Patterico's Pontifications

5/11/2009

Obama, California, and the SEIU

Filed under: Obama — DRJ @ 10:58 am



[Guest post by DRJ]

The LA Times reports California government officials believe the Service Employees International Union (SIEU SEIU), a major contributor to Barack Obama’s Presidential campaign, may have had:

“… inappropriate influence over the Obama administration’s decision to withhold billions of dollars in federal stimulus money from California if the state does not reverse a scheduled wage cut for the labor group’s workers.”

The White House did not respond to requests for comment but an SIEU SEIU representative called the criticism “absurd.”

More at the link.

UPDATE: SIEU changed to SEIU. Thanks for the correction, L.N. Smithee.

— DRJ

126 Responses to “Obama, California, and the SEIU”

  1. So, Obama has decided to be part of the problem instead of part of the solution. There is NO WAY to save California until public employee spending is brought under control.

    It is looking more and more like bankruptcy is the only option. But even then, I’ll bet the unions and the bloated pensions are protected and they simply impose giant tax increases instead.

    And somehow, that will all be the Republicans’ fault.

    Kevin Murphy (805c5b)

  2. I blame Bush. And Cheney. And Halliburton. And, Kyoto.

    JD (6994a8)

  3. It’s SEIU, not SIEU.

    If you hurry, you can correct your spelling and delete this post before anyone notices.

    Fixed it. Thanks, L.N.! — DRJ

    L.N. Smithee (11874d)

  4. More of the Banana Republic governance that is Obama.

    SPQR (72771e)

  5. LN – Long time, no see (or not nearly enough see).

    JD (6994a8)

  6. Well, I wonder how those SEIU members will feel post-5/19 about keeping their pay-rate when they receive their pink-slips?
    It would seem that facing another $40B of future short-fall would require the Governator to severely reduce state employment levels.
    There is no way that they can continue spending at current levels. Plus, there is the lurking elephant of retiree pension and health-care guarantees.
    Of course, there could be a bright-side:
    If you think that CA government can continue, you might want to buy some CA tax-free muni bonds at the 8-10% levels (or higher) that they are going to have to pay to get people to open their checkbooks. But, the way the WH is treating bondholders for “vital” industrial enterprises doesn’t seem to engender a great deal of confidence in the manner that bond-holders will be treated in the future by other levels of government.
    The Great Depression was extended due to a “capital strike” generated by uneasiness in the investing class due to the constantly changing standards emanating from DC. Another “capital strike” in the face of this world-wide recession should be avoided at all costs; for if it isn’t, the costs will be of a magnitude that is unimaginable.

    AD - RtR/OS! (b782d3)

  7. but an SIEU representative called the criticism “absurd.”

    Yeah, just like ACORN has never, ever directly influenced the political process (fingers crossed behind back). Duh.

    Dmac (1ddf7e)

  8. We may soon find out how States go thru defaults. (The bankruptcy laws do not apply).

    LarryD (243b3d)

  9. Obama would never use unethical means to help out a friendly interest group. Perish the thought!

    tim maguire (4a98f0)

  10. Dmac – Exactly. Brazen vote purchases for the Democratic party using public funds.

    AD – Pink slips? What the members feel is unimportant. The point of the massive funding is to keep the union heads in charge, despite layoffs that would ordinarily weaken their position. It’s never been about the ‘workers’.

    Apogee (e2dc9b)

  11. How much money did SEIU contribute to political campaigns last year?

    Techie (9c008e)

  12. he’ a street thug from chicago. what did you expect?

    ktr (9277d5)

  13. In your rush to criticize Obama and SEIU, did you you all forget to read this part of the story: “The administration says the cut violates the terms of the stimulus money…“?

    IF true, and conceding that the Obama Administration and the SEIU are acting like goons, why shouldn’t California lose the money if they’re not going to abide by the terms of the contract?

    And by the way, I don’t remember hearing protests when the Bush Administration threatened to withhold money from universities in violation of the Solomon Amendment. You all aren’t being a tad inconsistent, are you?

    steve sturm (369bc6)

  14. he’ a street thug from chicago. what did you expect?

    He’s not the street thug, Rahm is – and that’s just the way they like it. Obama plays good cop to Rahm’s brutal scumbag bad cop – think Richard Gere’s character in Internal Affairs.

    Here’s a short list of Rahm’s interesting MO regarding the political opposition (5th paragraph down):

    http://en.metapedia.org/wiki/Rahm_Emanuel

    Dmac (1ddf7e)

  15. Nice strawman you built there, Steve – here’s an experiment for you to undertake…deal with the subject at hand for once.

