“Beware of Greeks bearing gifts,” a famous adage referencing the mythological battle between the Greeks and the city state of Troy, is a cautionary phrase used in situations where acts of charity may have insidious and destructive intentions. That phrase should echo across the state after Vice President Kamala Harris’ recent visit touting a $2.3 trillion infrastructure and jobs plan, supposedly to aid in the country’s recovery from the economic disruption caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.
In Greek mythology, after a 10-year siege of the city of Troy in 1250 BC, the Greek warriors built a large wooden horse as a supposed peace offering to the residents of Troy. The city residents, thinking the siege had ended, pulled the giant wooden structure into the city, only to discover that it was hiding an elite force of Greek warriors who opened the city gates allowing their army to successfully capture the city.
Vice President Harris’ recent visit to the Greensboro and High Point area promoting the Biden administration’s infrastructure plan is just such a structure, designed to get states to sign on while ignoring the subtle intent to further union membership and to eliminate right-to work laws. All of this is funded with federal taxpayer money.
Speaking at Guilford Technical Community College’s Advanced Manufacturing Campus, Harris touted the Biden administration’s jobs plan as “a once-in-lifetime, once-in-a-generation investment.” She stressed that the “America Jobs Plan” will provide tens of billions of dollars in workforce training which would be available to community colleges and that it would supposedly create up to two million additional apprenticeships nationally.
This proposed $2.3 trillion budget to support the act is in addition to the $1.9 trillion pandemic relief passed by Congress in March. All of this government largesse brings to mind the famous quote attributed to the late Illinois Sen. Everett Dirksen who said that “a billion here, a billion there, and pretty soon you’re talking real money.” While there is some question about the accuracy of the quote, there is no question about the accuracy of the observation. And keep in mind the spending is now in trillions, which is another way of saying a thousand billions.
Not only was Harris providing a Trojan Horse of new jobs with destructive budgeting that will potentially collapse the national economy, she was also offering a gift that is designed to eliminate the state’s right to work laws.
North Carolina is one of 28 states that protect the rights of workers who choose not to join a union if they work in a unionized company. As a result of the state’s open work environment and the growing distrust of organized labor unions, North Carolina has the second lowest union membership in the nation, 3.1% , behind South Carolina.
In touting the “Jobs Plan,” Harris told reporters during her visit that the focus is on union jobs. “I believe every worker in America deserves the ability to join and organize a union,” she said.
At the same time that Harris toured various Guilford County facilities with Governor Roy Cooper and Michael Regan, now serving as administrator of the Environment Protection Agency, West Virginia Senator Joe Manchin, (D) was announcing his support of the PRO Act, which aggressively promotes union membership. The legislation passed the U.S. House last month on a narrow party-line vote and is now coming before the Senate where the Vice President presides and can cast a deciding vote in the case of a tie.
The PRO Act blocks right-to-work laws and imposes tough restrictions on companies seeking to prevent unionization efforts, such as the recent efforts to unionize an Amazon warehouse in Alabama. That vote, which resulted in a failed unionization attempt, is being challenged.
Vice President Harris’ travels to North Carolina and across the country touting the Biden Trojan Horse of $2.3 trillion “American Jobs Act” is a convenient distraction from her responsibilities with respect to the immigration debacle at the nation’s southern border. Earlier her boss, President Biden, directed the vice president to take charge of what he now describes as a crisis at the southern border, but she has yet to make a visit or address any action in the region. She’s obviously too busy selling the administration’s Trojan Horse.
But just as the residents of Troy discovered, the proposed Trojan Horse of trillions of federal dollars in infrastructure and jobs financing comes with strings or more importantly, with destructive impact.
So it is with jaundiced eyes and ears that we should accept the vice president’s admonition that “Help is here, help is here. And hope is here. Things are looking up.” Before we open our arms to this questionable gift, we should beware and count the cost.