Government unions ask us to sacrifice Reply


By Tom Quiner

Here’s what I said on my recent post titled, A Tale of Two Protests:

“Something’s wrong when public employee unions donate lavishly to one political party, the one that keeps the perks and jobs flowing for these unions, while the rest of America sacrifices and suffers.”

Here’s a response I received back:

“I agree with you on this, but it was my impression that you felt that there shouldn’t be limitations on PAC contributions, plus you agreed with the Supreme Court’s ruling that there shouldn’t be limitations on what corporations or any private group can spend to influence people or politicians. Isn’t this just what the public employee unions are doing? Exerting their constitutional right to overly influence our politicians?”

My response:  Yes, that is what they’re doing, and I support their right to make PAC contributions without limit.

Having said that, it’s time for push back.

Here’s the dynamic at work:  unionized private companies can’t compete as well with their non-unionized counterparts.  For example, Honda and Toyota increased jobs as General Motors and Chrysler shed jobs.

Unions have successfully organized government workers because government has two huge advantages:  there’s no competition and they never go out of business.

They lobby for higher taxes and increased government spending to pay for their growing perks.

I reiterate:  there is some top notch talent working for government at different levels.  But the recession we’re in shows how out of whack things have gotten:

• Total union compensation grew twice as fast as the private sector’s last year (2.4 vs. 1.2 percent).

• The average state or local government employee earns $39.83 an hours in wages and benefits compared to $27.49 an hour in the private sector (according to U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics).

• More than 80 percent of state and local workers have pensions while just half of private-sector workers do.

As the Heritage Foundation shows in the chart below, unionized government employees now exceed private union members:

Union dollars pour into the coffers of the Democratic Party.  Democrats are beholden to these unions and have aggressively shifted our tax dollars into government worker’s paychecks,

If you’re okay with this, vote Democrat.

If you’re not, write a letter to the editor or get people to this blog.

If you’re not, donate a few bucks to a PAC that calls for sanity in government spending.

If you’re not, vote for someone else.  It may be a Republican.  But if you do vote for a Republican, make it clear that you demand fiscal accountability.  That includes leveling the playing the field between public and private sector employees.

Government employees work for us, not the other way around.

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Why we need to pass “A Woman’s Right to Know” Legislation Reply


By Tom Quiner

“What’s a fetus?”

That was the question posed by the young woman to an employee of Planned Parenthood.  She asked because she was six to eight weeks pregnant.

Here is what Planned Parenthood told her:

“The fetus is the developing embryo inside of you.  But at this point, there’s nothing developed at all.  There’s no legs.  No arms.  No head.  No brain.  No heart.  At this point, it’s just the embryo itself.”

The Planned Parenthood employee went on to tell the pregnant girl that raising a baby is expensive.  She suggested abortion is the cost-effective solution.

And then she says that if someone is truly against abortion, they should be willing to take in all of these ‘aborted’ children and raise them themselves.

These are direct quotes taken from an undercover video at a Planned Parenthood clinic in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.  The video was shot by Live Action Films.

To clarify:  The fetus does have a head.  It does have a brain.  It does have arms.  It does have a heart.  It does have legs.

The Planned Parenthood employee was either misinformed or chose to be untruthful.

To clarify:  Approximately 555,000 married American couples seek to adopt.  But only 22,000 infants are adopted.  These stats come from the National Council for Adoption.

The Planned Parenthood employee was either misinformed or chose to be untruthful.

Take a few minutes and watch the film below.

I wrote a piece that appeared in the Des Moines Register on Super Bowl Sunday.  You’ll find the column below.

It expressed my concerns on the high abortion rate in the African-American community.

It expressed my advocacy for passage of “The Woman’s Right to Know” legislation.

This type of legislation requires women to undergo an ultrasound and listen to a detailed description of the fetus before getting an abortion.

Such legislation was passed in Oklahoma.  The Center for Reproductive Rights, a pro-abortion group, is aghast.  They say the law forces women to hear about information that is irrelevant to her medical care, like does the fetus have a heart, a brain, arms, and legs.

