Archive for the ‘Unions’ Category
It isn’t a secret that President Obama has the temperament of a spoiled brat. That’s why his comments in this article aren’t surprising. They’re just disgusting:
He said legislative change should be won at the polls, not through procedural hostage-taking that threatened the economy.
“You don’t like a particular policy or a particular president, then argue for your position,” Obama said. “Go out there and win an election.”
Mr. President, if you want to argue that DC politicians deserve special health insurance subsidies that aren’t available to others making the same salary, let’s have that fight on national TV. I’m betting that’s a fight you don’t to fight.
That’s one of the things the GOP fought for.
Another thing they fought for was to postpone the individual mandate. It’s disgusting to hear Kathleen Sebelius go out night after night, on show after show, and lie to the American people. That’s right. I said she’s lied to the American people. States know exactly how many people bought health insurance through state-run and federal-run exchanges but the HHS Secretary doesn’t know? Forgive me if I don’t trust her on that.
Obama, who gave up no notable concessions in a battle that started with House Republicans pressing to defund ObamaCare, scolded the GOP with his comments and reminded them of their defeat in the 2012 election.
President Obama is famous for “I won” type of statements. He’s a sore winner. He simply can’t help himself.
Notice, though, that President Obama never debates issues on the merits. It’s always about winning elections. It’s as though ideas don’t matter whatsoever. Representing all of America doesn’t seem to matter much to him either.
Mr. President, I triple dog dare you to tell the American people that having their health insurance premiums double and their health care expenditures skyrocket is the way to make life better for working families. In fact, I’d triple-dog dare you to tell the Teamsters that.
The thought of doing what’s right for the entire nation apparently doesn’t enter into President Obama’s thinking. Great policies that make America more prosperous aren’t part of his thinking. His administration can’t end soon enough.
Calling in-home child care providers extremists won’t help Gov. Dayton politically with this group. Still, that’s what he did yesterday:
He added, “There’s a whole extreme right-wing element in this state and this country who believe they should dictate to people, ‘No you don’t have that chance, to vote for yourself.’”
Gov. Dayton, it’s time you stopped with the vitriol. You represent all Minnesotans, not just those that contribute to your campaign. Predictably, Gov. Dayton’s aide tried walking his boss’s statements back:
Bob Hume, Dayton’s Deputy Chief of Staff, said the governor respects providers who oppose the union and has met with them in the past. He said Dayton’s reference to the “extreme right wing” was “not to the providers, but to the national moneyed interests” who are funding lawsuits and seeking to prevent providers from voting.
That’s a pathetic explanation. It’s as if Mr. Hume expects people to think that the people filing the lawsuits aren’t in-home child care providers. Unfortunately for Mr. Hume, in-home child care providers were the people that filed the lawsuits. These independent businesspeople also lobbied the legislature to not pass the bill in the first place.
Predictably, the DFL ignored these grassroots women’s efforts. And yes, it’s grassroots because it’s mostly been the effort of a handful of in-home child care providers that organized these efforts. The DFL legislature didn’t care. They owed the public employee unions too much to say no to the unions.
The DFL legislature didn’t care that private sector employers aren’t public sector employees. They wrote the bill in such a way that said these independent business owners were public sector employees. Using their logic, anyone doing any work for the government would fit the description of a public employee. Cement contractors, public housing contractors and others would be getting their checks from the government.
Gov. Dayton has a nasty habit of shooting his mouth off at people he disagrees with. That’s especially true when he doesn’t stick to his script. His vitriolic statements reveal the real Dayton.
The definition of a political gaffe is when a person accidentally tells the truth or accidentally reveals a part of their personality/character that they don’t want the public to see. That’s what happened with Gov. Dayton when he made these hate-filled, ill-advised statements.
Is Gov. Dayton the gentleman he tries to portray? Or is he the vitriolic man that surfaced yesterday? Or is it that he can’t control himself, at least not consistently? I suspect it’s all of the above. It’s a shame he can’t control himself. It’s a shame because he lapses into the vitriolic politician far too often.
