Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Democrats=Big Labor. Republicans=Big Business...Really?

The conventional wisdom is that the Democrat Party is the party of "Big Labor" and the union bosses. The Republicans are the party of "Big Business" and the corporate fat-cat CEO's, right? Well, what is one way to uncover the truth on that assertion? 
"Follow the money."
Do the unions spend their PAC money supporting Democrat candidates who will protect their interests? Do the corporate PAC's give their dollars to the Republicans so they will continue to get big tax breaks and "corporate welfare?"

I did a little research using OpenSecrets.org, the web site that tracks campaign contributions. Here is what I found. No matter how far down the list you look, union PAC's all give donations to Democrats at about a 24 to 1 rate. 96% of all union PAC dollars go to the Democrats. But what about "business" PAC's? This is where it gets interesting.

Of the top 8 business PAC's, 52% of the dollars go to Republicans, 48% goes to Democrats. The union bosses are putting all their eggs in the Democrats' basket. The business groups like to play both sides of the fence. They want everybody in office beholding to them. See the chart below or go to the opensecrets.org web site for more details.
The top 8 union PAC's are American Federation of Teachers, AFSCME, Teamsters, Electrical Workers, Laborers, National Education Association, Carpenters, and Engineers.

The top 8 business PAC's are Bankers, Home Builders, AT&T, Auto Dealers, Beer Wholesalers, Boeing, Honeywell and the Realtors. 

The top eight unions gave $19 million and the top eight business PAC's gave $24 million to candidates. Combined, almost 70% of these dollars went to Democrats. 

How will politicians vote when bills come before them affecting unions, or the auto business, or the banks, etc? It's easy to become cynical of our elected officials when you see these kinds of dollars circulating. And it's also a little easier to see why the banks, the UAW and the auto companies got bailed out by us, the taxpayers. Oh, and by the way, the UAW gave 100% of its PAC money to Democrats.

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