Obama appoints SEIU boss to Deficit Commission

posted at 12:15 pm on February 26, 2010 by Ed Morrissey

Perhaps Barack Obama picked Andy Stern for his bipartisan commission on the federal deficit just to get Stern out of the White House.  After all, Obama may be getting tired of Stern’s weekly visits, but that hardly qualifies the SEIU chief to sit on a panel to make hard choices on federal budgeting.  And with Stern on the panel, we can already guess how many job-cutting initiatives this panel will produce:

Honeywell International Inc. Chief Executive Officer David Cote and former Federal Reserve Vice Chairman Alice Rivlin were named by President Barack Obama today to serve on a commission on cutting the federal deficit.

The president also appointed Andy Stern, president of the Service Employees International Union, and former Young & Rubicam Brands CEO Ann Fudge for the panel, to serve on the panel. …

Obama last week named former Democratic White House official Erskine Bowles and former Wyoming Republican Senator Alan Simpson as co-chairmen of the commission. The White House appointees will be joined by 12 other panel members chosen by Democratic and Republican leaders in the House and Senate.

The 18-member National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility was created by Obama to come up with recommendations for steps to reduce the federal deficit, which is forecast to hit a record $1.6 trillion this year. The budget shortfall may be an issue in November elections that will determine control of Congress.

Alice Rivlin is also a big donor to Democrats.  In the present and previous cycle, the Brookings Institute economist donated over $47,000 to various Democrats.  For that matter, so is Ann Fudge, who gave over $36,000.  In contrast, Stern gave less than $6,000.  (Cote only made one donation to a partisan recipient, a Republican, for $1000.)  Is this change we can believe in?

But the larger problem is that Stern represents the problem that Congress faces in making tough budget decisions — not the solution.  He has a vested interest in keeping federal employees on the job, as his union mainly represents public-sector workers.  If this budget commission recommended cuts to staff, his union will lose dues — which will reduce the amount of funds available for his union to donate to Democrats.  Public-sector unions gave 89% of their donations to Democrats in 2008, and so far in this cycle, 91%.

This “bipartisan” commission looks pretty stacked to me, in favor of maintaining the status quo for public-sector growth and the flow of cash to Democratic coffers.  We can expect that this panel will recommend tax hikes in order to maintain that cash flow and to subsidize Democratic power.

Update: Rob Port connects the dots to Obama’s efforts to force government contractors into unionization.

Update II: CentristNet wonders whether marrying himself so closely to an increasingly unpopular labor movement will damage Obama even further with voters.  (Geoff tipped me to the story, and I forgot to hat-tip him on this one.  Sorry!)


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I keep thinking that Obama will eventually not be able to wade into shallower water. He continues to surprise.

percysunshine on February 26, 2010 at 1:35 PM

The Dept. of Education addresses a legitimate issue that’s coming up…People obviously want conformity of values.

AnninCA on February 26, 2010 at 12:43 PM

The Department of Education was, until foisted upon the nation by James Earl “Obama Beta 1″ Carter in 1979, a part of a larger department dedicated to socializing the nation…the old “Health, Education and Welfare” department, the very title of which is Orwellian. It might well’ve been the “Department of Sunshine and Lollipops” or the “Department of Perpetual Holidays”. That abortion was foisted on us by a Republican, of all things, in 1953, no doubt in a wave of Progressive fervor. Tip o’ the hat to Mr. Beck.

It ensured the scabrous Natiional Education Association would have a cabinet post. The Republicans have been trying to undo their Frankenstein since the ’70′s, under Reagan, and even in 2000…but, another Republican, Mr. Bush, didn’t bite…or, rather, did bite, but didn’t get rid of this putrid department.

Rereading the 10th Amendment will show any taxpayer that those things not enumerated to the Feds, like education, are the preserve of the states. The states proceed with varying success (and with varying degrees of seriousness), but without a national scapegoat to beat, they’d have to take the job more seriously.

I don’t think that people want any “conformity of values” so much as the unions want an overarching bureaucracy to ensure conformity and regularity of enforced dues payments and raw institutional power.

My own family — wife and four little’n's — have travelled quite a bit, and have been consumers of the educational product from New England to Florida to American schools overseas to Texas over the last 20 years, in addition of what little I can remember of my own schooling. Do universities nationally — those seats of pomposity — teach any “conformity of values”, or rather any conformity with the majority of the country? Or, rather, do they promulgate a lockstep conformity with the “transforming” “values” of the collectivist Left?