    Dmac (1ddf7e)

  16. I think steve sturm makes a valid point, although California has responded it is not in violation of the ARRA.

    DRJ (b0f193)

  17. Obama inflation is getting into gear here. This act of “wage inflation” decouples labor from its actual value in the market and drives up all business costs. Now, with release of the deficit figures this morning, it appears that interest rates are also headed for a rapid jump. These events will kill any jobs recovery – starting in California.

    Still…conservatives have reason for optimism. You can see a top ten list of reasons to be hopeful at:

    http://firstconservative.com/blog/top-ten/conservative-resurgence

    MAS1916 (de1316)

  18. And by the way, I don’t remember hearing protests when the Bush Administration threatened to withhold money from universities in violation of the Solomon Amendment. You all aren’t being a tad inconsistent, are you?

    Comment by steve sturm

    I agree. The only excuse for California to take money from the feds is that California residents paid that taxes that it comes from. I don’t recall the universities paying taxes. In fact, universities make a big deal about avoiding taxes.

    What nobody seems to be factoring into this is the special election next week. The reports all say the ballot initiatives are going down hard. If that happens, unknown territory is ahead.

    I was frankly surprised to see the item in the Times this morning. Maybe reality is dawning.

    Mike K (90939b)

  19. I always wondered what would happen if a state defaulted on bonds. Especially road bonds. Do I get to claim a slab of concrete?

    Dr. K (a0c210)

  20. “Absurd” is what Woodward & Bernstein called “a non-denial ‘denial'” in All The President’s Men.

    Mitch (890cbf)

  21. Mike K: with a $1.8 trillion federal deficit, just how are California residents paying for stimulus dollars with their taxes? And even if they were, California should still have to abide by the terms of the agreement (that, for anyone on the slow side, was behind my referring to the Solomon Amendment which likewise placed conditions on universities wishing to keep taking federal money).

    steve sturm (369bc6)

  22. DRJ was here and was very nice and then went away and everyone was sad and now she is back just in time for summer.

    happyfeet (71f55e)

  23. Now I see more clearly why some Governors had reservations about the money

    SteveG (c99c5c)

  24. How exactly does the headline square with the article exactly?

    SEIU may be linked to ultimatum on withholding stimulus funds

    The whole point of the article is demonstrates that our dirty socialist hungarian muppet president says how high when the SEIU says jump. It’s like how he stole Chrysler and gave it to his greasy UAW thug pals. It’s like saying we may be living in a corrupt dirty socialist backwater. Why all the equivocation you think?

    happyfeet (71f55e)

  25. I stand corrected on the issue, BTW.

    Dmac (1ddf7e)

  26. Steve S,

    It seems that you are taking certain assertions made by Obama’s people and by a union at face value while discounting the assertions made by the State of CA.

    My guess is that most county governments can get out of their contracts if they mine through a few hundred pages or so of legalese.
    The SEIU is being proactive and preemptive here in an attempt to prevent a county by county review.

    Onto the other issue, my understanding (perhaps wrong) has been that on a percentage basis California sends way more tax $$$ into the Treasury than it receives in Federal spending.
    Of course prudent spending by our fine state would have kept us above this mess, but it’s too late to look backwards.

    SteveG (c99c5c)

  27. Yes, steve. The actions of the US military and the SEIU are perfectly analogous.

    JD (06f82d)

  28. In your rush to criticize Obama and SEIU, did you you all forget to read this part of the story: “The administration says the cut violates the terms of the stimulus money…“?

    The head of the administration lies about cutting taxes and “saving or creating 150,000 jobs” at a national press conference, and you expect us to take these people at their word now?

    Mike K: with a $1.8 trillion federal deficit, just how are California residents paying for stimulus dollars with their taxes?

    So where exactly is the money coming from to pay for the stimulus? The First Bank of China?

    Another Chris (2d8013)

  29. Well, to be technically precise, Another Chris …

    SPQR (72771e)

  30. Guys: I’m not assuming the Obama Administration is telling the truth… note the IF….

    JD, I’m sure you know better, but I’m not analogizing the actions of the US military and the SEIU. And, in your potshot, are you saying it is okay for California to disregard the terms of an agreement? (again, IF that is what is happening).

    steve sturm (369bc6)

  31. Jeez steve it’s not about California disregarding anything it’s about how California should be allowed to squander its stimulus money without interference from our dirty socialist president.

    happyfeet (71f55e)

  32. If, if, if … If my aunt had nuts she would be my uncle.

    JD (06f82d)

  33. It is interesting to note which contracts are significant, and which aren’t, when laws are to be enforced, and when ignored.

