Unemployment among government workers last month was 3.4 percent, according to Bureau of Labor statistics, meaning government workers are about three times less likely to be jobless than the general population. From this disparity, Democrats have somehow concluded that what we really need is a greater disparity. How else can one explain their plan for an additional $50 billion bailout to prevent further job losses among state and local government workers?
President Barack Obama is now pleading with Congress for $23 billion to prevent teacher layoffs, $25 billion for state health care programs and $2 billion for police and firefighters. Bear in mind that the original stimulus, which passed in February 2009, already contained a $53.6 billion “State Fiscal Stabilization Fund,” which included $39.5 billion for local school districts to prevent teacher layoffs and program cuts. Public sector unions — the primary beneficiaries of this largesse — were already calling for a second stimulus in July 2009, less than five months after the original one passed.
So why the $100 billion lagniappe for government workers? In the past two election cycles, the nation’s three largest public employee unions — the National Education Association, the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees, and the American Federation of Teachers — have contributed more than $12 million to political campaigns, $11,625,835 of which went to Democrats.
It’s not just that Washington, D.C.’s ruling party is paying them back. They are counting on this bailout to keep the public sector unions flush with cash so they can prop up the Democrats through what promises to be a brutal 2010 election. Last month, AFSCME President Gerald McEntee pledged to spend up to $50 million to protect Democrats’ “incumbency in the House. We’ve got to protect the incumbency in the Senate.” Three weeks after AFSCME’s $50 million commitment, Obama is now saying the “urgency is high” that Congress spend another $50 billion to preserve the jobs of government workers.