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Trump’s pick for Labor secretary wrote a deregulatory manifesto

Trump’s pick for Labor secretary wrote a deregulatory manifesto


Andrew Puzder, chief executive of CKE Restaurants, in a June 2011 file image. (Al Seib/Los Angeles Times/TNS)This piece, written by by Justin Elliott, was originally published by ProPublica.

Since President-elect Donald Trump’s announcement that he has picked fast-food CEO Andrew Puzder to be labor secretary, there’s been lots of speculation that the administration could undo worker protections.

The single best window into Puzder’s thinking may be an obscure book he wrote six years ago. It’s a blistering attack on business regulations, unions, and the Obama administration’s stimulus and health-care policies.

“I think first and foremost, he’ll put in place everything we laid out in the book,” Puzder’s co-author, David Newton, told ProPublica in an interview.

The 160-page book 2014 “Job Creation: How It Really Works and Why Government Doesn’t Understand It.” 2014 centers on a concept Puzder and Newton dub “The Certainty Factor,” which they argue is key to business expansion and job creation.

“Less federal programs, reduced deficit spending, lower taxes, and cutting back on regulations improve The Certainty Factor,” they write.

If confirmed, Puzder will have power to shape a wide range of regulations that govern unions and employers, many of which are designed to protect workers.

Much of the debate in the Obama years has been around whether to push up the federal minimum wage 2014 which since 2009 has been at $7.25 2014 to $15. Newton, while stressing he was not speaking for Puzder, believes there should be no minimum wage at all, and that pay should be entirely left up to employers.

“When you mandate that anybody coming into your company has to be paid a certain minimum 2014 you’re going to kill jobs,” said Newton, a lecturer at the University of California, San Diego, business school. “It’s one of the classic examples of government overreach with regard to regulation.”

Puzder himself has expressed skepticism about raising the minimum wage, while Trump has been all over the map on the issue, contradicting himself multiple times in the course of the campaign.

Newton still has Puzder’s ear: Newton said they have spoken several times in the past month and had contemplated writing a follow-up book, though Newton now thinks Puzder will be too busy. The two met in 2009 in Southern California, where Puzder’s CKE Restaurants, the parent company of Hardee’s and Carl’s Jr., is based.

Puzder and the Trump transition team declined to comment.

In a statement released Friday about how he views the Cabinet position, Puzder said: “My job as a business person is to maximize profits for my company, employees and shareholders. My job as the Secretary of Labor, if confirmed, is to serve U.S. citizen workers 2014 that is my moral and constitutional duty.”

The Department of Labor doesn’t set the minimum wage, but it can go after employers who, for example, short their workers on pay. Puzder could also advise Trump on wages and other employment standards for federal contractors. President Obama, for example, issued an executive order in 2014 raising the minimum wage from $7.25 to $10.10 for workers on federal construction and service contracts.

Labor advocates are also worried Puzder could roll back a new regulation, currently held up in court, that would expand eligibility for overtime pay.

Puzder’s book proposes a “mutually beneficial relationship between employer and employee” and is sharply critical of labor unions: “As the no longer existent American garment industry or segments of the increasingly non-competitive American automotive industry well demonstrate, empowering unions can increase labor costs to the point of putting employers in or near bankruptcy.” The book includes extensive criticism of the Obama administration’s first-term push 2014 later abandoned 2014 to change the law to make it easier for workers to form unions.

“We recognize all the workers have the right to unionize 2014 they also have the right not to,” Newton told ProPublica. He praised Puzder as a “great guy” with “a tremendous amount of insight.”

“We’re all on the same page 2014 we know what it’s going to take to grow the economy in terms of what business is looking for in terms of freedom to expand and hire people,” he said.

Correction, Dec. 15, 2016: This story incorrectly described Andrew Puzder as Trump’s nominee for labor secretary. Like all of his Cabinet picks, Puzder hasn’t been formally nominated yet.

ProPublica is a Pulitzer Prize-winning investigative newsroom. Sign up for their newsletter.

Source: Will County News

Not all college students need a comfort center/Some are very involved

Turning Point USA just had a historic weekend.  500+ conservative students from all across the country joined the TPUSA team in West Palm Beach, Florida for TPUSA’s second annual Activist Retreat.

Speakers included Donald Trump Jr., Sen. Ted Cruz, Sen. Ben Sasse, Congressman Thomas Massie, Congressman Ron DeSantis, James O’Keefe, Ben Shapiro, Tomi Lahren, Kimberly Corban, and many other talented leaders in our movement.

TPUSA offered trainings on how to refute leftist talking points, debate issues effectively, and know and understand the rights they have as activists on a college campus.

We prepared our leaders to win.
Students who attended this retreat left more prepared, equipped, and trained to win on their college campuses this spring and beyond.

This conference was one of the biggest gathering of young conservative activists in the country. I’m extremely grateful for our team who put this together, and our students who fearlessly fight for freedom and liberty every single day.

TPUSA would also like to extend a special thanks to the sponsoring partner organizations who helped make this event possible:

We just had an incredible conference, and we aren’t slowing down. Please consider a year-end tax-deductible gift to Turning Point USA.
Charlie Kirk

Source: Will County News

“Highly compensated” public servants cost Illinois taxpayers over $8 billion

What gives, Sullivan?


Earlier this spring, at OpenTheBooks.com, we identified more than 50,000 Illinois public employees who make at least $100,000 per year.

