Big Labor spent a record-breaking billion dollars during the 2008 election cycle and then spent hundreds of millions more in 2010, nearly all of which went to elect and protect Democratic politicians. But what does Big Labor get in return?
For starters, union bosses enjoy government-granted monopoly bargaining privileges to demand employees pay union dues or fees as a condition of employment, even if they want nothing to do with the union. But if that wasn't enough, union chiefs are still pushing for ways to expand their forced-dues powers.
And Big Labor's bought-and-paid-for partisans are happy to pull the levers of the government leviathan to pay back their Big Labor masters with even more special privileges to compel workers to pay forced union dues, and even grant union bosses the power to control entire sectors of our economy.
For example, President Obama appointed pro-forced unionism Rep. Hilda Solis, D-Calif., to head the Department of Labor. Solis' reign at DOL includes the rolling back of union boss disclosure, covering up union brass corruption, and encouraging federal agencies to discriminate against nonunion workers and employers by adopting so-called Project Labor Agreements on federal construction projects -- turning the DOL into an aggressive, taxpayer-funded union organizing outfit and inflating the costs of government services and infrastructure.
Obama also appointed former top Service Employees International Union lawyer Craig Becker to the National Labor Relations Board during a congressional recess. Becker's desire to expand Big Labor's already-extensive special privileges is troubling.
And Becker and other pro-forced unionism partisans on the NLRB are currently stripping away any protections workers have left against card check forced unionism -- something even Congress could not do with large pro-forced unionism majorities in both chambers.
Meanwhile, Becker and other Big Labor allies ? including NLRB Chairwoman Wilma Liebman, a former Teamsters lawyer - are in the process of turning the National Labor Relations Act on its head, changing the enforcement of the law from one of recourse for workers into a powerful organizing tool for union bosses.
Additionally, the two Obama appointees (and former union officials) who make up the majority of the National Mediation Board earlier this year changed a 75-year-old union organizing election rule to favor more forced unionization of America's railway and airline employees.
The new procedure stacks the deck in favor of unionization by granting a union monopoly bargaining power over railway, airline, and shipping industry workers if the union acquires support from just a bare majority of workers who turn out for an election, no matter how few actually vote.
But union bosses didn't just gain power over workers and industries, they also benefited financially.
Obamacare is jampacked with troubling provisions to divert billions of dollars into union coffers by bailing out unfunded union pension plans while exempting union health care plans from the new taxes meant to pay for the law.
And Democratic lawmakers sent more than $160 billion in federal cash to states - aimed in large part at preventing unionized public-sector worker layoffs - in the 2009 stimulus and other bailouts. And let's not forget the United Autoworkers union bailout and takeover of General Motors.
And the political paybacks are not just federal. Democratic governors from across the country, including disgraced former Gov. Rod Blagojevich of Illinois, Gray Davis of California, David Paterson of New York, and Jennifer Granholm of Michigan paved the way for government union bosses to force unsuspecting child care and home care providers into union ranks.
Yet despite the disastrous results for workers, citizens and the economy, Big Labor and their Democratic benefactors show no signs of slowing down.
For the first time ever, a majority of unionized workers nationwide are government employees, creating even more incentives for union officials to push for still bigger government that will result in more forced union dues revenue. That money then funds the election of more pro-compulsory-unionism Democrats.
This vicious cycle leaves the Democratic Party more beholden to Big Labor than voters.
Mark Mix is president of the National Right to Work Committee.