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Relief doesn't mean a competitive wage….

<![CDATA[According to the Proclamation by the President: To Suspend Subchapter IV of Chapter 31 of Title 40, United States Code, Within a Limited Geographic Area in Response to the National Emergency Caused by Hurricane Katrina:

(b) The wage rates imposed by section 3142 of title 40, United States Code, increase the cost to the Federal Government of providing Federal assistance to these areas.

So, Mr, Bush suspends those rules in an executive order. After relaxing pollution standards and resisting any price caps on gasoline, the President shows again that it’s the little people who have to bear the burden of a disaster, not Bush’s friends in industry. Workers in the hurricane region will be paid less than the prevailing wage to keep Federal costs low. Now, these are the same people who most need the work and to have an opportunity to rebuild their lives. Yet, again, it is the least powerful in America who are asked to carry the greatest burden.
Oh, but the poor do get a National Day of Prayer. Maybe things will go better for them in the next life, eh, Mr. President?
Fortunately, though, Mr. Bush is still on his toes in the War on Terror. He extended the “national emergency” for another year. Do you feel safer, yet? No, just poorer?

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19 replies on “Relief doesn't mean a competitive wage….”

Hey, if you feel sorry for these workers, give them your Bush tax cut. Toss in money you have made off stock’s due to your divident tax cut.
Convince your friends to do the same. Unless they have “selfishly” spend it on themselves and their families.
And please, tell me how price caps work again? Let’s price cap everything. Starbucks should only be able to sell a latte for $ .50 so the working man can afford it.
The wage rates imposed by section 3142 of title 40, United States Code
See, wage rates, IMPOSED! Not what the market decides, what is imposed. What a great way to live! I’m sure people in Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union can tell you all about the imposing of wage rates, price caps, etc.

So, Romeo, if despite the language you cite the effect of the executive order is that workers hired by federal contractors may be paid less than the prevailing wage (that is, the amount generally paid for a particular job in the region), how is that not capping the salaries of laborers?
By contrast, Mr. Bush has fought any effort to cap gas prices.
I’ll let anyone make their own decision about what this means for themselves.
But, really, your agenda is explained perfectly by your comment “…if you feel sorry for these workers….” Obviously, you don’t worry about them. Ah, but then, neither did our Commander-in-Chief before or after the storm, only when the political heat was turned up did he make his first show at responding to the reality on the ground on the Gulf Coast.

Actually, I would argue , and I am am fairly certain, that the Federal Code fixes wages artificially HIGHER than they normally would be.
You see the same thing happening with these living wage initiatives around the country. People want to set a wage at some arbitrary, higher amount, than the market will actually bear.
End result: Less employment, more poor people and fewer jobs. The funniest part of all: Living wage activists don’t pay their own workers and fellow activists a living wage citing they can’t afford it, it would not allow them to hire enough people, it wouldn’t allow them to meet their stated objectives, etc.
Politics is truly a funny thing to watch.
I want a job done at the rate it is “worth” in the market place. Do you think workers at Wal-Mart make to little money? Why not overpay for your items there, or tip the greeter, employees as you go inside the store? I don’t have an agenda with anything of this nature other than to let our system work the way it was supposed to, not to let some feel good program warp reality. I do know that by overpaying people it leads to less work, fewer opportunities and more poverty over the long run.
Want to see what artificial wages do? Look to Europe. They have generally higher unemployment, fewer opportunities and anybody who was any drive of any kind leaves and moves to the US. The European health care system has also killed two of my relatives, one of whom was a doctor. Our “heart-less” system would have saved their lives.

You’re fairly certain and wrong, Romeo. That section of the U.S. Code specifically ensures that the government will not provide funds to contractors who pay less than the prevailing wage. It does not set the wage at any level. Do your research instead of guessing. Here’s the explanation with the relevant language in bold:

Prevailing Wages.–The head of a Federal department or agency providing financial assistance with any increase in funds authorized or made available by, or with any increase in obligation authority made available by, this Act (including the amendments made by this Act) shall ensure that laborers and mechanics employed by contractors and subcontractors in construction work financed by such financial assistance will be paid wages not less than those prevailing on similar construction in the locality, as determined by section 3142 of title 40, United States Code (known as the Davis-Bacon Act). The head of the department or agency shall provide such financial assistance only after being assured that required labor standards will be maintained on the construction work.