Couple his vitriolic nature with the fact that he’s totally beholden to the DFL’s special interest allies and you have the recipe for a disaster. That desciption definitely fits Gov. Dayton. He’s been a disaster for most of the last 15 years.
This article reads like a press release from the MCEA. It isn’t reporting. It’s ‘journalism’ bia press release:
A campaign by critics of proposed copper-nickel mining in northern Minnesota says it has gathered petition signatures from all 87 Minnesota counties.
Mining Truth says more than 12,000 people have signed its petition, which asks Gov. Mark Dayton to ensure the environment will be protected in any copper-nickel mining.
Scott Strand of the Minnesota Center for Environmental Advocacy says people statewide want Dayton to put water quality first when considering projects like the proposed PolyMet and Twin Metals mines.
First, how many of the 12,000 signatures came from Hennepin and Ramsey counties? It isn’t a stretch to think that the majority of them came from those 2 counties. In fact, it’s likely that a majority of signatures to the petition came from those counties.
Second, existing laws require mining companies not pollute. These laws’ provisions are proactive, eliminating the need for taxpayer-financed superfund clean-ups. Plans are submitted to the state and federal regulating agencies. After approval, the mines are inspected on a regular basis to guarantee that pollution isn’t happening. If the mining company isn’t living up to their plans, operations can be shut down. Fines can be imposed, too.
The organizations spearheading this effort aren’t committed to the truth. Conservation Minnesota, aka CM, insists that the previous mining operations polluted the land. I’ve cited examples of precious metal mining operations that improved environmental quality in the long run on this blog. That’s irrefutable fact. That isn’t speculation. MCEA is known for its hardball tactics. Its most notable ‘accomplishment’ was stopping the Big Stone II power plant project from happening. MCEA considers it a victory to make electricity more expensive and high-paying jobs extinct. That says everything you need to know about their priorities.
Simply put, MCEA’s and CM’s priorities aren’t Minnesota’s priorities. They’re the priorities of their plutocrat donors. They’re the special interests’ priorities.
This paragraph is laughable:
Dayton has been feeling conflicting political pressure over mining from his environmentalist allies on one side, who oppose copper-nickel mining, and his labor and Iron Range supporters on the other side, who want the jobs. The Democratic governor has said he’s pro-environment and pro-jobs, and there needs to be a balance.
Gov. Dayton isn’t just pro-environment. He’s pro-environmental extremist. MCEA and CM don’t play nice. They won’t hesitate in lying if that’s what’s needed to win a fight.
Northern Minnesota needs mining jobs. Tourism hasn’t come close in replacing mining in terms of jobs. Meanwhile, poverty rates on the Range are disgustingly high, approaching 16% in the Arrowhead. If Gov. Dayton won’t tell these extremists to take a hike, then Minnesotans need to fire him ASAP. Restoring prosperity to the Iron Range isn’t just important, it’s essential.
Technically speaking, the US Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals didn’t reject the merits of the DFL’s legislative attempt to shove unionization down child care small businesses’ throats. According to this post, they simply issued “an injunction blocking the law” from being enforced:
A hotly-contested law that was to allow in-home child care providers to vote on whether to unionize has been temporarily blocked by a federal appeals court.
Officials of the National Right to Work Legal Defense Foundation, which is representing Minnesota providers who oppose unionization, said they received notice late Thursday that their motion for an injunction blocking the law was granted by the 8th Circuit Court of Appeals.
According to lawyers for the group, that means the child-care union election cannot take place until the injunction is lifted. The appeals court said it wants to wait to see if the U.S.Supreme Court decides to hear an appeal on a related case dealing with unionization of home-care workers. That case is called Harris v. Quinn.
This isn’t good news for the unions. Injunctions and stays aren’t usually granted if the case isn’t likely to succeed. That means, apparently, that the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals thinks the plaintiffs have a good chance of winning the underlying case.