    I know nothing of law, but it looks to me like the administration is very selective of which contracts and laws are OK. Putting the UAW over the secured bond holders of Chrysler is probably the start of a trend – anything that unions don’t like is not legal, whether legal or not.

    So contracts are only meaningful if the big O approves…

    jodetoad (b147dc)

  34. “That’s metaphysically absurd, man! How can I know what YOU hear?”
    — Firesign Theatre

    mojo (8096f2)

  35. Mike K: with a $1.8 trillion federal deficit, just how are California residents paying for stimulus dollars with their taxes?

    Once again, steve, I agree with you, or think so. NOBODY is paying for the stimulus. It is being floated out of thin air. Look at the ten year bond auction if you want to know. It will come from our children and their children as they use a dollar that is worth 20 cents in our present day dollars, which are worth 10 cents in pre-1940 dollars.

    It is a scam. Government employees elect state and local officials and then get fat pensions and benefits. One of the traditional considerations of government jobs was that they paid less than the private labor market so they got good pension benefits. Now they pay MORE than private jobs but the pension benefits just get better.

    When the city of Vallejo filed for bankruptcy last year, the police chief made over $350,000 a year in salary. If Arnold can’t cut these salaries, the next step is layoffs and the union will fight that just as hard. I think it is a losing strategy for them. The UAW fought contract changes at Chrysler and now they get a company that no one thinks will survive in lieu of benefits owed. I don’t think that’s a bargain.

    I think California will default. Then we will be in unknown territory.

    Mike K (90939b)

  36. Well said, jodetoad.

    SPQR (72771e)

  37. Way past time to split the damn state into two – the complexities of governing such a disparate and well – populated state are becoming more apparent by the day.

    Dmac (1ddf7e)

  38. Jodetoad

    I agree completely.

    On to other thoughts,
    All of this is tough because talking wage cuts for people making $8-12HR is sad.
    I realize every dollar saved counts but my heart goes out to everyone who struggles for a wage that really doesn’t allow for much of a safety net.

    But now is a time to cut spending across the board in order to sustain the whole.
    Spending increases of past years were unsustainable and everyone is going to have to take a hit

    SteveG (c99c5c)

  39. If there is a split, it will be multi-faceted, as most of the inland areas want no part of San Francisco, or Los Angeles, and neither of them wishes to associate with the other.
    The government model in CA is severely broken, and probably needs to be remade from top to bottom.
    One of the things that needs to be looked seriously at is the concept of “tenure”, whether in the schools or the bureaucracy.
    Believing in the concept of choice, I say they should have the choice of a job with tenure/civil service protections, or one with collective bargaining – one or the other, but not both!
    The combination of the two – back in the days of the “Jerry” Brown Administration – has proved to be toxic.

    AD - RtR/OS! (b782d3)

  40. Dmac, not to quibble, but California is already split into 2, and the lower half is split into 2 again… big slow link

    carlitos (eb120d)

  41. It has been pointed out that part of the reason that the Great Depression lasted so long was because of efforts by the FDR administration to artificially keep wages higher than they would otherwise have been. This effort by the Obama administration on behalf of the SEIU is a classic example of that kind of economically stupid action.

    SPQR (72771e)

  42. UNITE HERE Local 1 has been picketing the Congress Hotel in Chicago for years now. Obama joined them on the picket line during his primary campaign. They are protesting that the Congress only pays about $9 per hour to its housekeepers.

    Besides the fact that they pay less than $9 / hr to the people walking on their own picket line, does it seem that hotels should be required to pay much more than $9 / hr for housekeeping? It isn’t the most killed job around. It is higher than minimum wage, which is $7.25 here.

    SPQR, this reminds me of the cries for union work in the post-Katrina mess that actually had minorities extolling the virtues of the racist “progressive” Davis-Bacon Act.

    Artificially raising labor costs reduces demand for labor. Pretty simple, actually.

    carlitos (eb120d)

  43. Left California in 2003, and will never return.

    Call me a racist, but the demographics are destiny.

    California has a gaping divide between taxpayers and tax-consumers. The political apparatus in California has been controlled for about 10 years now by the tax-consumers, and that is not likely to ever change.

    The inability to stem the flow or influence of immigrant groups into California — both Hispanic and Asian — has turned control of the taxing and spending power over to the interest groups for whom there is never enough tax money to spend on the priorities they establish.

    Parts of California now have a sales tax in excess of 11%. Californians pay annually on hundreds of billions in long-term bonds that have been the vehicle for choice for financing infrastruture improvements.

