The Plank

Who Loves Corruption?

By and

In the Wall Street Journal today, John Fund complains that Democrats are cutting $11 million from the Office of Labor Management Standards, which investigates labor unions. The conclusion is obvious: Democrats are in favor of union corruption! What's more, they're big hypocrites for supporting Sarbanes-Oxley while turning a blind eye to the fact that a handful of top AFL-CIO officials make more than $130,000 a year. (Really.)

Er, okay. Anyway, it's not clear that the Democrats really are making steep cuts to OLMS. Between 2001 and 2005, funding for the office increased by a staggering $74 million--some 28 percent--even as, say, the Labor Department's Wage and Hour Division's budget was being cut by $113 million. The Bush administration was pretty clearly taking money away from labor-law enforcement and putting it disproportionately toward investigating labor groups. It looks like Democrats are now correcting this imbalance, not doing away with union oversight altogether. Try as Fund might, there's just not some major scandal going on here.

--Bradford Plumer

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