Still, the fight isn’t over:
Jennifer Munt, a spokeswoman for AFSCME, the union seeking to organize providers, said the union will continue its work “full steam ahead.” “This one-sentence decision has nothing to do with the merits of the case,” Munt said. “It’s a temporary roadblock that doesn’t stop us from organizing. We are moving full-speed ahead because child care providers want a union.”
Technically, Ms. Munt is right in the narrow sense that the Eighth Circuit hasn’t ruled on the merits of the case yet. From a legal standpoint, however, there’s a pretty high probability that the plaintiffs will win the lawsuit. All that might become moot if the Supreme Court takes up a different case regarding the matter:
That case is called Harris v. Quinn.
In-home child care providers are independent businesses. That necessarily means government doesn’t have the right to classify private sector employers as public employees. Further, the First Amendment guarantees “the right of the people” to “petition the Government for a redress of grievances.” That means each business should be able to pick the people to “petition the government” about their grievances.
Mary Franson is one of the GOP’s leaders on this issue. She issued this statement after hearing about the Eighth Circuit’s ruling:
“Today’s ruling from the federal appeals court is the first step to remedy the injustice done by Democrats to the hardworking childcare providers and parents of Minnesota. As a mom and former childcare provider, I know firsthand we don’t need big union bosses increasing costs and creating fewer options for the care of our precious children,” said Franson. “While the legal battle over this law is far from over, I’m happy Minnesota moms and dads and their childcare providers can breath a little easier for now as the threat of forced childcare unionization is no longer imminent.”
Rep. Franson is right. This fight isn’t over. Still, this ruling is a victory for the plaintiffs. That’s great news for in-home child care providers and low-income parents.
Since he got into office, Gov. Dayton has catered to the anti-mining wing of the DFL. That’s because his first ex-wife, Alida Messinger, a) opposes mining, b) opposes Iron Rangers making a better living for themselves and their families and c) writes big checks to fund the DFL and its chief smear campaign machine, aka the Alliance for a Better Minnesota, aka ABM.
According to their website, Alida Messinger is the Vice-President of Conservation Minnesota, a radical environmentalist organization that’s opposed to the PolyMet and Twin Metals mining projects.
According to his St. Cloud Times op-ed, Rolf Westgard is “a professional member of the Geological Society of America. He teaches classes on energy subjects for the University of Minnesota Lifelong Learning program.” Dr. Westgard has a dramatically different take on precious metals mining. It’s dramatically different because he deals with facts, not hysteria:
Environmentalists are lined up in opposition to these projects, viewing them as a serious threat to water quality. The issue is these ores are reactive sulfide minerals. When mined, the sulfur comes in contact with water and oxygen, forming sulfuric acid. This acid can then dissolve and carry away toxic elements, polluting water supplies in a process known as acid rock drainage.
In the past, acidic metal-rich waters from mining have damaged the environment when mining companies did not follow safe practices. Today, mining companies have to be good stewards of the environment, and our laws are made to ensure this happens.
At Ladysmith, Wis., Kennecott operated an open pit copper sulfide mine that operated 140 feet from the Flambeau River in the 1990s. During the mining all of the surface area drainage and pit pumping water went into a treatment plant that successfully purified the water so it could be safely returned to the environment.
Upon closure, to avoid ARD, the pit was backfilled with the waste rock that was stripped from the pit along with 30,000 tons of limestone. Limestone was added to neutralize any ARD that formed while the pit was exposed. There were no violations of its permits in construction, operation and closure. These are practices required in Minnesota.
In other words, these companies are experts at mining the precious metals without contaminating drinking water or causing major health hazards. They have a history of cleaning up after themselves, too. That isn’t because they’re altruistic. It’s because they’re monitored by the EPA at the federal level and state agencies in the various states.