    People of means move to suburban areas where their property taxes can be used to build and maintain school districts where they feel their children will get a decent education. This has hollowed out the urban cores of all of California’s major cities. Operating those urban school districts requires the infusion of federal and state funds, because the remaining tax base is simply insufficient to provide the money necessary to operate systems for the ever growing number of students that pour into the schools from unchecked immigration. Even with that money, urban school are pits.

    As the state demands more and more revenue from the taxpaying class, more and more of them opt to vote with their feet. No income tax in Nevada or Washington. Much lower sales taxes. Property taxes are pretty much comparable.

    Californians should ask themselves one thing — what will happen if/when Silicon Valley finally decides that in a global economy there is no significant reason to stay? When those companies all relocate, what next? All those engineers and executives will move, and take their incomes with them.

    Whose going to pay the California tax bills in 10-15 years?

    Shipwreckedcrew (7f73f0)

  44. yikes – “skilled,” not “killed”

    carlitos (eb120d)

  45. DRJ – The LA Times appears to be lowballing the estimate of the SEIU’s invomvement in getting Obama elected, alrhough the difference is prolly partly semantics. Andy Stern, the union’s head, said they spent $60.7 million getting him elected, versus the $33 million the LA Times said the Union contributed to his campaign.

    “We spent a fortune to elect Barack Obama — $60.7 million to be exact — and we’re proud of it.”
    http://www.lasvegassun.com/news/2009/may/10/stern-unplugged-seiu-chief-labor-movement-and-card/

    Who can blame them for wanting a return on their investment? Also don’t forget to close the loop between the SEIU and ACORN. There are very incestuous ties there as well and the SEIU figured prominently in Governor Blago’s plans here in Illinois as he was plotting his final moves.

    daleyrocks (5d22c0)

  46. I bookmarked the Congress thinger for a convention I have to go to there soon. It looks nice and the rates are ok but I didn’t put the convention dates in so we’ll see. It’s the Congress Plaza Hotel you mean, yes?

    happyfeet (71f55e)

  47. We’ll just have the Feds tax other states’ residents to provide revenue for CA…
    Oh, that’s what is happening with the stimulus deal.
    Never mind.

    AD - RtR/OS! (b782d3)

  48. “This effort by the Obama administration on behalf of the SEIU is a classic example of that kind of economically stupid action.”

    SPQR – So is keeping the border open and keeping pressure on wages even as the American people have expressed a clear preference for border security as a priority. Just another example, like global warming, where the Beltway elite are out of touch with the American people.

    daleyrocks (5d22c0)

  49. Yes, that Congress hotel. Strike info here.

    I don’t know how common this is in the hotel business, but a friend’s parents are celebrating their 50th pretty soon. He called the Congress and they are letting them stay for a weekend in the same room they stayed in on their wedding night … for the 1959 rate. That’s pretty cool.

    carlitos (eb120d)

  50. in my experiences with the SEIU locals here in LA, they are simply crooks & thugs, interested only in collecting more dues and electing politicians who will do their bidding.

    i actually got to file an NLRB complaint against one of their stewards where i w*rked, for threatening me with violence for my anti-union activities. didn’t go anywhere,since the other witness all went deaf, dumb and blind when questioned, but after that, they all walked wide of me. %-)

    redc1c4 (9c4f4a)

  51. Feets – If you’re interested, maybe we can get a group together for dinner when you’re here – a massive beef injection or something. JD might even be talked into arranging his schedule to be around.

    daleyrocks (5d22c0)

  52. daley, regarding the unchecked border:
    it’s almost as if increasing the supply of unskilled labor decreases the price of unskilled labor, given constant demand. Go figure.

    carlitos (eb120d)

  53. daleyrocks, #48, well the border / illegal immigration issue is one where the ignorance of where their self-interest lies among various minority groups still completely baffles me.

    SPQR (72771e)

  54. Bill Ayers and Wade Rathke, the founder of ACORN, were both members of the SDS during the 1960s and Rathke admits meeting Ayers. Rathke founded local 100 of the SEIU in New Orleans and remains its President and is a member of the SEIU’s national executive board.

    Shock Troops R Us!

    Just a coincidence, I’m sure.

    daleyrocks (5d22c0)

  55. If ever there was a time for a dose of sarcasm, this would be it.

    Here’s my opener:

    may have had:

    “… inappropriate influence over the Obama administration’s decision”

    Gee, you think?

    MJBrutus (dc3d12)

  56. Happy – when will you be in the Chicago area?

    JD (06f82d)

  57. CA pays about $314B into the US Treasury and gets back about $250B in federal spending, so $7B is just a bone…. unless I got the decimal point wrong in which case “never mind”.