Schools aren’t schools unless parents have choices. Under the present regime they largely do not. So, we don’t have schools. We have factories which turn out societal products. The whims of fashion, as with automobiles, can twist and tweak the form and horsepower of those products, but essentially a ’59 Chevy, for all its fins, is nothing more than an ’09 Toyota…a car, a tool for meeting the world…except that the more modern vehicle, like the modern student, has been found to contain some potentially deadly design flaws.

Education is local, just as public policy should be, whenever and whereever possible, local.

Puritan1648 on February 26, 2010 at 1:36 PM

Soon we will become Greece if Pinnochios’ vision prevails. I have never been so sad for my country!

dhunter on February 26, 2010 at 1:35 PM

Ah, but, Greece doesn’t have our Constitutional protections. No other nation on Earth and in all of history has what we have, Patriot.

Liam on February 26, 2010 at 1:37 PM

Change the names, and you have a scene right out of “Atlas Shrugged.”

iurockhead on February 26, 2010 at 12:43 PM

Indeed.

justltl on February 26, 2010 at 1:41 PM

I feel like there’s nothing Mr. Stern can bring to the table as far as the budget deficits are concerned.

scalleywag on February 26, 2010 at 1:20 PM

WTF does Andy Stern know about deficits? He and his unions cause them.

ROCnPhilly on February 26, 2010 at 1:14 PM

Puritan1648 on February 26, 2010 at 1:43 PM

Let me guess what their conclusion will be. TAX HIKES ON THE EVIL RICH! Guess those making $100K 40K a year will be UNEXPECTEDLY astonished to find that they are of THE EVIL RICH!

GarandFan on February 26, 2010 at 12:28 PM

FIFY

kringeesmom on February 26, 2010 at 1:44 PM

It’s just one more case of a person who has no business
holding his current office appointing some who has no business
serving in that position. Sounds like GM and the NY Fed.
Think of the great stories we can tell our grandkids one day…

elderberry on February 26, 2010 at 1:46 PM

But look at how many “professors” will be out of work when they actually have to teach something.

thomasaur on February 26, 2010 at 12:54 PM

Perhaps a course in how to read an auto insurance policy?

kringeesmom on February 26, 2010 at 1:47 PM

I feel like there’s nothing Mr. Stern can bring to the table as far as the budget deficits are concerned.

scalleywag on February 26, 2010 at 1:20 PM

WTF does Andy Stern know about deficits? He and his unions cause them.

ROCnPhilly on February 26, 2010 at 1:14 PM

Apologies, all. Hit the wrong button. Put in the quote without commenting…that’s not like me….

…anyway….

*YAHTZEE!*

…the only thing Mr. Stern can bring to the table of a deficit commission is the same thing Mr. Oswald might’ve been able to bring before the Warren Commission…a smoking gun.

…Mr. Stern and his “comrades”, by and large, ARE the deficit.

Puritan1648 on February 26, 2010 at 1:47 PM

I want to ask something of the libs who troll here: Who run the unions? Aren’t they rich white guys, the same kind of people you hate while also support?

Liam on February 26, 2010 at 1:48 PM

Andy Stern on the Deficit Commission? Irony does a spit take.

SKYFOX on February 26, 2010 at 1:52 PM

100% taxation rate.
They’ll send you Obama bucks for what they think you need.

justltl on February 26, 2010 at 1:52 PM

And again, for lemonty-leventh time, I challenge any lib like Grow Fins to an open debate on the Constitution, point by point.

I prefer crr6 for that fight.

Liam on February 26, 2010 at 1:53 PM

Archimedes on February 26, 2010 at 1:17 PM

Thanks for the American Thinker link. Very interesting/eye-opening reading.

Rovin on February 26, 2010 at 1:56 PM

I cannot managed to believe this story is really real. I’m just gobsmacked. What’s next? Bernie Madoff for Fed Chairman? Cindy Sheehan for SecDef?

The only good part is that this is a clear, upfront statement that this commission has no credibility.

Splunge on February 26, 2010 at 1:58 PM

When Michelle ma belle goes to bed at night she has to move Andy and Bertha out of the way! Soon they will not let her in at all!

patriotparty1 on February 26, 2010 at 1:59 PM

Here’s another interesting link from AT.

http://www.americanthinker.com/blog/2010/02/why_do_we_call_them_public_ser.html

elderberry on February 26, 2010 at 2:07 PM

Now BO needs to appoint Dr. Francis Gallo to Supervisor of the Deficit Committee.

Wade on February 26, 2010 at 2:07 PM

The White House.