While Gov. Dayton pursues ‘high tech jobs of the future’ in California, Minnesota is literally sitting on a gold mine in northern Minnesota that would create thousands of jobs and generate billions of dollars in tax revenue for the state:
Minnesota owns more than 6,000 acres of land in the region, and it stands to collect $2.5 billion in royalties in the coming decades if mining proceeds. This state property is known as “school trust lands.” Under the Minnesota Constitution, income from such lands is earmarked for the Permanent School Fund, which contributes about $60 per pupil to every school district. An analysis by the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources projected that the school fund, with assets of $720 million, could more than triple in size with copper royalties during the next 25 to 30 years.
Why wouldn’t we take advantage of this gold mine? Why wouldn’t we help the blue collar people of the Range earn a better living? Right now, families in St. Louis County make almost $15,000 a year less than the statewide average. Why wouldn’t we want more money going into the Permanent School Fund? It’s the easiest of easy money.
If the goals are to fund schools without overburdening taxpayers while restoring prosperity to the Iron Range and economic health to the state, issuing permits for the PolyMet and Twin Metals projects is the way to go. It’s the fastest way to get from Point A to Point B.
This route isn’t being taken because the DFL’s special interest puppeteers aren’t interested in funding schools with minimal costs to Minnesota’s taxpayers. The DFL’s special interest puppeteers aren’t interested in restoring prosperity to the Range. The biggest mistake conservatives make is thinking that the DFL leadership is interested in doing the right thing for the right reasons.
It’s important to understand that the DFL will always do the right thing…when it’s the only option left.
Meanwhile, Gov. Dayton will continue recruiting companies that require massive government subsidies to succeed. It’s a shame that he just doesn’t put in place policies that help companies already here succeed.
Tags: Mark Dayton, Special Interests, Environmental Extremists, Conservation Minnesota, MiningTruths.org, Alida Messinger, DFL, Iron Range, Twin Metals, PolyMet, Blue Collar Workers, Mining Jobs, Median Household Income, Kennecott Mining, Prosperity
Appearing weaker by the day, Gov. Dayton is publically opposing the repeal of the warehousing services tax increase:
Dayton has said a repeal of the warehousing tax can wait until the 2014 session, because it doesn’t take effect until next April.
That’s a feeble argument. ‘It can wait because it won’t hurt businesses until April’ isn’t compelling, especially considering this information:
Dayton wants to call lawmakers back to St. Paul on Sept. 9 to approve disaster relief for 18 counties hit hard by storms in June. He said yesterday he also wants the special session to exempt farm equipment from a new tax on business equipment repair.
I’m fine with them not repealing the warehouse tax until next winter. The tax increase will be repealed. While it’s still on the books, though, it’s a constant reminder that Gov. Dayton’s and the Democrats’ highest priority is to raise taxes regardless of whether it hurts Minnesota’s economy.
Dayton and the Democrats that control the legislature worry more about raising taxes than they care about strengthening Minnesota’s economy. Cargill shipped 200 high-paying union jobs to Colorado. Red Wing Shoes is seriously considering building a $20,000,000 warehouse in Wisconsin as a direct result of Gov. Dayton’s warehouse tax.
It’s shocking that a governor would oppose repealing a tax that’s threatening to move dozens of jobs to Wisconsin on the basis that the tax won’t hurt a major employer until next April.
Chamber President David Olson’s letter asks for a repeal of the entire tax on business equipment repair, along with new taxes on warehousing services and equipment purchases by telecommunication providers. He said the taxes are hurting business and job growth.
“Business must plan ahead and these new taxes are already impacting their decisions,” Olson wrote. “We are aware of situations where expansion plans are now on hold or where companies are considering relocating some or all of their operations to other states.”
“Companies are considering relocating…operations to other states” is code for Red Wing Shoes, though it might include other companies, too.
Since gaining total control of the legislature, Democrats have weakened Minnesota’s economy with their foolish, counterproductive tax increases. They’ve put businesses in their crosshairs. They’ve paid off their special interest allies with illegal legislation that hurts Minnesota’s poorest families.
