Taxpayers are paying to shake down themselves

IRS shake downA Fairfax, Virginia advocacy group uncovered what could be termed a strange, even incestuous relationship between itself and various labor unions, and the taxpayer has been given the bill.

Americans for Limited Government recently learned through a Freedom of Information Act request that the government is paying the salaries of 35 union officials at the Department of Transportation, primarily air traffic controllers. The total amount in salaries paid is $4.8 million for an average of $137, 142.

Although footed by the federal government — read the American taxpayer — these 35 employees work exclusively for their respective union, including the National Air Traffic Controllers Association and the Professional Aviation Safety Specialists.

The taxpayer receives nothing of value in return for their services — in fact, they’re working at odds against the taxpayer. As opined in an Investors Business Daily editorial, “taxpayers are actually paying for union efforts to shake down taxpayers for ever higher salaries and benefits for government workers.”

And how are air traffic controllers making out? According the the Heritage Foundation, they’re earning well over $100,000 and will average $200,000 within the next five years. Compare that to other DOT employees who average $70,000, and the U.S. average of roughly $50,000.

Government employees aren’t the only beneficiaries. According to a Wall Street Journal report, at the last election the National Air Traffic Controllers Association quietly delivered $1.5 million to pro-Democrat super-PACs and an additional $3.1 to candidates directly, mostly Democrats.

Although NATCA has only 20,000 members, their’s was the second-highest union contribution made. Service Employees International Union, unsurprisingly, topped the list, but it took its 2.1 million membership list to do it.

Taken together, President Barack Obama is the ultimate beneficiary. The Journal article noted that the president gave the nod to salary increases for these union officials.

Read more at Investors Business Daily.

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About Michael Dorstewitz

Mike has been with BizPac Review almost from the beginning. Follow him on Twitter at @MikeBPR.

  • Chuck

    WTF….Is there anyone in Government that is not a fucking crook or criminal? Who the hell do these God Damn Politicians think they are? We need TRANSPARENCY IN GOVERNMENT. This is totally out of control.

  • KB Cook

    Boy oh boy, Mike. You certainly know how to make one's day! And Vladimir [Lenin] was correct when he said: "Trade Unions are a school for Communism." And the beat goes on…..

  • seazen

    Yeah, let's not pay the ATC folks too much. What do they do that adds little to our safety. Any idiot could look at those screens and tell pilots, who also make too much money, to turn left and right and go higher or lower. Lawyers, accountants, bankers, and real estate developers are the ones who deserve to make the big bucks. Air Traffic Controllers should be making no more than minimum wage for sitting around all day looking at computer screens. I say fire them all. We can just drive.

  • Wayne

    Actually, the article isn't attacking the salaries of air traffic controllers, as you seem to be (unsuccessfully) implying. It's questioning the practice of the government of paying individuals whose SOLE duty is conducting union business for these air traffic controllers. And since a good many controllers make six figure salaries, they're hardly in any danger of coming close to minimum wage salaries. The thrust of the article is the vicious circle that has been set up, where public funds are re-circulated through PAC to public officials, who increase salaries so more funds can be re-circulated ad infinitum ad nauseum.