"First they ignore you, then they ridicule you, then they fight you, then you win." -- Mahatma Gandhi

Democrats Pass Bailout For Teachers Unions

August 12th, 2010 by mopns · No Comments

 

After hurrying to Washington to approve Democrat leaders’ $26 billion bailout for states and teachers’ unions, House Democrats scattered back to their districts yesterday to explain their votes to their constituents. But as The Wall Street Journal editorializes today, it seems that Democrats had one constituency above all others in mind with their votes yesterday: “Standing with teachers yesterday in the White House Rose Garden, Mr. Obama said, ‘We can’t stand by and do nothing while pink slips are given to the men and women who educate our children or keep our communities safe.’ Maintaining the salaries and generous benefit plans for members of teachers unions is indeed a top Democratic priority. That’s why $10 billion of the bill’s funding is allocated to education, and the money comes with strings that will multiply the benefits for this core Obama constituency. Specifically, the bill stipulates that federal funds must supplement, not replace, state spending on education. Also, in each state, next year’s spending on elementary and secondary education as a percentage of total state revenues must be equal to or greater than the previous year’s level.”

The WSJ editors write, “Keep in mind that this teacher bailout also amounts to a huge contribution by Democrats to their own election campaigns. The National Right to Work Committee estimates that two of every three teachers belong to unions. The average union dues payment varies, but a reasonable estimate is that between 1% and 1.5% of teacher salaries goes to dues. The National Education Association and other unions will thus get as much as $100 million in additional dues from this bill, much of which will flow immediately to endangered Democratic candidates in competitive House and Senate races this year.”

“So,” the WSJ editors summarize, “in the name of still another ‘stimulus,’ Democrats are rewarding their own political funders, putting the most fiscally responsible states into even greater distress, and postponing the day of reckoning for spendthrift states.”

It’s precisely this kind of behavior that’s resulted in stunningly low approval ratings of the Democrat-run Congress. In a poll today, Gallup finds only 19% approve of the job the Democrat-led Congress is doing, while a whopping 75% disapprove. Gallup notes, “Congress’ average approval rating thus far in 2010 is 20% — down from 30% in 2009, the first year of the 111th  Congress. This year’s average easily trails the 36% average approval Gallup has recorded for Congress since the measure was established in 1974, and is the lowest seen in any midterm congressional election year since then.”

“The persistently low approval of Congress this year is a strong signal of public discontent with the legislative branch,” Gallup writes. And now Democrats have yet another expensive piece of legislation to defend to their constituents who don’t belong to teachers unions.

Related:

Rasmussen Reports: 57% of Likely Voters Describe Democratic Congressional Agenda As Extreme

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