The Democratic Party in Minnesota is nothing if not finely attuned to their special interest allies. That’s why repealing foolish, counterproductive taxes isn’t their priority. That’s why we can’t afford another 2 years of their policies.
In an appearance on FNC’s “The Five”, captured in this video, Juan Williams passionately called Al Sharpton and Michael-Eric Dyson race hustlers and civil rights hucksters:
This op-ed is, loosely speaking, a transcript of Juan’s opening monologue. The first 3 minutes of the video are especially powerful. That’s where Juan called Michael-Eric Dyson out for not providing solutions. Here’s part of Juan’s opening monologue:
Two of the worst: civil rights activist and MSNBC host Al Sharpton and Georgetown University Professor Michael Eric Dyson. Their goal: demonize white people, especially conservatives like Bill O’Reilly, so they don’t have to deal with the real problems that continue to plague the black community. Making an older, conservative white guy like O’Reilly a boogie man is easy for these hustlers.
But do they ever confront the real problems and threats in the minority community? No. High murder rates? How about that? What about high dropout rates? What about the breakdown of the family?
After Juan’s opening monologue, Dana Perino noted that Juan didn’t read the monologue off a teleprompter, that he spoke it from the heart. She then said that Juan’s opening monologue might’ve been the most impressive monologue in “The Five’s” history. I wouldn’t disagree with that, though I’d highlight the fact that all 15 minutes of the video are must-see video. During another exchange with Dana Perino, Juan highlighted something important. Starting at the 4:40 mark, here’s what Juan said:
DANA PERINO: What is the most important thing we could address the problem?
JUAN WILLIAMS: For me, it’s education. I grew up as a poor kid. If it wasn’t for education, I wouldn’t be anywhere so, in other words, I had a tiger mom and a black tiger mom who said “you’re gonna get good grades, you’re going to stay in school, you’re gonna work and, not only that, you’re going to achieve. You’re not just going to hang in there. You’re going to achieve.
I applauded Juan for saying that when I watched that monologue live. I’m applauding him again while I’m watching the video this morning. Juan didn’t stop there:
JUAN WILLIAMS: So if we’re serious about this, we go about taking on the unions, going at school reform, going at charter schools, going at vouchers. That’s why people say ‘Well, they provide a lot of jobs.’ You know what, unless you’re educating kids, unless you’re loving kids, you’re not doing anything. You’re not helping.
That’s powerful because a black liberal is talking about taking on the teachers unions, promoting school reform, charter schools and vouchers as solutions to black poverty. That’s something you won’t hear from Michael-Eric Dyson or Al Sharpton. I give Juan credit for writing this great op-ed because it’s part of the solution:
Here is the track record for that solution as I wrote about it in my book, “ENOUGH: The Phony Leaders, Dead-End Movements, and Culture of Failure That Are Undermining Black America–and What We Can Do About It.” “The poverty rate for any black man or woman who follows that formula is a mere 6.4 percent…in other words by meeting those basic requirements black American can cut their chances of being poor by two-thirds…even white American families have a higher poverty rate than black people who finished high school, got married, had children after 21 and worked for at least one week a year.”
The key for black women is also in the formula – do not have a baby outside of a strong marriage. Over a third [35 percent] of the black women who have children out of wedlock – now tragically more than 70 percent – live in poverty.
By comparison, only 17 percent of black women who are married live in poverty. And black children with both parents at home have a better chance for success, fewer dealings with the police, higher graduation rates and are more likely to marry before they have children.
Marriage and the presence of adults as role models and loving disciplinarians is absolutely critical helping young black men build the self-esteem that puts them in position to make good decisions that lead to the road to success.
While Juan repeats many of the Democrats’ talking points, these statements definitely don’t mimic Al Sharpton or Michael-Eric Dyson or Julian Bond or other race hucksters. These are time-tested solutions.
