Going to extremes

A press release from the Teamsters Union arrived in our offices on Friday:

“Teamsters Protest U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s Extreme Agenda

“WASHINGTON, Oct. 30 — Teamsters General President Jim Hoffa today criticized the U.S. Chamber of Commerce for a failed policy agenda that has hurt working families.

“Members of the Teamsters Union today demonstrated their opposition to the Chamber’s extreme positions on climate change, health care reform, financial re-regulation, and workers’ rights. They joined members of other unions and progressive groups at a rally outside the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s convention in Philadelphia,” the press release continued.

“‘The Chamber’s support of tax cuts, deregulation, bad trade deals and corporate welfare has resulted in economic disaster,’ Hoffa said.”

The union is free to oppose the political stances of the chamber to its heart’s content. “Corporate welfare” is a perfectly sound target, as are “bad trade deals” — unless by that the union means free trade, which has enriched the world beyond measure.

What’s not clear is how it represents the interests of hard-working Americans to promote an extreme and partisan agenda that can’t help but cripple the American economy, thus driving more jobs overseas.

How is it “extreme” to worry about the potentially devastating impact of new taxes justified as “fighting man-made global warming,” when no one can explain how vastly driving up our energy costs is going to do anything but drive us back into depression?

How will it help unionized “working families” to impose mediocre universal medical care, while banning or heavily taxing the superior medical benefits which unions have managed to negotiate for their members?

And when did it become “extreme” in America to oppose even higher taxes? Around the time the total tax load on the average working man passed 50 percent — the amount the ancient Greeks used to tax their Helot slaves?

Back in the days when George Meany ran the (far larger than today’s) AFL-CIO, he was adamant that the unions should not chain themselves to any political party, but throw their support to whichever party promised to do more to improve the economy and help the working man.

Instead, unions like the Teamsters today insist on dragging their members along, like a whale boat racing behind Moby Dick, joining their fate to that of the depraved modern Ahab known as the Democratic Party.

While branding any who caution against this mad sleigh ride as “extremists.”

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