The Right Side

Notes from a conservative student.

Archive for the ‘Economy’ Category

Big Labor’s Political Clout

Posted by Cullin on April 23, 2009

Not surprisingly the unions were able to secure some nice paybacks for helping democrats get seats in government.

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Labor Department moved Tuesday to rescind a regulation approved during President George W. Bush’s last days in office that would have increased scrutiny of union finances to help root out financial corruption.

The agency said it considered the comments of numerous labor organizations that claimed the new rule was overly burdensome and would have little effect on efforts to detect fraud.

Unions had also complained that the previous administration failed to take into account how well existing compliance forms already worked. The agency agreed, saying it would conduct further review of current financial reporting requirements before deciding whether more regulations were needed.

What I find amazing is that this administration is willing to see that regulation can be “overly burdensome and have little effect” when it comes to labor unions (who for some reason have enough money to need fraud agents), however it’s apparently ridiculous to them that the same types of regulations won’t have the same effect on businesses.

But wait, it gets better:

A notice published in the Federal Register proposes to withdraw the rule entirely and seeks comments on the agency’s proposal.

Union officials praised the decision, the latest in a series of pro-labor actions taken since President Barack Obama took office.

“From our perspective, the only interest served by this rule was to harass unions,” said AFL-CIO attorney James Coppess.

Unions are required to file annual financial disclosure reports to the Labor Department’s Office of Labor-Management Standards. The agency’s criminal enforcement program uses the information to investigate embezzlement from labor unions and other types of union fraud.

Labor Department figures show that investigations of union fraud from 2001-2008 resulted in more than 1,000 indictments, with 929 convictions and court-ordered restitution of more than $93 million.

The new rule would have required unions to disclose even more information about compensation to union officers and employees, details about buying or selling union assets and additional information about union receipts.

Over $93 million worth of people stealing from the people they are supposed to be helping and represting against the “evil corporate greed”, and Obama is trying to help them.  The very people who advocate regulations to avoid fraud, are unwilling to accept regulations because they’re committing fraud.

What this goes to show is that the administration doesn’t care to treat everyone equally, but rather to give special benefits to those who voted in its favor.

Full story here.

Posted in Economy, Labor | Leave a Comment »

Cap And Traduce

Posted by Cullin on April 23, 2009

Yesterday saw the democrats bringing up their environmental agenda in the form of cap and trade.  And, while this is probably the least egregious form of emissions control, it’s still terrible economic policy.

Though cap and trade will allow for free market solutions as to who gets what as far as pollution vouchers.  However, it will only go towards creating more expensive energy in a time when energy costs have sent our economy into a heavy negative correction.  This financial crisis was started because energy costs went so high that people were not able to make the payments on their subprime mortgages that the banks were forced to make by the government through the CRA.  After this debt started going bad, banks didn’t want to lend, leading to a contraction in the financial market.  It’s quite simple to understand.

However, the democrats out on Capitol Hill either don’t get this or don’t care, I’m not sure which.  They keep raising taxes (on everyone not just those making over $250,000 like Obama had promised), and increases regulations adding on to costs that we Americans have to pay for goods and services.  Anyone who knows anything about anything can realize that we should not be increasing taxes and costs for people when we’re in the middle of a recession.

If one thing has ever been proven to work the same way every time, it’s that increased taxes and regulations only contract an economy.  So, what do the democrats do over the first 100 days of the Obama presidency?  Raise taxes and regulation.  You’re not the only one who sees that this is backwards thinking.

If we want people to be able to keep their houses cool over the summer, if we want to regain lost jobs in America, and if we want to ever get out of recession mode, we have to make sure that laws which only prevent growth, like cap and trade, are not tolerated.

Call your representative and let her or him know how you feel about cap and trade.

Posted in Economy, Energy, Environment | 2 Comments »

More Wasteful Spending on “Green” Energy

Posted by Cullin on April 11, 2009

Well, I tried staying away, but then I found this article in the Houston Chronicle.

A coalition of energy companies hopes to reinvigorate the market for funding renewable energy projects by creating a government-backed “green bank” to serve as a conduit for billions of dollars in federal loans.

Under the plan, outlined in federal legislation sponsored by Rep. Chris Van Hollen, D-Md., the bank would be an independent, wholly owned corporation of the federal government focused solely on loaning money to a range of projects deemed to promote clean energy.

These could include power lines to connect remote wind turbines with areas of high demand, landfill methane capture projects and refineries that turn organic material into fuels.

The bill also includes funds for new nuclear power plants but only if other funding programs that might be open to those projects are exhausted.

With an initial $10 billion in capital raised through the sale of U.S. Treasury bonds, the bank could support loans many times that amount, said Todd Filsinger, co-chair of the Coalition for Green Bank and head of PA Consulting Group’s Energy Capital Markets business.

“The bank is not meant to compete with private lenders but is meant to be complementary,” Filsinger said. “It could provide the kind of assistance needed to get renewable infrastructure projects built on a constant basis for a number of years.”

This is not the kind of action we need from our government.  This “Green Bank” is only going to be throwing more money away at something that sounds warm and fuzzy, and like it would be a good idea, but in reality is something that isn’t going to work.

The Green Bank will be just another entity like Fannie Mae or Freddy Mac.  Much like the government needed these two institutions to lure banks into giving risky loans to people who could not afford them (and ultimately cause the financial crisis), they will be using the new Green Bank to prop up an industry, which is not viable, with our tax money.

But, this isn’t the end of your money going towards “green” energy.

…government funding for such work is expected to surge, both in the U.S. and abroad, thanks to efforts to stimulate the world economy. Of $2.6 trillion in economic stimulus spending the largest nations have committed, nearly $400 billion is aimed at projects like renewable energy sources and energy efficiency, according to a report released by the German Foreign Office during the G20 Summit in London this month.

The U.S. stimulus package has committed more than $10 billion to renewables for research and development and loan guarantees, but it can take a while for such funds to wend through the system and be put to work.

Our government will be doubling down their commitment (to a total of over $20,000,000,000) towards energy companies that won’t be able to support themselves for many, many years at the expense of your paycheck, of your children’s paychecks, and of companies that are actually good at what they do and can support themselves.

I would encourage you to call your representatives and let them know that wasteful spending on pipe dreams is not how we’re going to get out of a recession.  It will only prolong our problem, and cost many more jobs.

Posted in Economy, Energy | Leave a Comment »