There’s another important lesson that needs to be learned from this discussion. While Sharpton’s, Dyson’s and Jesse Jackson’s statements are incendiary and counterproductive, Republicans aren’t without blame, either. Republican politicians should make frequent visits into the minority communities. While they’re there, they should follow a specific pattern.
First, Republican politicians should introduce themselves, then start listening. People that listen signal to the talker that what they’re saying is important. I coined a phrase years ago about that: “The fastest way to confer dignity on people is by listening intently because it sends the message that what they’re saying is important.”
When they hear something that approaches common ground, they should highlight that and express the fact that they’re willing, even eager, to work with minorities on improving their lives.
In the end, this isn’t a political issue. It’s a moral issue. I’m no fan of NCLB but I agree with President Bush’s statement that we need to end “the soft bigotry of low expectations.” That’s what Juan passionately and eloquently spoke about. It’s what Michael-Eric Dyson, Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson won’t talk about. It’s what Republicans should do a better job of prioritizing.
In the end, that’s the ultimate solution.
When it comes to highlighting liberals’ wrongheaded economic thinking, nobody’s been better at it than Milton Friedman. This video is a great example of Friedman’s wisdom:
Friedman’s wisdom on the subject of minority education is playing out in big cities daily. First, Friedman said that nothing traps young people in poverty more than underperforming “government schools.” That’s being verified by the fact that the DC Opportunity Scholarship program has far more minority applicants than scholarships. The documentary “Waiting for Superman” highlights parents as they attempt to rescue their children from government schools by getting them into charter schools. In St. Paul, a healthy portion of the families wanting their children in charter schools are minority parents.
Time after time, minorities are hurt by government schools. What’s worst is that the teacher unions and Democrat politicians protect bad schools. New York City is famous for its Rubber Room:
Educators accused of breaking rules, abusing kids, or simply failing to provide students with a decent education, will be paid a stunning $22 million by the city this year for doing absolutely nothing.
Charter schools aren’t restricted by union rules, which gives them more latitude to innovate. Charter schools can get rid of underperforming teachers quickly, something government schools can’t do.
Here in Minnesota, Republicans included a Basic Skills Test requirement in the Omnibus Education Bill that Gov. Dayton signed. This year, with the DFL running state government from A to Z, Democrats repealed the Basic Skills Test requirement. It wasn’t surprising that Gov. Dayton didn’t hesitate in signing the requirement’s repeal.
The message that sends to teachers is that competence isn’t required, that a union card is what’s important. That cheats students by telling parents, students and teachers alike that union membership is more important than high quality teachers.
Friedman also explains why increasing the minimum wage hurts minorities. Mitch Berg’s post highlights why increasing the minimum wage is actually keeping unemployment high:
The inevitable result of across-the-board minimum wage hikes? Fewer minimum wage jobs.
Case in point; as minimum wages around the country rose during the 2000s, McDonalds started pre-cooking its hamburger patties, so they’d only need to be reheated in the stores. This got rid of most of the traditional “burger-flipper” jobs, the ones that liberals sneered at but provided hundreds of thousands of opportunities for teens and others entering and re-entering the workforce to learn how to show up for work on time and do a good job at something.
Democrats will argue that increasing the minimum wage doesn’t affect hiring. They’re wrong. It’s accurate to say that increasing the minimum wage doesn’t always affect unemployment. Democrats think businesses owe it to society to hire people. That’s wrongheaded thinking. Entrepreneurs hire people if they think it’ll makes them money. Period.
If hiring a person at minimum wage will hurt profits, businesses won’t hire people. It’s that simple. The benefit must exceed the expense. If it doesn’t, unemployment is the result. It’s that simple regardless of what Rep. Winkler and other Democrats say.
The move is designed to boost efficiency and make ordering more convenient for customers. In an interview with the Financial Times, McDonald’s Europe President Steve Easterbrook notes that the new system will also open up a goldmine of data. McDonald’s could potentially track every Big Mac, McNugget, and large shake you order. A calorie account tally at the end of the year could be a real shocker.