These “highly compensated” public servants cost Illinois taxpayers over $8 billion. We found Cook County animal-control officers making $105,000; suburban school administrators at $503,000; university doctors earning $1.3 million; and 72 small-town ‘managers’ out-earning every governor of all 50 states.

This research helps explain why Illinois has a net outward migration of residents. In order to pay these exorbitant salaries, Illinois has burdensome property taxes that are driving people out of the state.

Illinois also has the double dippers — 15,000 “retired” public employees who go back to work in government and acquire a second pension. There’s former Republican Gov. Jim Edgar, who took $2.25 million in salary from the University of Illinois between 2000-2013 while also receiving more than $2 million in pension from a two-term stint as governor. Former state Rep. Roger Eddy now makes $322,200 — $291,725 as executive director of Illinois Association of School Boards and $30,500 from his lawmaker’s pension.

Public pay and pension envy in Illinois is real. The hard-working private sector doesn’t have benefits even remotely close to government workers.

Last month, tipped by an article in this newspaper, we found another “highly compensated” double dipper.

The News-Gazette reported that retiring Sixth Judicial Circuit Chief Judge Dan Flannell will become the new “city administrator” in Sullivan for an initial salary of $92,500. But our cash-compensation calculation of Flannell’s five-year contract reveals a total taxpayer cost estimate of $786,939.

Confirmed through a Freedom of Information Act request and follow-up conversations with the city clerk, we found the reported salary is only one of 20 compensation buckets. Here are some of Flannell’s new benefit buckets in Sullivan with their estimated five-year costs: four weeks of annual paid vacation ($35,575); a city vehicle ($30,000), computer ($600), travel tablet ($600), and cellphone with unlimited data plan ($7,200); city-paid Social Security ($28,675) and Illinois Municipal Retirement System pension ($53,370).

Flannell receives 11 holidays ($19,565) and five sick days ($8,895). Flannell also receives personal, professional development training with paid travel for state and national conferences ($15,000) and his organizational membership dues ($5,000).

The city of Sullivan extended health, dental and vision insurance ($64,625), and it’s unclear if Flannell will take these benefits from the judicial retirement plan or his city contract. Flannell receives a severance bonus of $138,750 if he’s fired without cause during his first two years. The work schedule is flexible, with no contractually mandated office hours.

But Flannell gets to keep a side job and can earn extra money performing marriages or civil-union ceremonies. Over the same five-year period through 2022, Flannell stands to receive an estimated starting judicial pension of $157,684, totaling $837,164 over five years. In fact, the Illinois judicial pension is so lucrative that 40 percent of all retired judges have seen an increase in take-home pay by retiring. Between his judicial pension and new “city administrator” employment contract, Flannell stands to reap up to $1.624 million in total compensation, benefits, perquisites and judge pension during the next five years.

Flannell, Edgar and Eddy are all area examples of why Illinois is broke. All of these public servants legally gamed the system for personal gain. Illinois residents face bleak futures while the players enjoy bright futures. The fact that Illinois is famous for this is disgraceful.

Of course, these examples from downstate are dwarfed by those in the Chicago suburbs. Our research shows that Township High School District 204 and Palatine Township High School District 211 — just two of 900 Illinois school districts — pay 1,170 educators a salary over $100,000. In three counties — DuPage, Lake and Will — 707 county employees earned $100,000-plus last year. The “chief of staff’ to Republican DuPage County Chairman Dan Cronin made $201,599.Which brings us back to the city of Sullivan and hometown communities just like it. The real repository of fiscal sanity always resided in the small towns and hamlets of Illinois. Is this changing? Is public greed undermining the virtue of public service at the local level?

The city of Sullivan is home to 4,490 people. According to U.S. Census statistics, the community lost population over the last 30 years. Additional prestige will not be conferred on the community through the granting of outrageous pay packages. Illinois is suffering, but the futures of Illinois public employees have never been brighter.

Illinois needs a comeback story and keeping dollars in local economies instead of directing tax dollars to outrageous pay packages must be part of the solution.

Adam Andrzejewski is founder and CEO of OpenTheBooks.com, which claims to be the largest private database of government spending in the world.

Source: Will County News

ISIS threatens attacks on Christians during Christmas holiday

People gather with tributes to Belgium terror victimsAfter a deadly attack on Coptic Christians in Egypt earlier this month, the Islamic State is threatening to wage jihad against Christians in other parts of the world during the height of Christmas celebrations.

According to the SITE Intelligence Group, ISIS leaders have vowed to increase efforts to attack “polytheism,” a term the organization has used in the past to denote any religion other than their own, over the Christmas holiday.

“Let all the disbelievers and apostates in Egypt and everywhere know that our war on polytheism is ongoing, and that the State of the Caliphate – with permission from Allah the Almighty – will continue to spill their blood and grill their bodies, so that there is no sedition and the religion is all for Allah,” the terror group said in a statement.

U.S. and British diplomatic officials are already planning for an increase in ISIS violence against Christians in the Middle East in the coming days. But security experts are warning that the threat of terror attacks in the west similar to the massacre in Nice, France, are also a real possibility over the holiday.

In Britain, elite SAS forces are reportedly conducting undercover patrols in the nation’s largest cities with orders to “shoot to kill” any person attempting to carry 0ut a terror attack.

Source: Will County News