Evidence of the fetus’ humanity is irrelevant to pro abortion groups.  However, this kind of evidence is apparently very important to pregnant women.  Among women planning an abortion, nine out of ten who view an ultrasound of the baby in their womb change their mind.  The sight of an object with arms, legs, and a head opens their minds and hearts to the reality that they carry a person in their womb, not a blob of formless cells.

After the column below appeared in the Des Moines Register, a Planned Parenthood spokesperson responded as follows:  “Suggesting that the Women’s Right to Know Act would help reduce abortion in the African-American community is insulting. That implies that women of color are incapable of or unable to make this very personal, difficult decision. In reality, this bill is designed to shame women, to intimidate them when they are in a vulnerable situation.”

The video above says it all.  Planned Parenthood personnel may not always be trustworthy with the facts about the fetus.  They insult their clients (regardless of their color) by withholding critical information on the most important decision a woman will ever make:  whether or not to terminate the life of the baby in her womb.

In fact, withholding information of this nature is more than an insult, it is criminal.

Peggy Hamill, State Director of Pro Life Wisconsin, knows how important accurate information is to pregnant women:

“As a sidewalk counselor at Milwaukee Planned Parenthoods, I have had post-abortion women fall apart in my arms, sobbing, immediately regretting their abortions. Nothing can prepare a woman for an abortion.  This new footage reconfirms that Planned Parenthood is not providing women with complete, accurate medical information about their developing baby, much less the after effects of the abortion ‘procedure.'”

A Woman’s Right to Know legislation is a compassionate way to stem the abortion epidemic that particularly afflicts the African-American community.  Yes, it would impact Planned Parenthood’s profits.  Perhaps that’s why they’re so opposed to this type of legislation.

Encourage legislators in your state to pass A Women’s Right to Know bill next session.  Do it in the name of compassion.

Does Black Genocide Matter? 3


By Tom Quiner

As seen in the Des Moines Register on February 7, 2010

One out of two African-American pregnancies end in abortion.

Does it matter?

I was advised by a voice I respect that I’m walking into a minefield, that perhaps a white guy shouldn’t be writing about black abortion.  I drove out to the Maple Street Baptist Church to ask Reverend Keith Ratliff about it.

Reverend Ratliff, who is African-American, said “any caring individual has a right to write about life.”  Even more, he characterized abortion as a “silent genocide” in the African-American community.

Blacks represent twelve percent of the population, but account for 36% of all abortions.  He told me abortion is the biggest killer in the African-American community, topping cancer, heart disease, AIDs, and homicide.

Why talk about black abortion today?  Here’s why:  this is Black History Month.  It’s a fair bet our schools aren’t going to talk about it.  After all, they had a chance to hear about it a couple of years ago when Dr. Alveda King visited Des Moines.  Dr. King is Martin Luther King’s niece.  She speaks out nationally on the impact abortion is having on the African-American community.  Roosevelt High School, which had invited her to Des Moines to speak, rescinded the invite.

Her topic evidently isn’t a fit subject for public schools.

I ask again, does it matter?

After all, a revered woman influenced the world with these words: “It is a vicious cycle; ignorance breeds poverty and poverty breeds ignorance. There is only one cure for both, and that is to stop breeding these things. Stop bringing to birth children whose inheritance cannot be one of health or intelligence. Stop bringing into the world children whose parents cannot provide for them.”

Yes, Margaret Sanger’s legacy is alive today.  Her organization, Planned Parenthood, has built clinics in inner cities throughout America with much support from our political establishment.  In fact, Reverend Ratliff says 78 percent of PP clinics are in minority neighborhoods.  Although they can’t be credited with performing all of the 650,000 annual abortions being performed on the African-American unborn, they have the lion’s share of the market.  At $450 per abortion, the African American community accounts for nearly $300 million a year in revenue for Planned Parenthood and other abortion providers.

Abortion is big business.

Its impact is measurable.  The total fertility rate for the African-American community has dropped well below the replacement rate of 2.1, down to 1.97.

An important part of our American community is dying off in what is characterized as genocide by some in the black community, to the financial benefit of others.