    SteveG (c99c5c)

  58. “And by the way, I don’t remember hearing protests when the Bush Administration threatened to withhold money from universities in violation of the Solomon Amendment.”

    steve sturm – Your memory must not be very good. The left was screaming bloody murder. They wanted to be a party to illegal employment discrimination based upon laws passed by a Democrat Congress and Democrat President and were pissed off that people called them on it. Go figure.

    It’s supposed to be different when Democrats do it, or so they thought.

    daleyrocks (5d22c0)

  59. Oddly, if Prop 1A fails, the SEIU and the Republicans will claim it as a victory. At least one of them has to be wrong.

    Kevin Murphy (805c5b)

  60. JD – looks like July 11-14 or I might fly in on the 10th. I should book that this week. It’s for the ALA thinger again … the dirty socialist librarian convention. I’m not sure if staying downtown will be the best idea or what or if I’ve waited to where I’ll just be lucky to get anything. Let me know if you’re around else Mr. P had said you would be in LA this summer some time?

    happyfeet (71f55e)

  61. Happyfeet – I am going to start juggling my schedule now. I am going to be in Destin, FL ’til the 11th, and will head up to the Windy City upon my return. Yes, will be in LA, but not sure when, most likely later in the summer.

    JD (06f82d)

  62. This is hilarious, evidently Obama’s economists’ predictions of unemployment were correct … for what would happen without the brilliant stimulus package. ROFL.

    SPQR (72771e)

  63. good deal – let me know when you nail it down but I bet I’ll have a lot of flexibility if it’s anything like last year so playing it by ear will be just as good I imagine

    happyfeet (71f55e)

  64. SPQR – Since there was very little “stimulus” in the alleged “stimulus” package, we should give those economists credit for being close to right.

    JD (06f82d)

  65. Feets – I saw a movie once. The title was something like “Nympho Librarians.” It said it was based on a true story. We should talk.

    daleyrocks (5d22c0)

  66. SPQR – The warnings which were blythely ignored about there being too little current stimulus and how the spending was pushed into 2010 and beyond are indeed coming home to ROOST!

    daleyrocks (5d22c0)

  67. daleyrocks, you’re absolutely Wright!

    Brother Bradley J. Fikes, C.O.R., (f8253d)

  68. oh. Actual for real librarians in the for real librarian flesh aren’t like in the Tears for Fears Head over Heels video they’re more like say if you had an attractiveness bell curve where Alyssa Milano and her hot friends were on the right side of the curve, the librarians would be way over to the left.

    oh. Speaking of the appearance-challenged. Still laughing about this. How do things like that happen?

    happyfeet (71f55e)

  69. Alyssa is a top 2%-er in any measure of hotness 😉

    I liked the librarian in Tomcats.

    JD (06f82d)

  70. Is that Zack Efron with a Ted Kennedy-esqu anvil sized meon on his shoulders?

    JD (06f82d)

  71. Comment by daleyrocks — 5/11/2009 @ 4:22 pm

    If my memory still serves me, the Yale Law School was one of many that attempted to overturn the Solomon Amendment, and had their heads figuratively handed to them by SCOTUS.

    AD - RtR/OS! (b782d3)

  72. “SEIU spokeswoman Michelle Ringuette called suggestions that the union’s involvement was inappropriate “absurd.””

    She continued, (and the LAT excised) “We got exactly what we paid for. How could that possibly be inappropriate?”

    NewEnglandDevil (be225d)

  73. Sorry DRJ, it’s something about those librarians.

    RAWR!!!!

    daleyrocks (5d22c0)

  74. That should have been -esque and melon.

    JD (06f82d)

  75. daleyrocks 58: I knew the left was b***hing, I should have said ‘from the right’.

    Mike K: no argument, well said

    steve sturm (3811cf)

  76. JD, melon = racist. It’s better that you left it out. Just sayin’

    carlitos (aa025a)

  77. I had dinner at a librarian’s house, last night. She is very nice lady. Her husband is a nice guy, too, and their little boy (same age as my daughter) is handsome and well-behaved.

    nk the [former] Harley Rider (755c01)

  78. Hey, our last president was married to a librarian. And read a lot a lot of books. Who knew?

    carlitos (aa025a)

  79. Comment by carlitos — 5/11/2009 @ 7:22 pm

    There you go again, trying to create a new urban-myth!

    AD - RtR/OS! (b782d3)

  80. Liars. Chimpy McHitlerBurton was the dummerest President ever, and his smirky little pony ride through history has damaged the AmeriKKKa that could be for generations to come.

