Commentary by Stan Greer originally published by RealClearPolicy.com and RealClearWire.com
If the majority of Americans who depend primarily on their own paychecks and those of their loved ones to cover their families’ expenses vote their pocketbooks this fall, the U.S. House and Senate allies of union-label President Joe Biden who are on the November 8 ballot will be in big trouble.
With annual consumer price inflation currently at 8.3%, compared to 1.4% in the month Biden was inaugurated, the average American wage earner has suffered a 5% cut in real pay since January 2021. That amounts to a wage decline of $2,726 a year for a full-time worker! Over the past year alone, wages have declined by 2.8%. That represents a sharp reversal from the last year of the Trump Administration, when real hourly pay grew by 3.8%.
The Biden economy has been especially challenging for young workers hoping to purchase their own homes for the first time. As this is written, the average interest rate on a 30-year home loan is over 6%, having more than doubled since Biden took office. Mortgage rates haven’t been this high in nearly a decade and a half.
The President insists that the ordinary Americans whose pay hasn’t kept up with soaring prices shouldn’t be upset with him. In a 60 Minutes interview aired September 18, Biden lectured Americans that the economic news doesn’t look so bad when put in the proper “perspective.” Year-over-year inflation is at a 40-year high, he admitted, but it isn’t getting much worse at this time!
Recent polling indicates it will be a tough sell for the President to convince the hardworking blue-collar Americans whom private-sector union bosses regard as their core constituency that the 2022 economy is really fine. That’s a key reason why, unless things change dramatically before Election Day, support for Biden’s Democrat Party among working-class voters of all races and ethnicities will be substantially lower in 2022 than it was in 2020.
But top Big Labor officials like AFL-CIO President Liz Shuler have amassed a huge political war chest to browbeat millions of forced union dues-paying workers and their spouses into supporting Biden allies in key U.S. House and Senate contests, despite workers’ well-founded perception that they are worse off now than they were under GOP President Donald Trump.
According to a recent analysis by veteran union strategist and numbers maven Chris Bohner, in 2019 and 2020 alone union officials admitted to spending more than $1.4 billion on “politics and lobbying” in the LM-2 disclosure forms they filed with the U.S. Labor Department. And even that huge sum doesn’t account for a wide array of union-boss ideological expenditures.
Implausibly attributing the opposition of blue-collar Americans to Big Labor’s favorite chief executive in decades to “misinformation and disinformation,” Shuler is vowing that her giant union conglomerate will “mobilize like never before” to elect pro-forced unionism candidates this November. That means the union machine can reasonably be expected to pour even more money into politics and lobbying in the current campaign cycle than it did in 2019-20.
Bohner’s data show there are now more than 10,000 people on union payrolls earning a gross salary of over $125,000 a year. Many if not most of these union professionals are available to do full-time political work this fall. Buttressed by an army of up to 100,000 “volunteer” activists who are in reality typically paid modest wages from union treasuries to serve as political door-knockers in battleground districts and states, they are a formidable political force.
This nationwide electioneering outfit meant to keep partisan allies of President Biden in charge of both chambers of Congress will be financed largely by forced dues and fees extracted from unionized workers who oppose Biden and want him reined in until he can be voted out.
This is a gross abuse of workers’ political freedom, which likely can only be stopped through passage of a National Right to Work law prohibiting all forced union dues and fees as a condition of employment.
Stan Greer is the National Right to Work Committee’s newsletter editor.