Today is Super Bowl Sunday.  Focus on the Family is running a controversial Super Bowl ad that celebrates the life of Heisman Trophy winner, Tim Tebow.  His Mom was faced with a tough choice when she carried Tim in her womb.  Her doctor encouraged her to abort because of health risks she faced.  She chose life.

Today’s Super Bowl ad is dangerous.  It humanizes “choice.”  Women’s groups are outraged and demand that CBS drop the ad.  Erin Mattson, VP for the National Organization for Women (NOW) said “This ad is hate masquerading as love.”

Try to follow that logic on that one.  Here is the ad that appeared on Super Sunday:

The solution to abortion is education according to Reverend Ratliff.  Here in Iowa, our legislature has attempted to do just that with the “Woman’s Right to Know Act.”  This bill requires an informed consent before an abortion takes place.  It includes the opportunity for a woman to view an ultrasound of her fetus.

Something amazing happens when the mother views her fetus:  it turns into a person.  It turns into a she, instead of an “it”.  Nine out of ten moms change their mind and don’t have the abortion after viewing this ultrasound.  She chooses life, just as Tim Tebow’s mom did.

Isn’t that what our President wants, for abortion to be legal, but rare?

Dehumanizing slavery was a tragic chapter in the history of Black America.  Dehumanizing abortion is our current history.

If this matters to you, ask your legislators to let the Woman’s Right to Know Act come to the floor for a vote.

If this doesn’t matter to you, I ask why?

A Tale of Two Protests Reply


Riots broke out in Greece as their lawmakers approved austerity cuts for their profligate government.

Who are their rioters?  Tens of thousands of civil servants.  They turned violent in the face of cuts that will affect their pocket books.  These government workers live well.  After 35 years of government service, they can retire at 80 percent of their highest salary.  They enjoy Cadillac health plans, vacations, and other perks that their private sector counterparts, who foot the bill, don’t.

Greece was forced to make cuts in order to receive a bailout from the International Monetary Fund.  Greek was on the verge economic collapse as their government debt had climbed to 150 percent of its GDP.

Greek rioters are upset that their gravy train is coming to an end.  Can you blame them?

In the U.S., protests have broken out in the past year or so over profligate government spending.

Who are the protesters?  Regular folks.  Business owners.  Housewives.  Veterans.  They gather peacefully in cities across the country in a movement known as the “Tea Party Protests.”

Unlike the violent protesters in Greece who don’t care about their government’s debt, the Tea Party protesters care very much.  They look at how it has climbed since President Reagan left office.  In 1989, U.S. federal debt was about 52 percent of GDP.  By the end of next year, President Obama’s cumulative budget deficit will rise to an estimated level of 94 percent of GDP and climbing.

The Tea Party movement is worried about how the government spends their money.  When the recession hit, private employers shed jobs to stay afloat while state and local governments hired 110,000 new workers.

Under Obama’s budget, the federal government will increase the size of the federal workforce by 14.5 percent.

More than half of union members in the U.S. are now public employees.  They are well paid.  Federal employees earn about double what their private sector counterparts earn when you factor in salaries and benefits.

This is a serious gap between public and private employees in light of the fact that private employees are footing most of the bills.  We have some great employees working for us at the local, state, and federal levels.  But something’s wrong when private workers are losing jobs and wages and public ones aren’t.

Something’s wrong when federal employees make so much more than the working class families who pay their salaries.

Something’s wrong when public employee unions donate lavishly to one political party, the one that keeps the perks and jobs flowing for these unions, while the rest of America sacrifices and suffers.

If only Greece had their own Tea Party Movement five or ten years ago, who knows, maybe things would have turned out differently for them.

In America, the Tea Party Movement may be the only thing that saves us from a federal debt that hits 150 percent of GDP.

Who can blame the Tea Party movement for their conscientious support of fiscal sanity?  They deserve our support.

Is new banking regulation a good idea? Reply


Wall Street is bad.

New government regulation of large financial institutions is good.

Right?

Not so fast.  Government’s expanded reach into our financial lives has consequences, and some of them are bad.  Before we increase the power of government even more over our economic lives, I encourage you to read the guest column that follows by my son, Mark Quiner.  He is a reporter in the energy industry.