Friday, January 23, 2004

The Real State of The Nation

Burlington (PA) County Times columnist Suzanne Blanchard exposes (and documents) some of the myths of Chimpster's speech. Among them
Small business owners and employees" need "relief from needless Federal regulation."
  • Nearly 8 million higher wage workers will lose their rights to overtime pay under a Bush administration regulation.

  • The administration touts 1.3 million low-income workers who will gain overtime pay under the proposition.

  • The Department of Labor is actively advising employers how to avoid paying those newly-qualified low-income workers overtime.

  • President Bush advocated for and signed the first ever legislative repeal of a work safety standard (on ergonomics), though the rule took more than ten years to develop.

  • The Bush administration withdrew or halted action on 16 pending Occupational Safety and Health Administration and 13 pending Mine Safety and Health Administration safety actions.

  • OSHA delayed implementation of rules protecting workers from exposure to tuberculosis. (Ed. Note: Actually he dropped the proposed standard.)

  • The 2004 Bush administration budget cut $3 million from OSHA safety and health standards development, federal enforcement, worker safety and health training grants and safety and health statistics, while adding $7.2 million for employer-controlled compliance assistance.

  • The 2003 Bush budget took $29 million out of funding for the National Institutes for Occupational Safety and Health. The 2004 budget took $27 million more away.
Read the rest. And there are more myths and facts about the State of the Union here.