So, the effect of the executive order is that the government does not need to check to see if a contractor is paying prevailing wages before issuing funds. That’s the standard Bush recipe for Halliburton: Just send the check and hope no one notices all the law-breaking going on.
I’ll ignore the rest of your post, as it’s not just baseless, but foolish to argue that “anyone who has any drive” in Europe comes to the United States—I actually know Europeans who are happily entrepreneuring on the Continent, you should get to know some, too, instead of believing such silly generalizations.

Your findings are untrue:
Davis-Bacon restricts both contracting and employment opportunities for minorities. Most minority-owned construction firms are small and non-unionized. Davis-Bacon mandates inflated wage rates (e.g.,$40,000 a year ditch diggers and $60,000 a year carpenters) and creates rigid job classifications and procedures which, though standard operating procedure for unions, are anathema to small non-unionized firms.
Such firms literally have to become less efficient in order to compete for Davis-Bacon contracts. Workers who perform a variety of tasks must be paid at the highest applicable skilled journeyman rate (e.g., a general laborer who hammers a nail must be paid as a “carpenter,” at perhaps three times the company’s regular wage rate). Unskilled workers can be employed only if the company can afford to pay high wages, and training can be provided only through limited and heavily regulated apprenticeship programs.
Paperwork is voluminous, complex, and cumbersome, accompanied by the constant threat of fines or litigation from government officials or unions. Not surprisingly, small minority-owned companies are often placed at a serious disadvantage in competing for Davis-Bacon contracts and are often discouraged from doing so, which was, of course, the motivation for the law in the first place. And entry-level employment and training opportunities are lost by the tens of thousands in an industry where such opportunities otherwise would be plentiful.
Hey, but the Democrats have to “pay back” their labor union constituencies, right?
As for Halliburton, guess who favorably mentioned them:
That work received favorable notices throughout the Clinton administration. For example, Vice President Al Gore’s National Performance Review mentioned Halliburton’s performance in its Report on Reinventing the Department of Defense, issued in September 1996. In a section titled “Outsourcing of Logistics Allows Combat Troops to Stick to Basics,” Gore’s reinventing-government team favorably mentioned LOGCAP, the cost-plus-award system, and Brown & Root, which the report said provided “basic life support services — food, water, sanitation, shelter, and laundry; and the full realm of logistics services — transportation, electrical, hazardous materials collection and disposal, fuel delivery, airfield and seaport operations, and road maintenance.”
So when Clinton hires them for a sole-source contract, good. When Bush hires them, bad? That doesn’t sound fair to me.
We must have different friends. Many Americans I know who have worked in Europe have left in disgust. Weak work ethic, burdensome taxes, no rewards for innovation and thinking outsde the box, fear of risk taking. Many Europeans I know who work here dread being sent back.

Ridiculous. The language is clear: The executive order allows the federal government to grant contracts to companies that pay below the prevailing wage. If you suspend rules that can benefit minority businesses in a predominantly minority area, like New Orleans, it merely enables the federal government to dole out money to carpet-bagging companies that extract revenue from the region with no lasting positive benefits for the people who are suffering today.
It’s not about payback, it’s about who needs the help and how the Bush Administration is still treating the poorest people as less deserving of the benefits available to Americans, whether individuals, large or small business.
Halliburton: Hmm. 1996, when Dick Cheney had been CEO for about a year, so the report was not referring to a program he’d helped to create or manage, so bully for Halliburton getting some kind words from the Reinventing Government commission—it was the first successful program to reduce the cost and improve the services offered by the federal government in a generation, something no Republican administration has accomplished.
Cheney’s Halliburton, which it remains today because of his continuing ties to the company, has benefited from no-bid contracts granted by an administration that enjoys financial gains each time a new, inflated contract is awarded. Halliburton is the mechanism by which the Vice President enriches himself, which is very different than a Clinton-era contract win.
You can rhapsodize about the free market, and as a believer in markets I’ll support you, but when government officials pervert the market for their personal gain, it is certainly worse than federal regulations that contribute to inefficiencies. It is the difference between acts of commission and ommission, with Cheney the greatest committer of graft since Brown & Root got its start working with LBJ during and after World War II.
It’s not about Democrats and Republicans, it’s about a corrupt uncaring administration that led the country into this disaster and now intends to use the government’s largesse toward the survivors to create more wealth for their friends.
You should meet some new people. People who are “disgusted” with other nations are often bigots.

