Government unions often defend their dues—and the fact that taxpayers subsidize the collection of dues—by claiming dues cannot be used for politics. That is not the case. Union dues cannot be given directly to a candidate or a PAC, but they can be used for politicking in other ways: lobbying, independent advertising in support of a candidate, get out the vote efforts, mailings to members, etc.
For example, a reader recently sent us a scanned mailer they received from the PSEA, paid for with union dues. The mailer endorses a Republican incumbent in the primary, based on his opposition to school vouchers (a major focus of the PSEA’s $4.2 million in lobbying spending), opposing reforms to a broken pension system, and supporting a “living wage” for school employees, whatever that means.
It is time we end collection of political money with taxpayer resources. For more on how government unions use dues for politics, and for the benefit of union bosses, check out our report, The Squeeze.