The touch screens will only accept debit or credit cards, adding to the slow death knell of cash and coins. This all goes along with an overall revamp of McDonald’s restaurants worldwide aimed at projecting a modern image as opposed to the old-fashioned golden arches…
While it’d be pushing it to say that McDonalds is installing these touch-screen ordering kiosks because of the minimum wage, it isn’t a stretch to say that installing those kiosks will help McDonalds avoid dealing with minimum wage employees. Rep. Winkler isn’t interested in increasing the minimum wage to help the working poor. He’s interested in it because many union wages are based on the minimum wage.
Limiting government’s size and influence isn’t just an ideology. It’s a time-tested method for ushering in lengthy periods of prosperity. Capitalism is still the greatest weapon in fighting poverty and creating upward mobility.
Tags: Milton Friedman, Free Market Capitalism, Charter Schools, Upward Mobility, Prosperity, Conservatism, Minimum Wage, Ryan Winkler, Government Schools, Rubber Room, Union Protection, Waiting For Superman, DC Opportunity Scholarships, Liberalism
When Democrats pushed through the PPACA, they relied heavily on unions and government employees to provide the propaganda. Now that it’s supposedly on the verge of getting implemented, many of those allies are turning on the administration. In fact, they’re doing what private employers have started doing. They’re limiting their employees’ hours:
School districts in states like Pennsylvania, North Carolina, Utah, Nebraska, and Indiana are dropping to part-time status school workers such as teacher aides, administrators, secretaries, bus drivers, gym teachers, coaches and cafeteria workers. Cities or counties in states like California, Indiana, Kansas, Texas, Michigan and Iowa are dropping to part-time status government workers such as librarians, secretaries, administrators, parks and recreation officials and public works officials.
This is the predictable outcome of the PPACA. Insurance costs are exploding, causing employers to cut costs by cutting employees’ hours to reduce their penalties and obligations.
Nearly three-quarters of government employers provide generous benefits to workers, funded by taxpayers, higher than any other industry, says the Kaiser Family Foundation.
But the quarter that do not are making rapid changes to the work week. To stop the wheels from coming off the school bus, school districts are doing the math, and are figuring out that cutting worker hours down to part-time status, or paying the mandate tax, or dropping part-time coverage is less expensive than offering health insurance benefits. “School districts across the U.S. are grappling to determine how they will respond to the requirement,” says National Insurance Services, a specialist in public sector employee benefits since 1969.
The PPACA doesn’t reduce costs. It increases costs. Young people especially get screwed. That’s why they’re electing to pay the fine rather than buying insurance. The PPACA falls apart financially without young, healthy people buying insurance. That’s the only way to offset the high cost of insuring people with pre-existing conditions.
Schools throughout Indiana are cutting back the hours of teacher assistants, bus drivers, cafeteria workers and coaches to avoid having to offer them health insurance under the new federal employer mandate.
“We cannot go out and raise the price of our product to assist us covering this. We would have to go to the taxpayers and ask for some type of increase, and I just don’t see that happening,” said Les Huddle, superintendent of the Lafayette School Corp. This school district has cut the hours for about 600 full-time, non-certified employees in more than 150 schools to part-time status.
School districts are getting hit with higher insurance premiums. That gives them 2 options: either ask for a tax increase or cut employees’ benefits. Apparently, they’re choosing the latter.
Rather than admitting that the PPACA is a huge mistake, Democrats that voted for the bill that’s creating tons of part-time jobs is accusing the GOP of waging war on poor people:
As we approach the 50th anniversary of President Lyndon Johnson’s “War on Poverty,” Republicans are holding a hearing Wednesday in the House Budget Committee for a “progress report.”
Democrats believe that the War on Poverty is a war worth fighting, and a war we can win. In 1964, Johnson proposed a set of policies that were a continuation of Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s the New Deal. Americans decided as a nation that children should not go hungry, that seniors shouldn’t retire in squalor, and that job training empowered people better than any other avenue.
