Michelle Malkin has a new piece exposing disgraced Obama administration green jobs czar Van Jones’ latest attempt to advocate for policies that tilt the scales for construction workers with union cards when competing for federal construction.
Here are the highlights with our emphasis added:
The problem, posits [Van] Jones, is that his fellow community organizer in the White House hasn’t spent enough, regulated enough or taxed enough to achieve their perverse version of the “American Dream.” What the country needs to “get the economy back on track,” according to Jones and his league of leftists, is more government-created make-work. Oh, and a hefty side of Big Labor pork.
Jones recently teamed up with George Soros-funded retread MoveOn.org, Democratic Rep. Jan Schakowsky of Illinois, the AFL-CIO and Service Employees International Union to launch a “Rebuild the Dream” movement. Borrowing a yellowed page from has-been GOP House Speaker Newt Gingrich, Jones and Company this week released their own “contract” to solve the “jobs crisis.” The top two agenda items in this not-so-new contract echo Obama’s longstanding calls for: 1) multibillion-dollar “investments” in America’s infrastructure (see my column last week on the White House’s renewed push for a government-supported infrastructure bank) and 2) “21st-century energy jobs” (which Obama claims he is creating this week by forcing tightened fuel efficiency standards down automakers’ throats).
The supposedly visionary document is a carbon copy of standard Democratic talking points. It’s the same old, same old with a dash of Jones’ swagger on top for flavor.
Jones’ Contract for the American Dream laments: “Our workers are sitting idle, while the work of rebuilding America goes undone.” Obama issued the same lament last September: “It doesn’t do anybody any good when so many hardworking Americans have been idled for months, even years, at a time when there is so much of America that needs rebuilding.”
But the AFL-CIO and SEIU bigwigs to whom both Jones and Obama are beholden stubbornly oppose putting a vast population of hardworking, nonunion Americans back to work. Keep in mind: Through anti-competitive “project labor agreements” enforced by White House executive order, private contractors bidding on public infrastructure projects are required to hand over exclusive bargaining control; to pay inflated, above-market wages and benefits; and to fork over dues money and pension funding to corrupt, cash-starved labor organizations. These PLAs undermine a fair bidding process on projects that locked-out, nonunion laborers are funding with their own tax dollars. And they benefit the privileged few at the expense of the vast majority: In the construction industry, 85 percent of the workforce is nonunion by choice.
The unemployment rate for the construction industry has been in double digits for years, reaching as high as nearly 25 percent last year. While construction unemployment is down to 13.6 percent, it is still approximately 50 percent higher than the unemployment rate for all industries.
The bottom line is that now is the worst possible time for the Obama administration and other ideologues to play politics with the construction industry. Lawmakers need to adopt pro-growth policies that give all construction firms and their workers the opportunity to win projects funded by their own tax dollars – regardless of whether the workers have union cards.
(Van Jones at Power Shift 2009 in Washington, DC)