    JD (06f82d)

  81. Obama: chief Repulbican fund raiser for 2010

    EricPWJohnson (5f2634)

  82. Imagine if a ballot proposing were proposed in Ca to ban government workers unions and tenure for government (state and local ) employees. Theoretically what are the odds that something like that might pass?

    Or an initiative to drastically reduce the social services portion of the state budget? Indeed an initiative to withhold all income taxes collected in CA so that the state can siphon off from the feds all the mandated fed spending. I wonder how much support something like this might get in theory.

    cubanbob (409ac2)

  83. Hmmm…DRJ posts, and L.N. Smithee shows up…

    Coincidence?

    Probably. But delightful to see them both, either way.

    EW1(SG) (5766f7)

  84. I go on vacation and both DRJ and L.N. Smithee show up. Hmm….

    nk the [former] Harley Rider (755c01)

  85. I seem to remember Dick Cheney having some oil companies executives give him advice over domestic oil policy and the left threw rocks and sticks, lawsuits and tried to rip up the constitution to find out what was said

    Then the Dems do the same thing but worse, this time its actually interfering with states rights.

    EricPWJohnson (5f2634)

  86. But, but, the oil companies, and the Rethuglicans are….

    E V I L !

    AD - RtR/OS! (3eaf60)

  87. #84: nk the [former] Harley Rider:

    I go on vacation and both DRJ and L.N. Smithee show up. Hmm….

    And I started riding for Honda…strange things happen when you go on vacation.

    EW1(SG) (5766f7)

  88. You can’t have it both ways. If you are gonna cut wages then you can’t expect stimulus funds. Seeing that wage cuts will create a surplus in their treasuries, why do they need the extra cash? I think they will be okay without it.

    The Emperor7 (1b037c)

  89. A surplus? Try again, Emperor, California’s a long way from surplus regardless of the cut in wages proposed.

    SPQR (72771e)

  90. I it would be nice if lovie could actually show us where those surpluses are in the CA budget after injecting the porposed “stimulus” funds into it?
    This state has a shortfall that exceeds $15Billion right now, and with the projected defeat of the ballot propositions that the state will vote on next Tuesday, the shortfall will go over $20Billion.
    The voters know these numbers, and will vote the rescue package arrainged by the Governator down regardless.
    We are sick and tired of the lies and deceit that emanate from Sacramento on both sides of the aisle.
    It is well past time for the politicians to learn how to live within our means.

    AD - RtR/OS! (3eaf60)

  91. #90
    Are you now for stimulus funding for CA? Nice to know. My point is why cut wages on one hand and receive extra cash from the government on the other hand? If the money from the stimulus can cover the wage status as it is now, why punish the people?

    The Emperor7 (0c8c2c)

  92. Fiscal responsibilty in this case means that the state of CA needs to spend less.
    Every cut made will impact someone’s personal economics.
    The SEIU doesn’t want their members to have to share in the cutbacks… it’d cut their dues (cynical but true) and it is their job as union leaders.
    However, there is now a disincentive for the states to stabilize the balance sheets.
    The left mocked the various governors who dared to look sideways at the federal $$$ but this is the type of meddling that just makes spending problems worse.

    No paycuts (except for management… how dare they make more than the 300 employees they manage)

    No personnel cuts (except management… let the workers manage themselves… yay!)

    I live in CA and in my little part of it, I think we have way too many employees.
    The city I live in is millions in the red, but granted raises to 500 city emplyees and in addition gave everyone Cesar Chavez day as a paid holiday.
    Too many people on the payroll who consume wealth, not enough who are out there producing wealth

    SteveG (c99c5c)

  93. I am personally against the Federal stumulus package, as I find no clear authorization within the Constitution for it, and it obviously (if you look at the curren economic indicators) does not accomplish any of the stimulus it promised.

    I also intend (and in fact have via absentee) to vote against all six of the propositions on next Tuesday’s ballot.

    The Federal Government (read: Obama) is playing a very dangerous game here with the “cramdown” of conditions on the various States; with the “structured” bankruptcy of Chrysler that is in violation of the Bankruptcy Code passed in 1938; the attempted mortgage cramdown – again, another violation of the aforementioned bankruptcy rules – that will increase the borrowing costs of all future home buyers, just as the changes to the bankruptcy code involved in Chrysler will make it very expensive, if not virtually impossible, for large companies with unionized workforces to acquire financing in the bond market in the future.
    Why would any purchaser of bonds trust his money to a situation where his capital, which is supposed to be secure, will be subordinated to the demands of a union pension fund, which is an un-secure obligation?
    And, why would foreign investors believe that their holdings of U.S.Bonds will be anymore secure than their holdings of Chrysler and General Motors?

