Government oversight of unions is the only area where the Obama administration favors budget cuts and less regulation.
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On Thursday, Solis was asked about the OLMS cuts during a web chat about the 2010 budget.
“OLMS’ staffing levels will be returned to essentially the same levels it maintained in fiscal years 2001, 2002, and 2003,” she said. “During this period, OLMS maintained vigorous and effective enforcement of the law.”
But in reality, in 2003, the number of audits performed by OLMS was just a third of the number being performed by 2007.
Despite the budget increases during this decade, the office hasn’t even returned to its pre-Clinton era staffing levels. By the end of the Bush years, the staff had increased to about 350, but was in charge of overseeing roughly 20,000 labor organizations. Now the agency will have to return to getting by with even fewer employees.
Nathan Mehrens, who served at the OLMS under Chao, said that when the budget is cut at OLMS, audits will the first activity to be affected, because there are many mandatory functions that the division has to perform. Auditing, he said, is seen as a task to be conducted as time permits.
“While [audits] do uncover embezzlements, [they] are more powerful as a tool to deter these crimes before they happen,” Todd explained. “With the cuts they are putting in effect there will be no cop on the beat. Union officers and employees will know that. It would be like a big budget cut at the [Securities and Exchange Commission]. Those who might otherwise resist temptation are given the impression that the chance of discovery is slight.”
On May 20, 2008, Thomas Wallace, a former treasurer of the Amalgamated Transit Union, plead guilty and agreed to repay more than $450,000 he embezzled from the union by forging checks to himself. The case represented just one of 103 convictions OLMS achieved last year.
Aspiring union crooks who concoct similar schemes to steal money from workers can rest a lot easier now that Washington has a new sheriff in town.
A man of faith in a godless age is hitting Americans where it hurts.
Mr. and Mrs. American Spectator Reader, let P.J. O’Rourke talk sense to your kids.
In Britain, defending your property can get you life.
It won’t take long for conservatives to scratch this presidential wannabe off their 2008 scorecard.
Was the President done in by the economy, or by the politics of the economy?