Here is the truth on several of your inaccurate, to VERY inaccurate statements:
“The Davis-Bacon act is a darling of the unions because it basically forces the federal government to hire union laborers. In the areas affected by the hurricane, the areas where Bush has temporarily rescinded the law, it preferentially requires the hiring of white unionized workers over poorer, black unskilled labor. Thus, for you to call Bush to account and suggest that he is doing this to punish the poor is breathtaking in its deviousness. All Bush has done is said that in these places, at this time, we are not going to pretend that the union mafias are the best way for us to rebuild. Sure, during a non-disaster situation we all look the other way and pay our tithes to the organized crime units that the unions have become, but, people, this is a crisis. Let’s stop pretending.”
Actually, you are also wrong about no Republican administration helping to reduce the cost and imporve the service of the Government:
According to The Post, while Cheney was defense secretary the Pentagon chose Halliburton subsidiary Brown & Root to study the cost effectiveness of outsourcing some military operations to private contractors. Based on the results of the study, the Pentagon hired Brown & Root to implement an outsourcing plan. Cheney became Halliburton CEO in 1995.
So thus, the practise of outsourcing some military operations to private contractors started BEFORE the Clinton-Gore years.
Here is the truth about his salary from Halliburton:
The $398,548 Halliburton has paid to Cheney while in office is all deferred compensation, a common practice that high-salaried executives use to reduce their tax bills by spreading income over several years. In Cheney’s case, he signed a Halliburton form in December of 1998 choosing to have 50% of his salary for the next year, and 90% of any bonus money for that year, spread out over five years. (As it turned out, there was no bonus for 1999.) We asked Cheney’s personal attorney to document the deferral agreement as well, and he supplied us with a copy of the form , posted here publicly for the first time.
Legally, Halliburton can’t increase or reduce the amount of the deferred compensation no matter what Cheney does as vice president. So Cheney’s deferred payments from Halliburton wouldn’t increase no matter how much money the company makes, or how many government contracts it receives.
Also, here is the truth about his stock options:
That still would leave the possibility that Cheney could profit from his Halliburton stock options if the company’s stock rises in value. However, Cheney and his wife Lynne have assigned any future profits from their stock options in Halliburton and several other companies to charity. And we’re not just taking the Cheney’s word for this — we asked for a copy of the legal agreement they signed, which we post here publicly for the first time.
The “Gift Trust Agreement” the Cheney’s signed two days before he took office turns over power of attorney to a trust administrator to sell the options at some future time and to give the after-tax profits to three charities. The agreement specifies that 40% will go to the University of Wyoming (Cheney’s home state), 40% will go to George Washington University’s medical faculty to be used for tax-exempt charitable purposes, and 20% will go to Capital Partners for Education , a charity that provides financial aid for low-income students in Washington, DC to attend private and religious schools.
The agreement states that it is “irrevocable and may not be terminated, waived or amended,” so the Cheney’s can’t take back their options later.
The options owned by the Cheney’s have been valued at nearly $8 million, his attorney says. Such valuations are rough estimates only — the actual value will depend on what happens to stock prices in the future, which of course can’t be known beforehand. But it is clear that giving up rights to the future profits constitutes a significant financial sacrifice, and a sizeable donation to the chosen charities.
See how Republican’s help others in need? By donating millions in gains. That is how America is such a wonderful country. Instead of taxing us to death like Europe and making us all look to the government like some giant utter to sustain ourselves and make all our decisions for us, it allows us to do well for ourselves and then use part of our gains (or all of his stock gain in Cheney’s case) to help other’s less fortunate then ourselves. How is he a great graft committer again? I think you owe him an apology.
This is why most European counties are barely even with some of the poorest US states in GDP. See this article:
http://www.opinionjournal.com/editorial/feature.html?id=110005242
The Europeans would rather have everyone equal, severaly penalizing the rich and dragging their hard earned incomes way down. In American you can rise as high as you wish, and most wealthy people wind up sharing their earnings with their fellow citizens voluntarily, instead of being forced to do so by the governemtn fiat. I can tell you where I would rather live.
You are confusing being disgusted with the tax and welfare system and the mentality it produces in Europe with being bigoted against actual people for just being who they are.
Well, it looks like you voted Republican once, so there is hope for you yet.
What did you feel about Clinton, a president who was impeached and was disbarred? What about his abuse of the public trust?