    AD - RtR/OS! (3eaf60)

  94. My point is why cut wages on one hand and receive extra cash from the government on the other hand? If the money from the stimulus can cover the wage status as it is now, why punish the people?

    Because the state is already billions in the red and could be bankrupt by July. The stimulus isn’t going to make much difference in this regard, and the goal should be how to make the state solvent over the long term.

    That is really the whole point–the stimulus is nothing but short-term economic myopia that is being punted to the next generation. Even the Obama administration predicted that without the sitmulus, the economy would end up correcting itself and the unemployment rate would end up the same five years from now regardless. So essentially, all this money is being spent, with no feasible means to pay it back, to get the same end result.

    As conservative commenters have pointed out, none of the stimulus money would even have an effect on employment rates for another 1-2 years, at least, and contrary to the administration’s projections, unemployment has actually gone higher than they originally projected with the stimulus money already in play. They’re not only incompetent at projecting the impact of their spending three months out, but it took a private venture–NOT the supposedly most-tech savvy administration ever–to actually develop a web site that keeps track of where all the money is currently being spent.

    This is the kind of short-sighted, irresponsible, irrational policy that finally brought California to its knees. Why on earth would any sane person wish to apply that same policy to the rest of the country?

    Another Chris (2d8013)

  95. AD – RtR/OS!,
    If only Obama and Congress could understand (or care) that actions have consequences.

    Brother Bradley J. Fikes, C.O.R., (fab096)

  96. solving our budget problem here in CA is simple: we simply need to stop spending so much money.

    the problem is the simpletons in Sacramento, and elsewhere, won’t do that.

    redc1c4 (9c4f4a)

  97. Well, that’s what happens when you stop shooting them (we were talking about wolves, were we not?).

    AD - RtR/OS! (3eaf60)

  98. …this just in – now Medicaire and Social Security are almost bankrupt – hey, why not spend some more trillions while we’re printing money like the Weimar Republic?

    http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/us_social_security

    Dmac (1ddf7e)

  99. As for me, I need a new billfold,
    so I’m heading for WheelBarrowsRUs!

    AD - RtR/OS! (3eaf60)

  100. My point is why cut wages on one hand and receive extra cash from the government on the other hand? If the money from the stimulus can cover the wage status as it is now, why punish the people?

    Because it won’t.

    SPQR (72771e)

  101. It’s too late for a rational financial solution to Cali. There’s a decided lack of trust between the people and the government and I don’t know how that gets restored anytime soon. During the Gray Davis recall there was disgust, but there was still dialogue. Now there are many, me included, that don’t believe a word that the government says (quite literally, the depth of the prop 1A deception has been a shocker to even a cynic like me). How does that get bridged? Meg Whitman maybe? Jerry Brown?

    EBJ (2fd7f7)

  102. “If the money from the stimulus can cover the wage status as it is now, why punish the people?”

    Lovey – Are you questioning the wisdom of “punishing” a small group of people for the benefit of the many?

    daleyrocks (5d22c0)

  103. Meg Whitman maybe? Jerry Brown?

    Meg Whitman maybe? Jerry Brown – NEVER!

    The descent of CA Gov’t can be traced directly back to actions undertaken by “Moonbeam”, not limited to collective bargaining for government employees (without any diminishment of tenure/civil-service protections), and the infusion of east-coast style government philosophies by his appointment of Rose Bird, and his highway czar, the wonderful “Giant Turkey”, Adrianna Gianturco.

    AD - RtR/OS! (3eaf60)

  104. Whose side are you on, Daley? It’s getting confusing.

    The Emperor7 (1b037c)

  105. Lovey – Just answer the question you twit.

    daleyrocks (5d22c0)

  106. Be fair daleyrocks. lovey won’t know how to answer until you take a position. Then, she can distort it and argue against the distortion… or pretend that the distortion actually agrees with something she might say on her own… or pretend she doesn’t understand the question… or pretend she already answered it… or pretend it was never asked… or point out an answer someone else gave and then object when someone assumes that her answer might be similar… or [fill in the blank with anything except an honest answer] 😉

    You know her routine as well as anyone. Ignore her.

    Stashiu3 (460dc1)

  107. This is hilarious. Lovey is paralyzed by fear of answering a simple question incorrectly about a position she was advocating.

