Word of the Day – February 11, 2009

Word of the Day
Creave – To pilfer stealthfully.
Thomas Darlington’s The Folk-Speech of South Cheshire, 1887

  • “Fair Share” is forced unionism. It forces non-union employees to pay dues to an organization that not only do not belong but also one that may disagree with substantially on political and social issues.
  • A representative from SEIU told the Des Moines Register last week that the forced union dues won’t go to cover their costs associated with represented non-union members but instead will go to increased organizing and recruiting.
  • Why is organized labor so intent on pushing through forced unionism? The answer lies with the U.S. Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics. The BLS reported on January 28 that over the last 25 years union members has declined from 20.1 percent in 1983 to 12.4 percent in 2008.
  • “Fair Share” isn’t fair, it is a big union bailout. Unions are failing to retain and grow membership on their own so they are turning to their political allies in the Legislature to save them.
  • There are about 28,000 non-union public employees in Iowa. If forced union dues are conservatively estimated to be about $500 per year, then the unions stand to collect about $14 million for their political coffers if “Fair Share” is enacted.

  • A 2007 Fiscal Note from the nonpartisan Legislative Services Agency stated that a prevailing wage law will force the state to hire 17 new employees and cost almost $1.4 million.
  • The same Fiscal Note estimated that project costs would increase 10 percent to 12 percent increase due to prevailing wage.
  • Prevailing wage laws negative economic impact derives not from requiring union rates, but from requiring rates higher than the free market would offer.
  • There are 18 states without prevailing wage laws and there are construction workers and even union contractors operating successfully in those states.
  • Nonunion firms have been more successful on projects because of their ability to defray costs and diversify job skills versus union models which restrict tasks union employees can perform.
  • The last state to pass prevailing wage legislation was Minnesota, in 1973. Nine states have since repealed their laws, including Ohio. When Ohio repealed the prevailing wage for school construction, the projects saw a 10 percent reduction in project costs.
  • The Governor claims that he is not raising taxes and yet his budget will increase property taxes and taxes on Iowa’s businesses. House Republicans will for alternatives to raising taxes.
  • House Republicans will challenge any attempt to raise taxes on Iowa families or businesses during these tough economic times.
  • Instead of ordering an across the board budget cut, House Republicans would rather examine the budget line by line and protect the areas that are successful and eliminate the programs that are failures.
  • As we comb through the details, we will make public our concerns about what we uncover. Republicans look forward to a bipartisan and open discussion with the governor and Democrats.
  • House Republicans are concerned about using $200 million from the Cash Reserve Fund to balance the budget. It is unwise to blow our savings account as act of first resort instead of last resort.
  • Republicans are skeptical of the governor’s request to borrow more money through bonding. Borrowing money after you’ve already spent too much is the exact cause of the national financial meltdown.
  • Republicans believe the Governor and Legislature should accept our share of the blame for the fiscal mess the state is experiencing. It is not the fault of misguided federal policies, greedy Wall Street bankers or the natural disasters. We must be clear– when we left last May we had already had built ourselves a $563 million shortfall. We now face a $779 million shortfall. Most of the shortfall was caused by a lack of discipline and a failure of duties with Iowans’ dollars not by Washington or Wall Street or natural disasters.
  • We cannot rely on the federal government to bail us out. It’s time to take responsibility for our share of the financial mess. Republicans will dive into budgets to find savings and bring truth and transparency to state government.

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