Luedtke's Union Handout Goes National
Democrats once again lining up to do Big Labor's Bidding
Back in January I wrote about Maryland House Majority Leader Eric Luedtke’s plan to create a handout for labor unions by allowing union members to deduct their union dues from their taxes.
At the time, I wrote:
The bill is, of course, exactly what it looks like; it’s a political handout to union leadership. and tool to encourage more people to join unions. Since union membership across the country is down, saying that membership is basically “free” to new members is an incentive to join. Since union leaders like to parrot about how many members they represent, this will increase their perceived power in state and local government. And since Maryland Democrats are beholden to unions for their power, it benefits Democrats who will have a larger pool of union volunteers and resources with which to get re-elected.
Luedtke’s bill of course gives preferential treatment to unions and unions only. Membership in other business, professional, or civic organizations will not be affected. Your membership in the Rotary Club or Business Roundtable will be treated different than a union membership.
All of those things are, for the most part, also true about a new push to get such legislation passed at the federal level, as Bloomberg Law reports:
Senate Democrats are forging ahead with budgetary plans to create tax incentives for union membership and penalties for employers that violate workers’ union rights, according to three sources involved in the process.
Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) unveiled instructions Monday that a $3.5 trillion budgetary package is intended to fund “pro-worker incentives” and “labor enforcement and penalties,” without divulging other details or providing specific text.
The broad language is designed to cover a tax credit or deduction on union dues, which would provide a financial sweetener for members, and the creation of civil monetary penalties that punish companies for interfering in workers’ rights to organize and collectively bargain under the National Labor Relations Act, said sources from Congress, the administration, and labor who were all involved in the negotiations.
Now, instead of small-time Democrats like Luedtke pushing the bill, national Democrats are looking to railroad these provisions into law through the budget process. House Democrats will almost certainly fall in line. While such a budget deal could be derailed by a number of things, one has to imagine that the union provisions will stay: West Virginia is a big union state and it is unlikely that Senator Joe Manchin would oppose such a provisions.
While it’s unusual for an idea from somebody with the lack of intellectual heft that Luedtke becomes a national Democratic issue, it does go to show how radicalized both Democratic caucuses in Washington truly are right now.