Obama's Union Bailout: A Good Crisis Going to Waste

-By Warner Todd Huston

Even the New York Times can’t ignore the fact that Obama’s latest union bailout cash isn’t going to help anyone keep their jobs, and The New York Times is really good at ignoring things that make Democrats look bad.

A few weeks ago Nancy Pelosi called the House of Representatives back into a special session because there was a crisis in education, don’t you know. It was a crisis that she didn’t want to go to waste, naturally. As Speaker of the House she had the power — one likely to evaporate with the 2010 elections — to help Barack Obama give his union pals another $26.1 billion of the taxpayer’s money and she couldn’t resist the urge to fill pockets with other’s people’s money at least one more time. Early in August, Pelosi triumphantly announced on her Twitter feed, “I will be calling the House back into session early next week to save teachers’ jobs and help seniors & children.”

We’re helping old people, it’s for the children, we are saving teacher’s jobs. It’s a crisis that we can’t ignore, darn it! Yes, Rahm, it’s also a crisis that we can’t let go to waste.

So pass it Pelosi did. Now the feds are sending an additional $26.1 billion to “help” the aged, to save the children and to “save” teachers from being fired.

Only we aren’t. At least we aren’t saving many teacher’s jobs for according to the NYT in most cases those that have been fired will stay fired and those that have been fired won’t be rehired.

One problem with this bailout is that the money won’t be ready for distribution until well into September, up to a month after many schools have already resumed for the new semester. And even for those that won’t have started school yet, administrations are reluctant to just willy-nilly start rehiring teachers that they won’t be able to continue paying after the bailout money runs out next year.

Many administrations just don’t see the point of merely putting off the agony for a single season. School administrators are saying that they see big deficits looming for next year’s budget, so they’d rather save the bailout cash for next year instead of rehiring teachers this year. And administrators also know that the money they’ve been used to so liberally spreading around is not going to be there next year.

“It’s a real double-edged sword,” Michael Drewniak, a spokesman for New Jersey Governor Chris Christie ,told the Times. “This money will not be there next year, and we’re not going to get back up to the funding that they had previously been used to.”

It is not much different in California.

“We’re also looking at a pretty bad budget, so we may decide to hold all or some of the money for the next year,” said Steve Horowitz, assistant superintendent of personnel services at the Pomona Unified School District. He added that the money might be used for bus drivers or custodians, or to roll back five furlough days for teachers.

Unassailable logic that.

So, as it happens this newest gigantic bailout is not going to save any teachers jobs, it is not going to go to re-hire recently laid off teachers, and further more it will just be used by school administrators to pad their budgets for next year causing them to put off the sort of budget reassessments that are much needed.

So why was this done? Because they unions told Pelosi that if she didn’t give them this $26.1 billion bailout they might not work so hard for Democrats in this 2010 election cycle.

Just picture the scene: a thick lipped, broken nosed union “organizer” arrives in Pelosi’s Capitol Hill offices and says something like, “I’d sure hate to see youse guys lose dis election, wouldn’t youse? Gee, it might be swell if we got about $26.1 billion in an envelope this month to help us decide if we’s gunna help youse win, eh? I tink you know what I mean?”

So, to the tune of the Sopranos theme song, Pelosi dutifully fired up her Twitter feed and began stuffing envelopes with your cash.

What a racket, eh?

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