Eesh, you’re off on a screeching fit, Romeo.
You don’t cite a source for your quote about the Davis-Bacon Act, so it’s impossible to even judge whether that is a “fact.” It certainly sounds like someone’s opinion. Nevertheless, where you’ve taken this argument has nothing to do with my point: The President’s executive order allows federal contractors to pay below the prevailing wage in the region at a time when the people of the region most need good-paying jobs. If you are too blind to reality to see how that enables carpet-bagging by federal contractors, read a little history.
I didn’t say the practice of outsourcing operations to the private sector—military or non-military—was an invention of the Clinton Administration, ever. What I said was that you gave Halliburton credit for a program that pre-dated Cheney, given the the time it takes for a federal report to praise anything it would be illogical to compare that Halliburton praised by Gore to the Halliburton that Cheney helps win no-bid contracts.
I’m not going to go over the well-trod ground of Cheney’s relationship with Halliburton. The company made him rich, he has rewarded the company with no-bid deals. He could easily take a seat on their board again, after the election, and recoup any share of the booty. He did, after all, spend the first few days after Katrina shopping for a multi-million dollar home.
Charity has many dimensions, Romeo. Getting a building named after yourself on the UofWyoming or GWU campus is different than a day-to-day concern for your fellow Americans. You apparently like people who build monuments to themselves. I prefer people who have a daily concern for the fellow citizens’ opportunity to realize their maximum potential and, in times of need, who drop everything, including their profits, to help others.
I’m not confusing anything about what you wrote before—you’re clarifying previously mangled statements and blaming me for your poor expression of those ideas. You wrote that these friends of yours are “disgusted” with those countries, a clear statement that they disliked everything. Now, if you make the distinction that they only disliked the tax system, how do you rectify that with the general statements you made about the anti-innovation environments of those countries?
Clinton was a disappointment, but what he hid was his personal embarrassment rather than corruption and mismanagement of the public trust. Clinton’s indescretion, which is what Republicans call fucking an intern, too, didn’t get thousands of Americans killed in Iraq and on the Gulf Coast, nor did it cost the people their ability to trust the statements and intentions of the majority of public officials. No one today believes the U.S. is prepared for a disaster because Mr. Bush used FEMA as a political chit, where Mr. Clinton professionalized FEMA in the wake of Hurricane Andrew so that, by the end of his term, it was able to contribute mightily to the 9/11 response. Mr. Bush has clearly undone the progress at FEMA, and that’s just one part of his mismanagement of the public good.
I’ll take any president who does a great job managing the government but can’t keep his dick in his pants—we’ve had plenty of those on both sides of the political spectrum—over a corrupt, ignorant and indifferent administration that serves the wealthy and leaves the rest of the nation to fend for itself on the pickings from the supply-side table.
The hope for me is that I vote for good people, not for parties.
The Republican party you serve—and that’s what it is, getting in line and marching—is not a party I could in good conscience vote for, as it is rotten through and through at the national level.

Mitch:
Actually, we can really get to the root of many discussions here by again asking the question I have asked several times of you: What did you do with your Bush tax cut of 2001 as well as the divident tax cut?
Did you selflessly donate what you would have paid in taxes before Bush or did you keep it for yourself and family?
That should show who is indifferent and only cares about wealth versus helping out the less fortunate.
I am guessing you kept quite a bit of it, which I don’t have a problem with at all. But it is because of Bush that you and your family are able to benefit from this and that is the point.

