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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