Apparently, Democrats believe in creating poverty. They’re the people who voted for the PPACA. That’s why employers are cutting employees’ hours. That’s why those employees are applying for food stamps and other government assistance. It’s impossible to argue that the PPACA isn’t leading to higher poverty rates.
In 2014, voters will have the opportunity to punish Democrats for creating this terrible economy. They’ll be able to punish Democrats for stagnant wages while big corporations’ profits increase. (Thank the Federal Reserve, not Obama, for Wall Street’s boom.) The only people prospering, other than those on Wall Street, are federal employees in DC’s suburbs.
It’s time to punish Democrats for raising insurance premiums, cutting personal benefits, employees’ hours and shrinking employees’ wages.
Tags: President Obama, Chris van Hollen, War On Poverty, LBJ, FDR, PPACA, Part-Time Nation, School Districts, Public Employees, Insurance Premiums, Wage Stagnation, Federal Reserve, Poverty, Government Assistance, Democrats, Election 2014
This article tells the story about how unqualified teachers are ruining Minnesota’s education system:
More than 900 Minnesota teachers over the past five years have violated licensing rules aimed at making sure that children get a proper education, including 62 instructors who taught with no license at all, according to a Star Tribune analysis of state education records.
The violations, which mostly involved instructors teaching the wrong subject or grade level, touched as many as 57,000 students in some 300 public school districts and charter schools across Minnesota, records show.
This year, DFL pundits like Karla Bigham said that this legislature would be known as the ‘education legislature’. While it’s true many of these violations happened on Gov. Pawlenty’s watch, it’s equally true that the DFL just repealed the Basic Skills Test requirement that the GOP legislature instituted. Gov. Dayton, meanwhile, signed both the requirement and the repeal.
Here’s the heart of the problem:
Despite the widespread problems, Minnesota does virtually nothing to enforce its rules. The state Board of Teaching stopped enforcing licensing violations several years ago, state officials said, partly because of the threat of costly lawsuits and time-consuming court hearings. Revoking a single license can cost close to $20,000.
Why should teachers who don’t have a license have a day in court? There should be a clause in the contract that says teachers who don’t have a license are automatically and immediately terminated. It isn’t like they don’t know the rules. After all, they sought the variances and waivers that let them keep teaching.
The total number of waivers and other exceptions granted by the state Teaching Board more than doubled over the past five years, reaching a total of 9,785 in the 2009-2010 school year, state records show. At the same time, the number of improperly licensed teachers dropped more than 40 percent.
“Districts have the ability to paperwork their violations down to zero by applying to the [Education Department] for variances,” Phillips said in the e-mail to her staff. “The teachers would still be teaching without the appropriate grade level or subject area licensure, but the variance would eliminate their inclusion in the year-end [Education Department] report.”
This isn’t just a black stain against unqualified teachers. It’s a stain against EdMinn and the administrators who sat on their thumbs and let these charlatans keep teaching.
Jeff Riley, according to the state, was not among the violators.
But the trained chef said he worked at Broadway High School in Minneapolis for six years without obtaining a license — a step that proves instructors have passed tests and met other requirements to show they’re qualified to work in the classroom. Though the Minneapolis School District dismissed him in December for working without a license, Riley never received a warning from the state about his licensing problems.
“We weren’t hidden,” Riley said. “People knew about us. We had a great program.”
How can something be a “great program” when it’s filled with unlicensed teachers? Mr. Riley is apparently a self-confident man. Self confidence isn’t a job qualification. It’s a character trait.
More importantly, how is it possible that entire groups of unlicensed teachers exist? Who thought it was a good idea to ignore the students’ needs? This isn’t a little thing. This is an example of the education establishment setting education policy that says they’re concerned about the teachers, not the students.
These are just the symptoms of a bigger problem. The underlying problem is that Education Minnesota has run the schools and school boards seemingly forever. That type of unchecked authority leads to corruption. I suspect that’s what happened here.