Romeo, I’ve asked you several times whether, if the effect of the suspension of the wage rules for federal contractors was to reduce the amount of money a storm survivor would be paid or if it would prevent local companies from competing effectively with outside firms, was that wrong. That is the question that would “get to the root” of this.
I don’t see what your question has to do with the issue of whether the President’s policies favor specific companies and the very rich. You’re really only trying to change the subject, as you’ve failed to change the reality with all the spin you’ve injected in this thread, so far.
Did you give your tax cut to charity and, if so, what does that prove about the efficacy of Bush policy for the benefit of your fellow citizens generally, but especially in the context of the diminished success of our homeland disaster recovery capabilities?
The Bush tax cut was a travesty, coming as it did when the country was finally operating in the black and paying back some of its long-term debt. That he has only pushed for more cuts as we went to war is madness, as he has burdened our children with an ever-growing debt throughout his Administration. Moreoer, it is a debt that is primarily the product of Republican administrations since 1980.
I gave and still give more to various organizations that are charitable or do good works every year than Mr. Bush’s tax cut was worth and, like anyone who understands a budget, I don’t change that much for one-time events, because it represents a percentage of my income. If charity needs to be jump-started by the government, something’s quite out of whack.

I think the suspension of the wage rules for federal contractors is strangely suspicious in a time where no bid contracts will be awarded. It seems to me, and I am far from educated in these areas, that companies that win the contracts will be able to profit even more if there are no restrictions on lowered wages. Seems like you are kicking someone when they are down, because there is no way for them to defend themselves. They simply have to take it. As an outsider it is sad to watch.
Snoopy

This is an interesting article in the WSJ by Pete Wilson about how some crucial infrastructure was rebuilt around LA after a devastating earthquake. It points to how suspending certain laws that we normally “put up with” make little sense when something really needs to get done:
“In early 1994, a major earthquake (measuring 6.7 on the Richter scale) jolted the residents of greater Los Angeles from their slumbers and knocked houses off their foundations. Within seconds, the Northridge earthquake reduced to rubble the overpass bridges of Interstate 10, Los Angeles’s major east-west artery, and thereby instantly shut down the most heavily trafficked freeway in the world. I was advised that it would require some two years and two months to repair the bridges and restore the I-10 to use. For as long as it remained unavailable, it would mean not only driver inconvenience on a dramatic scale, but delays that would translate into economic dislocation conservatively estimated to cost $600,000 per day. The interruption to the life of the nation’s second largest city would be of a plainly intolerable magnitude and duration.
Instead, we completed the repairs and reopened the freeway to its normal heavy traffic in just 66 days. How? We did two things.
First, I quickly exercised the extraordinary emergency powers conferred upon the governor of California by the state Government Code. I suspended the operation of statutes and regulations that would have required the protracted public hearings called for before environmental impact reports could be filed and acted upon, and I suspended other normally demanded procedural hurdles. The elimination of these legal requirements drastically reduced purposeless delays that would have impeded recovery and compounded the injury inflicted by the quake.
I cannot emphasize too strongly the need for governors to be given such clear emergency powers if they are not provided them by existing state law.
Second, we took a page from the book of private-sector incentives for accelerating performance. We told contractors bidding to repair the bridges that they must submit bids that specified not only the cost but the date of completion, and that they must agree to an added condition: For every day they were late, they would incur a penalty of $200,000; and for every day they were early, they would be rewarded with a bonus of $200,000. The winning bidder, C.C. Myers Inc., put on three shifts that worked 24/7. In order to prevent any delay in the work, they hired a locomotive and crew to haul to Los Angeles steel sitting on a siding in Texas. Myers made more on the bonus than they did on the bid.
Incentives work. The reward to the contractor in this instance was well worth the reward to the public in achieving restoration of critical infrastructure two years early.”
This speaks to how why the Davis-Bacon act was temporarily suspended. To allow contractors to hire non-union workers (thus a larger labor pool) to get projects going faster at probably at lower overall cost to the American taxpayers.
Why? If the Davis-Bacon Act requires that any worker handling a hammer and a nail, for example, be paid $25 an hour, no contractor in his right mind is going to hire a worker with $10 an hour skills and pay him $25. Any minimum wage law tends to discriminate against the employment of low-skilled works; the Davis-Bacon Act is simply a super-minimum wage.
During South Africa’s apartheid era, it had laws similar to the Davis-Bacon in its quest to protect white workers from competition with lower-skilled, lower-paid black workers.
These laws are really about political patronage, not about getting the job done.

