Monday, December 13, 2010

Republican Governors Challenge The One

The Republican Governor-elect of South Carolina, Mama Grizzly Nikki Haley, asked for the repeal of ObamaCare, and its unfunded mandates on the states.

In the most dramatic moment, Haley asked Obama to repeal the landmark health insurance bill he signed into law in March after Congress passed it with only three Republican votes in the Senate and none in the House.

"I said the people of South Carolina and the small businesses of South Carolina cannot afford the mandated health care law they had passed," Haley recalled after the meeting.

"I told him that our economy is already in a tough spot, and our budget cannot sustain the mandate."

You can read that back and forth. Then this:

Haley's exchange with Obama on the Yucca Mountain nuclear waste dump was less complicated.

"The taxpayers of South Carolina have paid $1.2 billion to [develop a plan] to send our nuclear waste to Yucca Mountain," she said.

"I asked him if he would consider honoring the federal commitment and allow waste to go to Yucca Mountain. His answer was no.

"He went on to the fact that they feel like they had safety concerns. He was pretty adamant that was not an option that was on the table."

Haley then made a direct demand.

"Then give us our money back," she told Obama.

"He said that he would have [Energy] Secretary Chu call me."

Give us our money back. I like that. Demanding accountability from the federal government. What a concept. HT DC Examiner.

Another new GOP governor making waves, Scott Walker of Wisconsin.

Wisconsin Governor-elect Scott Walker has laid out an ambitious agenda, such as turning the department of commerce into a public-private partnership and lifting the cap on school vouchers. But his boldest idea may be rescinding the right of government employees to collectively bargain.

Mr. Walker floated the idea last week in response to union opposition to his modest proposal to require employees to contribute 5% of their pay to their pensions and to increase their health-care contributions to 12% from as low as 4% today. Even along the Left Coast most state workers contribute 10% of their salary to pensions. The Republican estimates that these changes would save the state $154 million in the first six months. Over two years they'd reduce the state's $3.3 billion budget gap by nearly 20%.

This strikes at the core of Democrat party support, but as the Journal points out has been a catastrophe for taxpayers.

Twelve states including North Carolina and Virginia don't allow government workers collective bargaining rights, and another 12 allow it only for some unions. These states by and large have managed to hold down their pension liabilities better than have those where public employee unions essentially run the government—see Illinois, New Jersey and California.
In an Op-Ed today, Government Unions vs. Taxpayers The moral case for unions—protecting working families from exploitation—does not apply to public employment, outgoing Minnesota governor and presumed 2012 GOP presidential candidate Tim Pawlenty calls this kind of political collusion and corruption of the democratic process a silent coup.

When Americans think of organized labor, they might think of images like I saw growing up in a blue-collar meatpacking town: hard hats, work boots, tough conditions and gritty jobs. While I didn't work in the slaughterhouses, I did become a union member when I worked at a grocery store to help put myself through school. I was grateful for the paycheck and proud of the work I did.

The rise of the labor movement in the early 20th century was a triumph for America's working class. In an era of deep economic anxiety, unions stood up for hard-working but vulnerable families, protecting them from physical and economic exploitation.

Much has changed. The majority of union members today no longer work in construction, manufacturing or "strong back" jobs. They work for government, which, thanks to President Obama, has become the only booming "industry" left in our economy. Since January 2008 the private sector has lost nearly eight million jobs while local, state and federal governments added 590,000.

Taxed to oblivion, jobs are leaving and states like Illinois are essentially bankrupt, along with California (article includes above chart) now led by a feckless Dem governor--they're going to want a bailout from the feds. But as we know, for every dollar we spend we're borrowing a huge slug of it--piling up more and more debt for future generations.

No more bailouts.

If this isn't dealt with it will be an issue for 2012.

Related. Middle America's Economic Woes

More. Michael Barone:
The template for the Obama Democrats' policies, the New Deal of the 1930s, was not designed to stimulate economic growth, but to freeze in place a tolerable but not dynamic status quo.

The New Deal's father, Franklin Roosevelt, believed that the era of economic growth was over, just as many contemporaries believed that technological progress was at an end (how far could you go beyond the radio and the refrigerator?). FDR, like his cousin Theodore, was an affluent heir who had contempt for men who built businesses and made money. They were "economic royalists" and "malefactors of great wealth" -- sentiments echoed by Barack Obama last week.

Rather they are on the whole gifted minds and generous creators of wealth, jobs and human progress.

Related posts: Winning Women, The Wrath of The One, Calling out Collar County Women

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