More News You Probably Never Heard
Last week your hard-hitting correspondent brought you a few items of news that were not widely reported in the mainstream media, or if reported, did not tell the whole truth. Since I believe that the more you know, the more you … er, know; here are a few more items… for you to know. The truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
Item #1: The mainstream media gleefully reported that General Motors had strong sales in June with headlines such as “GM’s June Sales up 16%, Show Broad-based Growth.” But, as revealed by Seton Motley of NewsBusters, the truth is a bit more inconvenient. Not mentioned in any of the reporting was the fact that the auto bailout will lose us taxpayers about $30 billion. Remember, American taxpayers were tapped to bailout GM to the tune of $50 billion. Almost all of this $30 billion taxpayer loss was a huge payoff to the United Autoworkers Union (a big Obama supporter).
While theUnionwas thoroughly bailed out, we taxpayers are still stuck holding 500+ million shares of GM stock. Which we need to sell at $53 per share in order to break even. Which debuted post-bankruptcy at $33 per share. And which is currently trading at just over $20 per share. Do the math. We’ll lose about $15 billion. How’s that for “success?” And none of the reporting happened to mention that these huge June sales were mostly fueled by … government purchases. Government purchases of GM vehicles rose a whopping 79% in June. As Motley states, “Barack Obama is now campaigning on the ‘success’ of — the government buying cars from … the government’s car company. With our money.
“That’s like you setting up a lemonade stand for your kids. You buy them the lemons, sugar, cups and pitchers — and then buy most of the lemonade yourself. Except you are President Obama. Your kids are the United Autoworkers Union. And the lemonade costs $50 billion. At least you get to tax your neighbors for the $50 billion.”
Item #2: Two-thirds of the Agriculture Department’s budget is devoted to welfare programs. The biggest is food stamps, which is now the nation’s second-largest welfare program after Medicaid. The figures, as reported on National Review Online, are as follows: Around 17 million people received food stamps back in 2000. Some 30 million received them in 2008. Roughly 46 million people receive them today. From 1 in 50 Americans on food stamps at the program’s national inception in the 1970s, 1 in 7 Americans are on them now.
And you can’t blame it all on the current recession either. Spending on food stamps doubled between 2001 and 2006, even though unemployment was low in those years. Even when the economy is projected to improve in the future, usage of food stamps will remain elevated above historic norms. We have become a Food Stamp Nation.
Food Stamps started with Lyndon Johnson in the 1960s. Then George W. Bush began a recruitment campaign to get people into the program. And now the Obama administration is carrying it further, running radio ads to get even more people onto Food Stamps. The ads make it sound like getting on Food Stamps is a great way to lose weight! I’m sure that there are some people who truly need the assistance, but with almost 15% of all Americans on Food Stamps today, you know it has gone way beyond serving only the destitute.
Item #3: Public pensions are killing the taxpayers and bankrupting our cities and towns. You’ve undoubtedly heard or read about cities such asSan Bernardino,Stockton,MammothLakes, andScranton,Pa., declaring bankruptcy, but do you know why? Union pensions, that’s why. One of the worst things we ever did as a country was to allow unionization of government jobs. That’s another bad liberal idea that came out of the ‘60s. Before 1959 the idea was thought to be ridiculous, even by Democrats and union leaders.
President Franklin D. Roosevelt, a staunch supporter of private sector unionization, was dead set against bargaining rights for government unions. “The process of collective bargaining, as usually understood, cannot be transplanted into the public service,”Rooseveltwrote in 1937 to the National Federation of Federal Employees. Yes, public workers may demand fair treatment, wroteRoosevelt. But, he wrote, “I want to emphasize my conviction that militant tactics have no place” in the public sector. “A strike of public employees manifests nothing less than an intent on their part to prevent or obstruct the operations of Government.”
Even former AFL-CIO president George Meany said in 1955, “It is impossible to bargain collectively with the government.” George Meany was not alone. Up through the 1950s, unions widely agreed that collective bargaining had no place in government. The founders of the labor movement viewed unions as a vehicle to get workers more of the profits they help create. Government workers, however, don’t generate profits. They merely negotiate for more tax money. When government unions strike, they strike against taxpayers. That’s why F.D.R. considered this “unthinkable and intolerable.”
Thanks to dysfunctional elected officials and ridiculously exorbitant union benefits and pension payouts to government employees our cities are sinking fast. Los Angeles is not far behind San Berdo.