Gad, Romeo, now you’re comparing my positon to apartheid? I’ll bet that, between the two of us, only one campaigned against apartheid and their university’s investing in South Africa.
You make it sound like the Davis-Bacon Act sets wages arbitrarily, with no reference to the prevailing wage. That’s exactly what it doesn’t do.
Rather, Davis-Bacon wage requirements (which, remember, apply only to federal contractors) are based on regular surveys of regional wages. Here’s the form used during the surveys and how to get the results; as you can see, there is no evidence to support the idea that the resulting wage standards are disconnected from market forces.
All Davis-Bacon does is ensure that federal contractors pay a fair wage. As you can see here, firms with less than 15 employees or with contracts of less than $100,000 are exempt from some provisions of the law that would impose extra costs.
It would be great if you included a link to the Journal article you refer to (the article is here), because what an inquisitive reader would find is that wage and worker safety rules were not among the “laws that we normally ‘put up with'” suspended in order to accelerate the rebuilding of the infrastructure after the Northridge quake. Rather, it was the raft of zoning reviews and other procedural laws, such as conducting an environmental impact assessment before building a bridge, that were suspended with great success. After all, if you’re going to rebuild a bridge, why go through all the reviews as though the
bridge had not existed before.
Pete Wilson makes no reference to wages and, instead, spends much of the article suggesting tax and organizational strategies that may be helpful. I disagree with his contention that the rest of the country would be “subsidizing” reconstruction of New Orleans in a location prone to flood, because New Orleans, though a special case of geographic lunacy, is no more historically prone to disaster than any other region. Should we not have funded soil reclamation in the Dust Bowl region? Should we have refused to fight fires in regions where the homes of the wealthy are built into forest land? It would be hypocritical to do those things but refuse to help New Orleans as we would any other American city in crisis.
You’re stretching the principle, well established as it is, that government can streamline a recovery process by lowering some standards to justify exploiting the desperation of the situation to increase potential profits by federal contractors. It is significant that Halliburton was the first in line to get a contract and, consequently, benefit from the executive order suspending the prevailing wage rules, despite having over-billed the government more than $1.5 billion in Iraq.

I think that the no bid contract process in theory has some merit, but in the hands of the current administration, is proving to be a nightmare. When will the American people hold their leaders accountable for the overt and obvious actions that are in their own self interests and not in the best interests of the people.

Look up the history of the Davis-Bacon act. There are many shades of racism to why this law was put in place. Actually, simialr to why Jim Crow laws where put in place, to keep blacks from not only voting but taking part in the economy in general.
The Davis-Bacon acts has the government spelling out job classifications and the correct, minimum pay for those. Why would we ever want the governement to do this? If it’s good for government contracts, why not have it in the private sector as well?
The Halliburton and “corporate Bush” line has been WAY overplayed by people.
Here is some interesting reading from the factcheck.org:
In fact, the Bush administration is doing a fair amount to fight corporate corruption, convicting or indicting executives of Enron, Arthur Andersen, Tyco International, Worldcom, Adelphia Communications Corporation, Credit Suisse First Boston, HealthSouth Corporation and others, including Martha Stewart. The Department of Justice says it has brought charges against 20 executives of Enron alone, and its Corporate Fraud Task Force says it has won convictions of more than 250 persons to date. Bush also signed the Sarbanes-Oxley legislation in 2002, imposing stringent new accounting rules in the wake of the Arthur Andersen scandal.
As for Halliburton, it’s true the company is under investigation (by Bush’s Pentagon) for a variety of allegations of possible overcharging in connection with the Iraq war. And it’s also true that Vice President Richard Cheney once headed the company. But it is false to imply that Bush personally awarded a contract to Halliburton. The “no-bid contract” in question is actually an extension of an earlier contract to support US troops overseas that Halliburton won under open bidding. In fact, the notion that Halliburton benefitted from any cronyism has been poo-poohed by a Harvard University professor, Steven Kelman, who was administrator of the Office of Federal Procurement Policy in the Clinton administration. “One would be hard-pressed to discover anyone with a working knowledge of how federal contracts are awarded . . . who doesn’t regard these allegations as being somewhere between highly improbable and utterly absurd,” Kelman wrote in the Washington Post last November.

