The Corner

The Budget Shrinks!

That’s but one of Elaine Chao’s successes as a conservative Cabinet secretary over at the Department of Labor. From our editorial today

Many of her successes have been preventative. Not only has she kept her budget in line, but she has also led efforts to defeat a series of bad ideas emanating from liberals in Congress, such as burdensome regulations involving ergonomics. She has effectively opposed the No. 1 item on Big Labor’s legislative wish list: card check, a.k.a. the Employee Free Choice Act, an Orwellian bill that would deny workers the right to a secret ballot when unions are trying to organize them.

Chao’s most significant achievement, however, may be proactive rather than defensive: Unions now must provide a far more detailed accounting of their money and activities. In last week’s hearing, Harkin called this “going after labor unions” for making them file “onerous new financial disclosure requirements for rank-and-file members.” In reality, Chao has empowered rank-and-file members by demanding that labor leaders comply with modern standards of transparency. They must report income, expenses, salaries, and so on. It’s all online in a searchable database, too. It means that in the future, union bosses will have a harder time keeping the lid on everything from their left-wing politicking to the bar tabs they rack up at their Las Vegas conventions.

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