The Whore House.

fogw on February 26, 2010 at 2:09 PM

Perhaps a course in how to read an auto insurance policy?

kringeesmom on February 26, 2010 at 1:47 PM

Very good … very good! Ahh … the Dept. of Education. It’s difficult sometimes to try to discuss the failures of the Public School System, because, well, so many people are part of that system. And of course, we… people… take everything way too personally.

j_galt on February 26, 2010 at 2:32 PM

A fox in every henhouse.

curved space on February 26, 2010 at 2:38 PM

Ann Fudge sounds like John Gotti’s accountant. Obama may as well appoint her husband Cornelius Fudge as Minister of Magic.

viking01 on February 26, 2010 at 2:45 PM

I want to ask something of the libs who troll here: Who run the unions? Aren’t they rich white guys, the same kind of people you hate while also support?

Liam on February 26, 2010 at 1:48 PM

.
In addition to being rich white guys, they are most likely criminals. I contend that unions are by there very nature criminal enterprises. They gain power through extortion.

Dasher on February 26, 2010 at 2:53 PM

Ah, but, Greece doesn’t have our Constitutional protections. No other nation on Earth and in all of history has what we have, Patriot.

Liam on February 26, 2010 at 1:37 PM

Constitutional protections aren’t worth horses—t if they politicians ignore them.

gryphon202 on February 26, 2010 at 2:55 PM

You haul Sixteen Tons, whadaya get
Another day older and deeper in debt
Saint Peter don’t you call me cause I can’t go
I owe my soul to the company store China

BobMbx on February 26, 2010 at 2:55 PM

Cindy Sheehan = SecDef

BobMbx on February 26, 2010 at 2:57 PM

Very good … very good! Ahh … the Dept. of Education. It’s difficult sometimes to try to discuss the failures of the Public School System, because, well, so many people are part of that system. And of course, we… people… take everything way too personally.

j_galt on February 26, 2010 at 2:32 PM

I think we should go back to the one room schoolhouse model, where the parents get together, hire the teacher and provide the room.. Use the McGuffy Readers, the Blue Backed Speller and the library / internet and you could educate a child for pennies.

kringeesmom on February 26, 2010 at 3:14 PM

Cindy Sheehan = SecDef

BobMbx on February 26, 2010 at 2:57 PM

+5000.
We can move Eric Holder over to the CIA, Put Van Jones in as the Attny General and we will be set..

kringeesmom on February 26, 2010 at 3:16 PM

Too bad Al Capone, Karl Marx and Jimmy Hoffa are dead. They would be perfect to fill out the commission.

Star20 on February 26, 2010 at 3:51 PM

Education is local, just as public policy should be, whenever and whereever possible, local.

Puritan1648 on February 26, 2010 at 1:36 PM

+100
Every community has a right to decide what is important for their children to learn.
The Feds should have no control over any of this.
This is why school boards that run schools are made up of local community members.
These people come from all walks of life & are voted into office by the community voters.
So if you don’t like what’s going on in your school, run for office & change things.
Come to meetings & participate.
Schools do not have to take Federal $$, along with states.
They can tell the Fed to take a hike on all their stupid rules & restrictions the moment they quit taking the whore $$.
This whore $$ has ended up costing way more than anyone benefits.

Badger40 on February 26, 2010 at 4:38 PM

SEIU wins a big one in California. Andy will protect them even more in the WH.

Judge Orders Furloughs Illegal

Probably helps that the judge was a Gray Davis appointee and founder of his city’s La Raza chapter.

PattyJ on February 26, 2010 at 4:41 PM

This makes me want to vomit…

Seven Percent Solution on February 26, 2010 at 4:56 PM

While everyone is criticizing, please remember the most important thing: Ojesus is articulate and stuff!

And for the love of Pete, please, please don’t forget the crease.

hillbillyjim on February 26, 2010 at 4:58 PM

The head THUG has appointed another THUG.
Fail.

HornetSting on February 26, 2010 at 5:38 PM

It is increasingly transparent what this administration is all about, and it ain’t freedom.

I, for one, do not desire to be frog-marched toward Socialism.

hillbillyjim on February 26, 2010 at 6:04 PM

Stern should end up as Jimmah Hoffa did, feeding fish around a cement pilon

wepeople on February 26, 2010 at 7:58 PM

the only thing Mr. Stern can bring to the table of this Deficit Commission is the same thing Lee Harvey Oswald might’ve brought to the Warren Commission…a smoking gun.

Lest we forget Jamie “Smoking Gun” Gorelick on the 9-11 commission!

Pole-Cat on February 26, 2010 at 7:58 PM

Looks like Glenn Beck was right.

SoulGlo on February 27, 2010 at 7:12 AM

I worked for Cote before. He instituted a employee ranking system that mandated 10% fall into needs improvement or fails expectations which meant no raise for the year, and lots of extra work to get out of the hole.

He and Stern should get along famously!

karl9000 on February 27, 2010 at 8:40 AM

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