Romeo, please cite the language in the U.S. Code that “spell[s] out job classifications and the correct, minimum pay for those.” That is not what the Davis-Bacon Act does, it requires regular surveys of prevailing wages in every region in order to ensure it federal contractors pay a fair wage for work conducted on the government’s dime.
We’ve gone from apartheid to Jim Crow, now, Romeo—could you stay on just one analogy for a bit and reply to my specific observations about the Pete Wilson piece and how it does not apply to your argument against Davis-Bacon?
Halliburton and Cheney…. So, even though the Vice President’s office routinely hijacks contracts for companies that Mr. Cheney favors, that’s not corrupt? While the Bush Administration has prosecuted executives, it has not done so with much verve, especially when it comes to the President’s and Vice President’s friends. It certainly hasn’t prosecuted Halliburton, which has grossly abused federal funds, as documented here, during the Iraq War—instead it has been awarded more contracts. Try to see the forest for the trees, Romeo.

The continuing attempts by Democrats to tar Bush-Cheney by screaming Halliburton is really getting old. They have been investigated at least seven times and nothing conclusive has been found. We have auditors for a reason. So they can audit, find problems and address them. That is what your link tells us.
It’s funny, you don’t hear of Clinton’s ties to various big businesses, including, believe it or not, Enron:
http://www.newsmax.com/archives/articles/2002/3/18/83918.shtml
Hundreds of millions of dollars in loans and Federal back money.
I bet you if I dug a little deeper I could come up with hundreds of cases of overbilling by corporations under Clinton’s watch. Halliburton and it’s various sub divisions happend to be one of the largest and most capable organizations that can do the job the military needs done. That is why they get a lot of business.
Here is the link from the DOL site on specific job categories:
http://www.dol.gov/esa/programs/dbra/faqs/page27.htm
Wage rates are issued for each classification of laborer and mechanic that will likely be employed in Federally funded or assisted construction in a certain type of construction dependent upon wage data submissions. Information on wages being paid, therefore, must be collected and tabulated on the basis of distinct job classification and construction categories.
Regarding Davis-Bacon and Pete Wilson. Well, Davis-Bacon is a FEDERAL statute. A governor can not temporarily recind that, only the President can.
How Davis-Bacon (talk about pork) has played out is that it effecively uses Union wages as the wage standard. Other than a little bone thrown for under $ 100k projects (gee, thanks) it does effectively mandate a certain minimum wage. If you are so sure that the wages simply mirror local, average wages, why do we need the law?

Of course Pete Wilson couldn’t rescind Davis-Bacon, but you used the California case to justify President Bush’s decision. As I said, you over-reached.
Read the DOL language, it clearly says the surveys are used to determine the prevailing wage, not that wages are set by the feds. The market sets the price, not the government—unless the government rescinds the rules for federal contractors, then the contractor gouges the worker.
Why don’t you dig deeper instead of insinuating wrong-doing? NewsMax is not a credible source; it stretches the Clinton Administration’s relationship with Enron to justify the unethical ties between Bush and Enron. And, if a government didn’t have relationships with companies, working together to improve foreign market opportunities, there would be something wrong. The Clintonites, if anything, were aggressive business development evangelists for the U.S.
Seriously, though, Romeo: stick to the topic. The President cut wage rules for federal contractors. Regardless of what you believe about the history of the Davis-Bacon Act, how do you justify the idea that people who have lost everything should be employed for less than the prevailing wage in the region? It’s a simple question.
Tonight, the President said: “Our goal is to get the work done quickly. … And taxpayers expect this work to be done honestly and wisely, so we will have a team of inspector generals reviewing all expenditures.” I hope he keeps that promise, for a change—in Iraq, his watch has allowed $9 billion in outright fraud and waste; he does not have a track record of success.
He also talked about creating incentives for small companies, getting people back to work and “confronting poverty.” Hopefully, he’ll see the error in cutting wage protection for workers as counteracting his high-minded words. Americans would like to see this president keep his promises in word and deed, another area where the results are always worse than the promise. In the high-tech industry, we talk about companies that “over-promise and under-deliver,” which has been the hallmark of the Bush years. Were Mr. Bush to succeed in confronting poverty, by supporting a fair wage, among other things, it would be a great victory for the country.