About a month ago on our radio program Kevin and I interviewed a college classmate and current director of WalMartWatch Andrew Grossman regarding Maryland’s Democratic legislatures unilateral imposition of a “fair share health care” law on companies that employ over 10,000 people (which in Maryland’s case is only WalMart). I said on the program that the imposition of such a law was nothing more than a Big Labor Union/ Democrat backed “back door tax” on Wal Mart to, in essence, increase their labor costs so that unionized companies could better compete.

Andy claimed that WalMartWatch and the Democratic legislators were really just concerned with ensuring better “healthcare” coverage for their employees (despite the fact that 86% of WalMart employees have some form of healthcare coverage). They just wanted WalMart to act “responsibly.” With all due respect to Andy and his organization, I wish organizations such as WalMartWatch would level with the public and just admit that they exist for the sole purpose of exerting as much financial and political pressure possible on non-union corporations until they say “Uncle.” Everybody knows this is what this whole charade is all about. Big Labor has steadily seen its membership erode for the past 30 years since Reagan fired the air traffic controllers and is so desperate for new membership that they will do anything to regain power whether it benefits workers and consumers or not. After all, some times you have to “break a few eggs.

During our interview with Andrew, I claimed that this had little to do with “healthcare” and concern for “working Americans” and more to do with using Maryland as a strategic jumping off point point from which to impose similar “fair share health care” laws in other states until WalMart and other larger non-unionized companies cave to Big Labor and unionize their employees.

Looks like my initial theory has been confirmed. The liberals are crafty. They know that they can’t impose these discriminatory and anti-competitive taxes via the prescribed legal legislative process, so that get a law passed by a Democratic legislature that has the votes to over-ride a governor’s veto and wahlaa, a hundred or so socialist-lib-Dem carreer bureacrats who have never had a real job in their lives impose a treacherous tax on the largest single employer in the country whose only crimes include employing more Americans than any company in the U.S. and giving poor/fixed income American consumers the lowest prices available on virtually every product under the sun.

From today’s Wall St. Journal (subs req).

The announcement came in the form of two federal lawsuits filed by the Retail Industry Leaders Association against the state of Maryland and Suffolk County, New York. At issue are the “Wal-Mart” laws that both jurisdictions recently passed, which would require a few large companies to pay more for their workers’ health care. The lawsuits argue the statutes are “discriminatory,” which may be the legal understatement of the year since both target only a few employers.

It didn’t take Big Labor long to go to step 2 in their plan to ensure that all companies become as anti-competitive, inefficient, and unproductive as GM and other companies whose backs have been broken by Big Labor.

This is an unusual show of solidarity for the 400 or so member retail trade group, and it suggests more companies are figuring out that organized labor’s campaign against Wal-Mart is merely a warm-up to a broader assault. Thanks to the exhortations of the AFL-CIO, some 30 states are now considering so-called fair-share health-care laws that force companies to devote a certain percentage of their payroll to health care. The common denominator is that all of these laws largely single out non-union employers.

If you can’t beat em, tie really heavy weights aroung their ankles:

The union strategy is to force any competitive, non-unionized company to incur the same labor-induced costs as their own beleaguered employers. Unionized grocers such as Safeway, Albertson’s and Kroger have been losing the fight against their lower-cost competitors, and shedding jobs in the process. In the past decade, more than two dozen supermarket operators have sought bankruptcy court protection or liquidated. The union goal is to stop this bleeding by dragging the Wal-Marts and Costcos to their cost level.

The good news is that…

the judiciary isn’t likely to let such legal gerrymandering stand. The trade group argues that both laws run afoul of the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974, widely known as Erisa. One of Erisa’s goals was to create a system in which nationwide employers could offer workers uniform benefits, free of conflicting state mandates. The courts have routinely struck down state laws that mandate particular benefits. In one well-known 1980 case, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals struck down a Hawaii law requiring employers to provide workers with comprehensive health care.

Now if only the powers that be at Wal Mart would stand up for itself against these union thugs:

Ironically, the one company that may still be underestimating the union threat is . . . Wal-Mart itself. Even as the retail association (of which Wal-Mart is a member) was going to court, CEO Lee Scott was writing a Washington Post op-ed promising Marylanders that his company will remain in their state no matter how expensive it gets. If this is the kind of PR advice he’s getting from Michael Deaver and the other outside image consultants he’s retained, Mr. Scott is overpaying.

This entire battle over Wal-Mart will be the domestic “two Americas” wedge strategy that the Democrats will employ to pit the “rich” verses the “poor” in the upcoming ’06 mid-terms. When you have no positive vision or agenda, all you can do is divide people along sex, race, and class lines. The libs are really good at it-except for the fact that they don’t win a lot of actual elections.

Directly out of the liberal play-book (Bible) the Communist Manifesto. Pathetic that the party who claims to represent “average working Americans” will use them as political pawns in their never ending pursuit to reclaim political power.