The October 21 Wall Street Journal ran an article ("Campaign's Big Spender") noting that the biggest outside spender in the 2010 elections is the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees union. For good measure, number four is the Service Employees International Union, and number five turns out to be the National Education Association, i.e., the teachers union.
SBE Council chief economist Raymond J. Keating observed:
"Big spending in support of big government candidates by labor unions should surprise no one. As labor union members continue to dwindle in the private sector, what labor leaders can no longer get at the bargaining table, they work to get through government legislation and regulation. Meanwhile, during tough recent economic times, the only sector of the economy that has been growing is government. While that's bad news for the private sector and for overall economic growth, it's been good news for government workers. Public-sector labor unions want to make sure that government keeps expanding.
"In the end, the labor union movement is all about two things: 1) imposing added costs on U.S. businesses and entrepreneurs in the private sector, and 2) making big government even bigger. That, of course, is very bad news for competitiveness, investment, entrepreneurship, private sector workers and job creation."