-state donor. Like so much else the unions do, this puts the lie to We Are Ohio’s angry “solidarity” rhetoric.

How? Just last summer, OEA employees represented by the Professional Staff Union (PSU) went on strike against the OEA!

From a September 4, 2010 entry on the PSU blog [Update, 09-16-2011: Here's a PDF copy, since union staff have blocked access to the website]:

OEA claims to believe that its “most valuable resources are the people who make it strong – its members, leaders and employees.”  To accomplish this, OEA says it can and must “set the pace as a union” by “focusing on and responding to shifting demands, practicing collaborative and visionary leadership, and highly valuing its employees and partners.”

The truth of the matter is that OEA failed to bargain in good faith with PSU.  In fact, they wasted five bargaining sessions before even responding with a written counter-proposal.  Does that sound like collaborative leadership?

Emphasis in the original. “The truth of the matter is that OEA failed to bargain in good faith.” Sound familiar? Remember, these are the words of an OEA employee!

OEA certainly wasn’t “valuing its employees” when it refused to discuss the tough issues at the bargaining table, thereby forcing PSU out on strike and sacrificing YOUR association services in the meantime.

OEA also espouses that it should “foster pride in and affiliation with Association for members, employees, and partners.”

Yet, every time that OEA President Pat Frost-Brooks, Vice President Bill Leibensperger, and Secretary-Treasurer Jim Timlin cross the PSU picket line, they are strikebreaking.  A resolution adopted at the Spring 2008 Representative Assembly even says so.  It reads, Crossing a picket line, whether physically or electronically, is strikebreaking…

That makes your officers no better than the scabs that school districts like Perkins, Harrison Hills and Edison brought in to work while OEA members were striking against their school districts in order to gain a fair contract.  Does their strikebreaking foster pride in your association?  Or are you disgusted by the actions taken by your association’s officers and administrators?

On November 8, vote to rein in the power of union bosses who can’t even be trusted by their own employees. Vote Yes on Issue 2!

Even more proof OEA should not be trusted:

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Vice President Biden, Call Your Office

To celebrate Labor Day, Vice President Biden will be rallying the troops at a Cincinnati union event this afternoon. Between explaining in traditional Bidenesque fashion why we should spend money we don’t have on Obamacare and “stimulus” projects, Joe is expected to opine on Senate Bill 5.

Here are some facts the veep might want to skim during his limo / bus / jet ride!

Crazed Union Boss Rhetoric; Even Crazier Compensation

Union bosses make a living turning public employees against the public, and they don’t like it when taxpayers complain about footing the bill.

Quote sources are available in my August 1 post Union Sermons… and Salaries. Salary figures are from the US Department of Labor, and political contribution info is from the Ohio Secretary of State.

We Are Ohio Funding

“We Are Ohio” is a friendly team of non-partisan Ohioans with the public’s best interests at heart. Unless you believe your lyin’ eyes.

(Click for full size image) We Are Ohio FundingWhen I describe We Are Ohio as a union front group, I am not exaggerating: We Are Ohio is a union front group, primarily funded by union bosses in Washington, D.C. Learn more, and see the numbers behind this chart.

Unions Mean Solidarity! Disregard Everything OEA Employees Say…

According to We Are Ohio, only the cooperation experts of the Ohio Education Association (OEA) can make our school districts work. That’s why OEA needs enormous negotiating power, whatever the cost! Never mind that OEA’s management is so incompetent, the union’s employees went on strike just last summer. Here’s a sampling of the photos from the strike outside OEA headquarters in Columbus:

In connection with the 2010 strike, OEA employees had all sorts of things to say that belie We Are Ohio’s cynical rhetoric. Read all about it!

Union Talking Points, Dulled to Nothing

If the past few resources aren’t enough to convince you, don’t worry. We Are Ohio and their leftist enablers have been repeating the same hacky lines since winter, and I’ve enjoyed stepping on all of them!

Here’s a (relatively) serious list, from an early August post:

Issue 2 will devastate Ohio’s economy by stealing pay from government workers!

