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InsiderOnline Blog: February 2011

The Taxpayer-Funded Lobby for Bigger Government

What do public sector unions do with all the dues that its members are forced to pay? They lobby for more government and higher taxes. Last year alone they launched campaigns for higher taxes in Arizona, New Jersey, Oregon, and Washington State. The campaign in Oregon succeeded in raising taxes by about $727 million annually. Steve Malanga, writing in the Orange Country Register, recounts these sundry activities, noting of the Oregon effort: “Led by $2 million from the Oregon Education Association and $1.8 million from the Service Employees International Union (SEIU), unions contributed an estimated 75% of the nearly $7 million raised to promote the tax increases, according to the National Institute on Money in State Politics.” Malanga also notes:

According to the Center for Responsive Politics, the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (Afscme) has been the third-biggest contributor to federal campaigns over the past 20 years, having given $43 million. The National Education Association is number eight with $31 million in contributions, while the SEIU—half of whose 2.2 million members are government workers—is No. 10, with $29 million in campaign donations. Unlike businesses and industry groups that are also big givers but tend to split their donations between the parties, some 95% of government workers’ donations has gone to the Democratic Party, whose members are far more likely to favor raising taxes and boosting spending than are members of the Republican Party. [“Public Unions and Political Power,” Orange Country Register, Feburary 22, 2011.]

Posted on 02/22/11 04:34 PM by Alex Adrianson

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