Tuesday, March 30, 2004

Image Making

In response to a lawsuit filed by the Campaign for Fiscal Equity (CFE), the state of New York must come-up with billions more in education spending in order to insure a “sound basic education”. According to an independent study financed by the CFE, a union-backed coalition of education advocates, $10 billion in additional spending is needed to secure this “sound basic education. (Should we question whether a study funded by an advocacy group could be “independent”?)

In the 2002 gubernatorial election, Dennis Rivera, the head of the Service Employees International Union (SEIU), secured a commitment of $3 billion more in healthcare spending in exchange for endorsing Governor George Pataki. Mr. Rivera recently proposed a new tax of $3,000 per employee on employers who do not offer health insurance to its employees. The proceeds of these would be used to fund more healthcare spending from which his SEIU members would benefit.

What does either of these groups, CFE and SEIU, have to do with anything other than a demonstration that those who advocate more and “better” education and healthcare initiatives are determinedly self-interested? Both are the natural financial backers of the Democratic Party (Yes, Gov. Pataki is a Republican, but fiscal constraint is a disqualifier for elected office in New York.)

What does this mean? It means both groups can be relied upon to spend money to get politicians elected who promise to spend more tax revenue on their particular interests. The money to do this is funded by their members’ dues whose salaries are funded via taxes upon the general population.

So in a twist worthy of chocking a President, these self-interested public advocacy groups use everyone’s taxes to lobby for an even bigger piece of everyone else’s income. (And CFE just recently filed to have the taxpayer pick-up the $20 million it spent to “win” the lawsuit.)

Whilst Republicans may never shed their image of being too close to business, I’d rather stand on that side than on the side where the Democrats reside as willing fops for those groups who seek to devour more and more tax revenue.

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