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Home Publications Blogs Beat the Press Michael Gerson Makes It Up To Go After Public Sector Unions

Michael Gerson Makes It Up To Go After Public Sector Unions

Tuesday, 22 February 2011 17:14

On the Washington Post opinion pages you can make up anything you like as long as you are using it in an argument against working people. Therefore we get columnist Michael Gerson telling readers that:

"public employee unions have the unique power to help pick pliant negotiating partners - by using compulsory dues to elect friendly politicians."

Nope, that is not true in this country. Unions are prohibited from using dues to pay for campaign contributions. (If Mr. Gerson knows of any violations of the law, I'm sure that there are many ambitious prosecutors who would be happy to hear his evidence.) Unions do make contributions to political campaigns, but these are from voluntary contributions that workers make to their union's PAC. They are not from their union dues.

As Barry Goldwater once said, "making things up in the service of the wealthy is no vice," or something like that.

Comments (6)Add Comment
written by cemmcs, February 22, 2011 4:59

As Barry Goldwater once said, "making things up in the service of the wealthy is no vice," or something like that.

written by JTM, February 22, 2011 5:21
It is of course a great affront to conservative plutocrats that anyone other than themselves might have any ability to influence elections.
Gerson Makes Up Another Mushroom Cloud - For a Class War
written by izzatzo, February 22, 2011 7:34
From the WaPo article, this quote by Gerson:
But these cuts [that affect the poor] are distractions from the problem of unsustainable entitlement obligations to the middle class and the wealthy, which threaten to eventually consume the other functions of the federal government.

From the chief speechwriter of Boy Monarch Bush who coined and injected the phrase 'mushroom cloud' into the MSM lexicon to whip the nation into a war frenzy, it is fitting that the same Christian Manhooder now turns his Bushesque Dim Mind onto the carnage he and his Speech Mangler in Chief wrought on the nation.

Now speaking directly from his own writings without the Wired Dumb Waiter in between him and his audience, Gerson lumps the middle class and wealthy into one class ... posed against the poor who can't defend themselves ... against the politically armed government employees [and by implication their wealthy comrades] who can.

Extremism in the defense of liberty may be no vice, but in order to have a mushroom cloud and another one of Gerson's wars, there must be two opposing sides and rest assured, the wealthy and the middle class are not on the same side in this war ... much less against the poor as the ghost enemy.

Current events don't lend themselves to the Panty Waste Teabagger Tough Talk Mr Gerson is accustomed to dishing out via the Chief Mangler. That dog don't hunt no more.
Barry Goldwater
written by bobbyp, February 22, 2011 9:31
Extremism in the defense of vice is no liberty,
and justice in the pursuit of moderation is not virtue.

Let it never be said that a letter from the CEO soliciting campaign contributions did not make the executive suite shake, nor the dunning of corporate revenues for bribery, extortion, and undue influence did not meet with enthusiastic shareholder approval.
written by David, February 23, 2011 8:31
Is it not true that unions can make "soft money" contributions from their own accounts?
written by Jeff Z, February 23, 2011 9:56
Even if they can, this whole issue is a distraction to get the public to stop thinking about the corruption that will occur (or has occurred) in the corporate sector with corporate PACs, whose pool of funds outweighs anything the unions have ever put together.

The incentives built into the system at this moment foster gobs of rent-seeking in the financial industry and little productive activity.

Million dollar bonuses for financiers, or low five figure pension and retirement payments for teachers, nurses etc.? Like Dean said, contracts between a wealthy person and a wealthy person are sacrosanct. Contracts between firm and worker, or even government and worker, not so much. This is a real issue since defense of contracts has be used as a defense in the payout of these excessive(IMO) executive bonuses.

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About Beat the Press

Dean Baker is co-director of the Center for Economic and Policy Research in Washington, D.C. He is the author of several books, his latest being The End of Loser Liberalism: Making Markets Progressive. Read more about Dean.