Tag Archives: Tom Coburn

Republicans introduce national right-to-work legislation

Sen. James Demint

From the Hill.


Eight Republican Senators introduced a bill Tuesday giving workers a choice as to whether to join labor unions, which they argue will boost the nation’s economy and provide an increase in wages.

Sen. Jim DeMint (R-S.C.), introduced the National Right to Work Act to “reduce workplace discrimination by protecting the free choice of individuals to form, join, or assist labor organizations, or to refrain from such activities,” according to a statement.

Seven other Republicans signed onto the effort: Sens. Tom Coburn (Okla.), Orrin Hatch (Utah), Mike Lee (Utah), Rand Paul (Ky.), James Risch (Idaho), Pat Toomey (Pa.) and David Vitter (La.).

“Facing a steady decline in membership, unions have turned to strong-arm political tactics to make forced unionization the default position of every American worker, even if they don’t want it,” Hatch said. “This is simply unacceptable. At the very least, it should be the policy of the U.S. government to ensure that no employee will be forced to join a union in order to get or keep their job.

“Republicans cited a recent poll they said shows that 80 percent of union members support having their policy and that “Right to Work” states outperform “forced-union” states in factors that affect worker well being.

From 2000 to 2008, about 4.7 million Americans moved from forced-union to right to work states and a recent study found that there is “a very strong and highly statistically significant relationship between right-to-work laws and economic growth,” and that from 1977 to 2007, right-to-work states experienced a 23 percent faster growth in per capita income than states with forced unionization.

“To see the negative impacts of forced unionization, look no further than the struggling businesses in states whose laws allow it,” Vitter said. “It can’t be a coincidence that right-to-work states have on balance grown in population over the last 10 years, arguably at the expense of heavy union-favoring states.”

DeMint blamed the problems faced by U.S. automakers on the unions.

“Forced-unionism helped lead to GM and Chrysler’s near bankruptcy and their requests for government bailouts as they struggled to compete in a global marketplace,” he said. “When American businesses suffer because of these anti-worker laws, jobs and investment are driven overseas.”

If you want to attract businesses, then you need to have pro-business laws. That’s where jobs come from – businesses.

Here’s an article about states who are trying to pass these laws to attract more employers.


Currently 14 states beyond Indiana and Wisconsin are considering legislation that would limit union benefits and/or collective bargaining power. They are: Alaska, Hawaii, Maine, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, New Hampshire, New Mexico, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Virginia, Washington (state) and West Virginia. In any number of these states, supporters have planned or held rallies against the measures. But public support might be less than deep. According to a Rasmussen Poll conducted late last week and released Monday, 48 percent of likely U.S. voters sided with Wisconsin Governor Walker whereas only 38 percent sided with his union opponents; the other 14 percent were undecided. And 50 percent of the respondents favored reducing their home state’s government payroll by one percent a year for 10 years either by reducing the work force or reducing their pay. Only 28 percent opposed such action.

This is how we are going to turn the recession around. Cut off the spending on left-wing special interests – NPR, PBS, ACORN, Planned Parenthood, Unions. They all will have to pay their own way, just like the grown-ups do.

Senator Tom Coburn lists some bad examples of government waste

Here’s the story.


Coburn, R-Muskogee, whose office regularly churns out reports mocking federal projects and programs, said Monday that “cutting wasteful and low-priority spending from the budget is not only sensible, but essential.”

“In today’s economy, we can’t afford to spend nearly $2 million to showcase neon signs no longer in use at Las Vegas casinos; nor can Congress and federal agencies afford to spend nearly $1 billion a year on unnecessary printing costs.”

The 100 projects cited on Monday tread some familiar ground for Coburn reports — road signs paid for with stimulus funds, research projects that sound like folly — and are mostly domestic. There is no mention of Iraq or Afghanistan, despite government reports documenting millions lost to fraud and waste.

Topping Coburn’s list is the conclusion of a FOX News story that the Department of Veterans Affairs spends $175 million each year to maintain buildings it can’t use, in some cases because they’re in such disrepair.

Other items on the list:

• $217,000 for a University of California and Stanford University study on when and why political candidates are ambiguous.

• $90,000 to fund promotion of the Vidalia onion, including $60,000 for a campaign timed to coincide with the release of a Shrek movie.

•  $2.5 million on the Census Bureau’s television ad that aired during the Super Bowl to promote the head-count but left many viewers scratching their heads in confusion.

• $465,000 for an international AIDS conference in Austria.

• $35 million paid in fraudulent Medicare and Medicaid claims to an alleged Armenian crime ring.

• $48 million for a streetcar system in Atlanta that runs the same route as the city’s subway system.

• $900,000 to settle sexual harassment claims against a former housing director in Philadelphia.

•  And $28 million to print “rarely used” paper copies of the Congressional Record.

Here’s a recent post from the Washington Examiner that compares Democrats and Republicans on pork barrel spending. (H/T Gateway Pundit via Muddling)


Press coverage of the budget frenzy on Capitol Hill has suggested that pork-barrel earmark spending is still a bipartisan problem, that after months of self-righteous rhetoric about fiscal discipline, Republicans and Democrats remain equal-opportunity earmarkers.