    Cowboy up kiddo!

    daleyrocks (5d22c0)

  108. Going off your meds again, Daley? Take it easy. It makes you wanna order people around, doesn’t it?

    The Emperor7 (0c8c2c)

  109. Was that your final nonanswer Lovey?

    I think Stashiu3 and I both have you pegged and we didn’t even collaborate.

    daleyrocks (5d22c0)

  110. The blogosphere abhors a troll vacuum.

    Brother Bradley J. Fikes, C.O.R. (0ea407)

  111. You have a good point, EBJ, but the real problem is that a majority of California’s voters still haven’t realized just how disfunctional the Democratic legislature is. They keep returning loons to power even with brief fits of sanity like recalling Gray Davis.

    SPQR (26be8b)

  112. Comment by daleyrocks — 5/12/2009 @ 6:42 pm

    Do you still fart on your first date? Answer this question, twit!

    The Emperor7 (0c8c2c)

  113. You just keep raising the tone there, TheEmperor7. Your middle name is “classy”.

    SPQR (26be8b)

  114. Comment by SPQR — 5/12/2009 @ 6:59 pm

    Yes. Classy. I remember that. Classy. I like classy.

    The Emperor7 (0c8c2c)

  115. Comment by SPQR — 5/12/2009 @ 6:53 pm

    Ironically I heard on talk radio here in So Cal that there is a movement to recall Arnold and bring back Gray Davis. Apparently we wacky Calis have no shame and are willing to lower the bar – again, and also apparently an elected official can perform so badly that their ousted predecessor can end up looking good. See: Eliot Spitzer.

    Dana (4a6e8c)

  116. I still don’t understand why you cannot answer the question.

    Dmac (1ddf7e)

  117. TheEmperor7, I’m glad you remember the word. Restudy the definition.

    Dana, Democrats in California are literally delusional in terms of rational budgets and the economic effects of their failure to adopt same.

    SPQR (26be8b)

  118. Thought CA was a Republican state. How come it is the Dems’ to blame?

    The Emperor7 (0c8c2c)

  119. The Emperor7, a Republican state? Really? That’s what you thought? It hasn’t voted Republican for President in two decades. Its legislature has been majority Democrat for nearly two decades. And its alternated party for Governor over the same period.

    And you think its a Republican state?

    SPQR (26be8b)

  120. Comment by SPQR — 5/12/2009 @ 7:32 pm

    They have a Republican Governor. That should count for something. Tell me something, when this state prospered, who did you give the credit to?

    The Emperor (0c8c2c)

  121. You don’t read english very well, do you?

    SPQR (26be8b)

  122. A person has to be an ultra-liberal to claim that California is a Republican state. Moreover, Schwarzenegger has — and generally always has had — left-leaning tendencies, undoubtedly influenced by his wife, his in-laws, and the huge number of phonies and flakes that dominate the industry (ie, Hollywood) where he made his claim to fame.

    As for the current predicament of the “Golden State,” most of the blame rests squarely on the shoulders of a large majority of its voters, who have embraced an agenda of “we’re so humane, we’re so compassionate, we’re so hip and moderne! Kum-bah-yah, my lord, kum-bah-yah!!” Voters who a few years ago pushed Schwarzenegger to the left when they voted down his reform-minded ballot propositions.

    And with growing numbers of people in the “Golden State” emanating from societies like Mexico — and voting and thinking accordingly — the foolishness of the state’s politicians and their policymaking will devolve into a worse and worse situation in the future.

    Mark (411533)

  123. If lovie read the Saturday Evening Post, she would wonder what had happened in the world prior to Friday.

    AD - RtR/OS! (3eaf60)

  124. No I don’t. Now to the question, oh enlightened one!

    The Emperor (0c8c2c)

  125. Liberals idea of “compromise” means that Republicans give in to dem issues. …. W kissed Fat Teddy’s asp and came up with No Child Left Behind..and of course Fat Teddy showed respect by demonizing Bush.

    Arnold in Ca. decided to basically give in to dem legislature budgetary demands and hired liberals for key executive positions. Then there was capola like state paid venture into stem cell research, pledging billions. If said scientific work was deemed to likely be successful, why not let PRIVATE business fund it??? You know, like risk venturists betting their own money on a payoff.

    No wonder there is so much Californication of other western states, with the transplants abandoning the Golden State and voting for the same sort of failed policies in Montana, for exmaple. We see the same BS with Mass. and Vt. masses flocking to New Hampshire. How do some states manage without state income taxes?

    aoibhneas (a40a46)

  126. […] 2. The recession, coupled with massive government borrowing and spending, will push Medicare and Social Security into insolvency sooner than projected. (H/T Dmac.) […]

    Patterico’s Pontifications » Economists and the Media Discover People Like to Spend the Other Guy’s Money (e4ab32)


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