Michael Barone: Voting for the National Interest

The recoil in 2010 against the Obama Democrats’ vast expansion of the size and scope of government seems to have a cultural or a moral dimension as well. It was a vote, as my Washington Examiner colleague Timothy P. Carney wrote last week, expressing “anger at those unfairly getting rich — at the taxpayer’s expense.”
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Modest-income Americans think this is wrong. They want it fixed more than they want a few more bucks in their paychecks.


Agreed.  Fix the system so the likes of General Electric, General Motors, and Goldman Sachs do not become Government Electric, Government Motors, or Government Sachs.


Public Union Articles

Here, school teachers in New York City get paid for little teaching and also carrying out union responsibilities.

E.J. McMahon on how New York Governor Andrew Cuomo gave up some options to protect taxpayers from excessive union compensation. Teachers get annual raises (called step increases) in addition to negotiated raises.

David Paul Kuhn on public and private sector union membership changes over time.

The irrepressible Nick Gillespie and reason.tv on the budget battles now and coming up across the country.

Robert Tracinski on the sustainability of left’s socialist utopia behind the union movement.

Cables show China used debt holdings to press US

Leaked diplomatic cables vividly show China’s willingness to translate its massive holdings of US debt into political influence on issues ranging from Taiwan’s sovereignty to Washington’s financial policy.

Here. The solution is obvious: China stops trying to annex Taiwan and American politicians cut spending. The people of Taiwan can live in peace and not have to buy arms, knowing China will not try to annex it. American politicians stop spending, and thus reducing the amount of bonds the Treasury issues. Why is peace so difficult?

NY Yankees Slugger Alex Rodriguez’s Tax Break

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — They were crying foul Friday about a sweetheart tax loophole that will enable Yankees slugger Alex Rodriguez to live in his new $6 million luxury West Side penthouse and pay virtually no real estate taxes.
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Rodriguez and all the residents of his posh high rise will get tax breaks for 10 years under the city’s 421A tax abatement program. Luxury developers get tax breaks in exchange for making sure affordable units get built elsewhere.

Here. Is this A-rod’s fault? No. If I were him, I’d take advantage of it, also. Blame the activists and politicians who invented and modified the city’s 421A tax abatement program.  They insist on trying to socially engineer “affordable housing” and other supposed benefits.  Politicians cannot create money out of thin air.  Only central banks (such as the Federal Reserve in the U.S.) do that.  Politicians must take money away from some people in order to give it to other people.  They just disguise both the taking and giving with appealing rhetoric.  They are like brokers between special interests, but that would be an insult to the other types of brokers in the private sector.  Sorry, folks, that’s the best analogy I have at the moment.

I really have to wonder if progressives of the left or right ever figure out how their best intentions go awry.

Sen. Sherrod Brown: Collective Bargaining Is A Moral Issue

I agree.  It is immoral for a small group of people, public union employees, to force the rest of us to pay for their benefits.  Every dollar paid to employee unions is a dollar out of the pockets of every other person.  Union demands for higher pay and more benefits puts upward pressure on all taxes, not just income taxes.  Whatever taxes you pay — income, sales, property, user fees — are used to pay for government.  Government revenue is interchangeable, meaning it can be moved among various government accounts.  Tax revenues earmarked for road maintenance can be used to pay for union benefits.

This is not attack on the middle class.  In fact, it is an insult to the rest of the middle class people in this country to insinuate that public employee unions represent the rest of us.  They do not, and they are privileged.

Video here.

Screwed by Teacher’s Unions and Their Allies

Veronique de Rugy:

During the last 40 years, the federal government has spent $1.8 trillion on education, and spending per pupil in the U.S. has tripled in real terms. Government at all levels spent an average of $149,000 on the 13-year education of a high school senior who graduated in 2009, compared to $50,000 (in 2009 dollars) for a 1970 graduate.

Despite the dramatic increase in spending, there has been no notable change in student outcomes.

Here. Take a gander at the charts, especially the middle one. We spent money up the wazoo as shown by the steeply inclined blue line, but have gotten flat-lined results. Yet another reason to limit the power of public sector unions.