It’s not true. A new analysis by a group of federal-spending watchdogs shows a striking imbalance between the parties when it comes to earmark requests. Democrats remain raging spenders, while Republicans have made enormous strides in cleaning up their act.

In the Senate, the GOP made only one-third as many earmark requests as Democrats for 2011, and in the House, Republicans have nearly given up earmarking altogether — while Democrats roll on.

The watchdog groups — Taxpayers for Common Sense, WashingtonWatch.com, and Taxpayers Against Earmarks — counted total earmark requests in the 2011 budget. Those requests were made by lawmakers earlier this year, but Democratic leaders, afraid that their party’s spending priorities might cost them at the polls, decided not to pass a budget before the Nov. 2 elections. This week, they distilled those earmark requests — threw some out, combined others — into the omnibus bill that was under consideration in the Senate until Majority Leader Harry Reid pulled it Thursday night. While that bill was loaded with spending, looking back at the original earmark requests tells us a lot about the spending inclinations of both parties.

In the 2011 House budget, the groups found that House Democrats requested 18,189 earmarks, which would cost the taxpayers a total of $51.7 billion, while House Republicans requested just 241 earmarks, for a total of $1 billion.

This is why stimulus spending, which is advocated by Democrats, costs jobs. Democrats waste money. They take money out of the job-creating sector of the economy, and they waste on government spending. If private companies wasted money like government, they would go out of business. Unfortunately, government can waste money like this all the time, and they just borrow more money. When you hear a Democrat say that they want to “invest” money they stole from businesses and workers in order to “stimulate” the economy, what they are talking about is wasting money and/or buying votes from their favored special interest groups.

Videos of health care summit speeches by Ryan, Blackburn, Coburn and Alexander

Obama met with Republicans to discuss his health care plans. The Republicans selected a team of experts including three of my favorite conservatives, Marsha Blackburn, Tom Coburn and Paul Ryan. How did they do against Obama? Did we win?

Marathon Pundit has the scoop.

Selected quotes from leftists CNN:

  • CNN’S DAVID GERGEN: “Intellectually, the Republicans had the best day they’ve had in years. The best day they have had in years.” (CNN’s “The Situation Room,” 2/25/10)
  • CNN’s DAVID GERGEN: “The folks in the White House just must be kicking themselves right now. They thought that coming out of Baltimore when the President went in and was mesmerizing and commanding in front of the House Republicans that he could do that again here today. That would revive health care and would change the public opinion about their health care bill and they can go on to victory. Just the opposite has happened.: (CNN’s “Live,” 2/25/10)
  • CNN’s GLORIA BORGER: “The Republicans have been very effective today. They really did come to play. They were very smart.” (CNN’s “Live,” 2/25/10)
  • CNN’s GLORIA BORGER: “They took on the substance of a very complex issue. … But they really stuck to the substance of this issue and tried to get to the heart of it and I think did a very good job.” (CNN’s “Live,” 2/25/10)
  • CNN’s GLORIA BORGER: “They came in with a plan. They mapped it out.” (CNN’s “Live,” 2/25/10)

Video from CNN: (H/T Hot Air)

We won. By a landslide. And even the left-wing media admits it.

Now how did we win?

Lamar Alexander

Lamar Alexander makes the opening statement. He is fairly moderate, and has a history of stepping across the aisle to work with Democrats.

Part 1:

Part 2:

Marsha Blackburn

Marsha Blackburn makes Barack Obama admit that his refusal to allow people to buy plans out of state with no mandated coverages means that they will be paying too much for health care. Obama replies that he is happy with redistributing wealth from healthy young people to older people who ought to have saved their own money for their own health care expenses.

Part 1:

Part 2:

Paul Ryan (H/T Gateway Pundit)

Paul Ryan asks Obama how the implications of Obamacare on the federal budget. Why is Obama ignoring the analysis done by his own Congressional Budget office? Why does the government have to control health care? Why can’t people buy the health care that they choose with their own money?

Tom Coburn

Coburn talked about ways to reduce the cost of health care without having the government take it all over. I’ll post Tom Coburn’s full video when I find it.

Here’s the last 95% of the speech, just missing the first paragraph, really.

The full transcript is here.

UPDATE: Michelle Malkin’s latest column evaluates the health care summit.


When he wasn’t cutting off Republicans who stuck to budget specifics and cited legislative page numbers and language instead of treacly, sob-story anecdotes involving dentures and gall stones, President Obama was filibustering the talk-a-thon away by invoking his daughters, rambling on about auto insurance, and sniping at former GOP presidential rival John McCain. “We’re not campaigning anymore,” lectured the perpetual campaigner-in-chief.

After ostentatiously disputing the GOP’s claims that health care premiums would rise under his plan, Obama walked it back. Confronted with more GOP pushback on the failure of Demcare to control costs, Obama told GOP Rep. Paul Ryan that he’d rather not “get bogged down in numbers.” Not numbers that he couldn’t cook on the spot without staff consultation, anyway.

Obama and the Democrats labored mightily to create the illusion of almost-there bipartisanship by repeatedly telling disagreeing Republicans that “we don’t disagree” and “there’s not a lot of difference” between us. But the dogs weren’t riding the ponies in this show.

Obama must be so shocked to find that not everyone in the world is a racist/communist/terrorist/tax cheat. This is his first exposure to a different point of view. He’s in shock.