Since my recent installment on Rick Santorum’s astonishing betrayal of blue-collar Americans when he worked to defeat the national Right-to-Work law in the Senate, much has changed. His quixotic campaign to win the nomination by appealing to a limited demographic is losing steam, and the delegate math has become practically impossible.
I don’t want to kick a guy when he’s down; truly, I think our days of writing about Santorum as an opponent are near an end.
And so, whether he elects to go gracefully or otherwise, I am inclined to write non-unpleasant things about him. I will certainly hope for him to assume a more positive and productive role in the battle for the White House, which he can still do.
But before his campaign fades into memory, his record points up a very important fact that absolutely must be aired before we all move on – especially in Wisconsin, which is Ground Zero for union influence over politics and political fundraising right now. Let this serve as a cautionary tale for other Republican office-holders who may get confused from time to time about “how things work.”
To recap the earlier post: Rick Santorum’s Senate votes against right-to-work legislation and for Davis-Bacon wages hurt both workers and taxpayers.
His vote to scuttle the national Right-to-Work bill effectively abandoned many American workers to “closed shops,” where they are forced to pay a portion of their hard-earned wages to union bosses who are neither truly accountable to them nor particularly interested in their workplace issues. Instead, large chunks of those forcibly-collected dues go to fund far-left politicians and radical social agendas.
His vote to perpetuate the pro-union Davis-Bacon Act ensured that American taxpayers frequently pay much more for goods and services than other consumers, adding to our rising deficits and soaring debt. More importantly, it has also pushed scores of American manufacturing jobs overseas to lower-cost countries. Sadly, as I reported in the earlier missive, even uber-liberal San Francisco is buying steel and having major portions of its new Bay Bridge manufactured in China (“Bridge Comes to San Francisco With a Made-in-China Label,” New York Times 6/25/11).
So if you’re a middle-class wage-earner stuck paying union dues, Santorum’s pro-union actions have picked your pocket not once but twice: first, when union dues were forcibly deducted from your paycheck, and again when your taxes went up to pay for bloated federal projects – all so that Rick could stay in the good graces of labor bosses in his home state of Pennsylvania. And if you’re one of the unfortunate many who have lost jobs in the manufacturing sector to overseas competition, well, Santorum’s fingerprints are on that one, too.
But there is a far more important – and much more disturbing – aspect of Santorum’s historical allegiance to Big Labor that needs to be dragged out into the light.
The Right-to-Work bill he defeated would have struck a profound and lasting blow for conservative principles in America. How? By significantly (more…)