Andy Stern, president of the Service Employees International Union, puts the quid pro quo in simple terms: “We spent a fortune to elect Barack Obama — $60.7 million to be exact.”
Congressional Democrats received another $68 million from unions in 2008, and $21 million more so far this year. And that doesn’t count the value of “in kind” contributions like phone banks, poll volunteers and independent advertising.
For most American workers, beginning in 2013, if your health care insurance plan is worth more than $8,900 for an individual and $24,000 for a family, that plan will be hit with a 40% excise tax. While technically the tax falls on the insurer, virtually all economists agree that the cost will be passed on to consumers in the form of higher premiums. Moreover, because the threshold for the tax is indexed to ordinary inflation rather than the higher rate of medical inflation, even if your plan doesn’t get hit today, it may well be taxed in the future.
But that won’t happen to union members. Under an agreement negotiated by the Obama administration, congressional leaders, and union bosses behind closed doors, their policies will be exempt from the tax until 2018. Plans for state and local employees would also be exempted.
That’s right: if you have two workers doing identical jobs, earning the same wages, and receiving the same insurance plan, the one who doesn’t join the union gets hit with a 40% tax; the union worker doesn’t. (continues here)