Senate Bill 5 doesn’t take away bargaining for wages, and this argument relies on a complete ignorance of economics. Do you believe money can be spent or invested without first being taken from taxpayers? If so, you’re too smart for the union bosses, and their chief talking point crumbles.

Issue 2 will make police and firefighters less safe!

This shameless scare tactic suddenly became popular when polling indicated most of Senate Bill 5 resonates with Ohio voters despite months of union distortion. It remains entirely untrue, as Senate Bill 5 does not affect bargaining over safety equipment.

Issue 2 is an attack on the middle class by greedy special interests!

Wrong in so many ways. Senate Bill 5 protects the jobs of government workers – a slim portion of Ohio’s workforce – by freeing school districts and local governments from unsustainable health and pension costs. If you think the unions actually care about workers, think again.

Issue 2 is fueled by envy! Why not increase everyone’s benefits instead of robbing government workers?!

More proof leftists can’t comprehend the word “growth,” and view the economy as a static pie from which government should dole out slices as politicians see fit. Senate Bill 5 will allow local leaders to focus on sustainable budgets instead of unaffordable union demands. This, in turn, will prevent tax hikes, making it easier for businesses to create more jobs and more wealth.

Issue 2 will drive the best teachers and government workers out of Ohio!

This one’s actually funny, if you remember the unions also insist merit pay is a terrible idea because teachers and government workers aren’t motivated by compensation like everyone else on the planet. Given unemployment rates throughout Ohio and the nation, no one really expects mass turnover based on a slight adjustment in health and pension benefits – especially when compared to benefits in private industry.

And more, from a post at the end of May:

What Sort of Wall Street Fraudster Am I, Anyway?

I live in Ohio, as I have since birth. I’m a Miami University alum, an Ohio State University employee, and a Franklin County taxpayer.

I’ve never been paid, offered, or promised any compensation for my work here. I caught the government union reform bug during the 2010 election campaign, after I stumbled across abuses in the Franklin County Clerk of Courts office. I’ve been following the Ohio General Assembly’s efforts since then.

For Issue 2 updates, watch this space or follow me on Twitter – @jasonahart.

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A Very Dishonest Labor Day with We Are Ohio

Unless you’re employed by one of Ohio’s powerful government unions, voting Yes on Issue 2 should be an easy choice. Why, then, are Ohioans so divided over government union reform?

Today We Are Ohio – a front group funded primarily by D.C. unions – continues their campaign to mislead voters about Ohio’s status quo and the reforms in Senate Bill 5. Their pitch: government unions need expansive power to protect the public workers you pay from the public officials you elect. Rewarding government employees based on merit would be awful, and denying any of the union bosses’ demands amounts to a violation of their civil rights.

Unfortunately for We Are Ohio, illogical arguments aren’t improved by rampant hypocrisy. Exhibit A: the Ohio Education Association (OEA) is the largest government union in the state, and the largest in-state donor to We Are Ohio. Though OEA is in the “solidarity” business, the union has such an awful relationship with its own employees that it forced them into a strike just last autumn. Here are some photos from that strike, preserved on Flickr in case OEA tries to send ‘em down the memory hole:

If you’re familiar with the last-in-first-out firing policies, automatic pay increases, and platinum benefits government unions have squeezed out of Ohio school districts and local governments over the past 25 years, you might be skeptical of We Are Ohio. Take a closer look, and it becomes even more obvious that union claims to the moral high ground are utter nonsense.

On November 8, support the sensible government union reforms in Senate Bill 5 – vote Yes on Issue 2!

Cross-posted at Third Base Politics and Columbus Tea Party.

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Soak the Rich, Week 18

Senator Sherrod Brown (D-OH) has a Progressive’s grasp of economics: corporations are evil, and bureaucrats could micromanage the world perfectly given a little more money.

Sherrod – like President Obama – isn’t specific about his approach to sustainable big government, so what if we used the class-warrior’s dream scenario of doubled corporate income taxes and fully “reclaimed” CEO pay? Starting with just the 2011 deficit of $1.62 trillion, how fast could we balance the budget with a bit extra from the kings of the S&P 500?

After a decidedly non-Progressive lapse in weekly recaps, we’re back on schedule. Now that we’ve soaked 36 of America’s largest employers, we’ve covered 6.587% of the 2011 deficit! That’s a reduction from $1,620,000,000,000 to $1,513,286,096,569 (view source workbook).

If hiking taxes on a few hundred more corporations could cover the remaining 93.413% of the 2011 deficit, would it be worth it?

Sure! As Sherrod would insist, soaking The Rich has no negative effects. Among the things that won’t happen if Sherrod Brown and President Obama tax their way to the chart above:

  • None of the corporations’ 6,505,112 employees will lose their jobs.
  • None of the corporations’ products or services – health insurance, prescription drugs, medical devices, food at supermarkets & restaurants, purified water, appliances, gasoline, business & consumer lending, checking accounts, savings accounts, construction equipment, air travel, shipping, national defense, cell phone service, broadband access, fast food, soda, sports drinks, snacks, the thousands of items available at Amazon.com & Wal-Mart, toothpaste, diapers, detergent, baby soap, Band-Aids, movies, television, newspapers, computer software, iPods, laptops, servers, networking equipment, etc. – will get more expensive.
  • None of the funds or individuals holding the corporations’ 87,648,800,000 shares of stock will be ruined… unless they deserve it!
  • None of the world’s entrepreneurs or executives will stop investing in American businesses.

Good thing raising taxes is an all-around win… otherwise, Ohioans would have to find a senator with more sense than Sherrod Brown!

Cross-posted at Third Base Politics.

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Soak the Rich: Morgan Stanley

I know, even before soaking Citigroup we had put the hypothetical taxation screws to lots of banks – but it’s vital that banks pay their fair share to the federal government! As Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac remind us, private industry’s overflowing corruption mars the perfection of government lenders.

Plus, there’s still the matter of a $1.62 trillion U.S. deficit for Fiscal 2011, and soaking the rich is Senator Sherrod Brown (D-OH) and President Obama’s centrist answer for these sort of minor budgetary troubles!

Now Soaking: Morgan Stanley

None of Morgan Stanley’s 62,542 employees will lose their jobs if Sherrod Brown and Barack Obama have their way. The only funds & individuals holding Morgan Stanley’s 1.93 billion outstanding shares of stock who suffer will be the ones who deserve to.

Don’t worry: this punitive tax policy won’t increase the cost of checking, savings, or credit accounts… and even if it did, that would help Americans learn that only the federal government can be trusted! Once again, Sherrod succeeds where the free market fails.

We, The People who support Sherrod Brown’s fiscal policies, hold these leftist conceits to be self-evident.

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Soak the Rich: Citigroup

Sure, we’ve already put the hypothetical taxation screws to numerous banks, but it’s really important for those Wall Street monsters to pay their fair share to the federal government! As Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac demonstrate daily, private industry is black with corruption that blots the driven-snow purity of government lenders.

Plus, there’s still the matter of a $1.62 trillion U.S. deficit for Fiscal 2011, and soaking the rich is Senator Sherrod Brown (D-OH) and President Obama’s tried-and-sorta-true solution for budgetary blips like this!

Now Soaking: Citigroup, Inc.

None of Citigroup’s 260,000 employees will lose their jobs if Sherrod Brown and Barack Obama work their not-at-all-socialist magic. The only funds & individuals holding Citigroup’s 2.92 billion outstanding shares of stock who suffer will be the ones who deserve to.

Don’t worry: this punitive tax policy won’t increase the cost of checking, savings, or credit accounts… and even if it did, it’d help Americans learn that only the federal government can be trusted! Once again, Sherrod succeeds where the free market fails.

We, The People who support Sherrod Brown’s fiscal policies, hold these leftist conceits to be self-evident.

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