Biden’s ‘Working Families’ Task Force is Misnomer, Conservative Leader Charges

By Pete Winn | December 22, 2008 | 5:59 PM EST

Vice-president elect Sen. Joe Biden (D-Del.)

( - A proposed White House Task Force on Working Families is “payback” to Big Labor, according to Gary Bauer, president of American Values, a pro-family conservative group.
“That task force ought to be named the ‘White House Task Force on Unions,’” Bauer told “Clearly, the new president owes a lot to the labor movement in the country and to the big unions that provided him a lot of his money -- and I think this task force will basically be dealing with issues that are near and dear to organized labor."
Vice President-elect Joe Biden announced Sunday that he will be charged with heading the task force after the new Obama administration is sworn in on Jan. 20. 
"We'll look at everything from college affordability to after-school programs," Biden told host George Stephanopoulos on ABC's "This Week" program Sunday.
In a statement released later on Sunday, Biden added: "Our charge is to look at existing and future policies across the board and use a yardstick to measure how they are impacting the working and middle-class families. President-elect Obama and I know the economic health of working families has eroded, and we intend to turn that around."
The president-elect's proposed economic stimulus package already ranges from $675 billion to as much as $850 billion, depending on what provisions are included.
Labor unions, who weighed-in Sunday, were already talking about the need for wage increases.

"Hardworking men and women are struggling to make ends meet because of stagnant wages and declining family incomes,” said Anna Burger, head of Change to Win, a labor union think-tank.

"Personal consumption is the largest component of the U.S. economy and workers' wages are the largest single source of consumer spending. “Without action to stimulate wage increases, consumption will continue to falter, and the economy will slip deeper into recession.

But Bauer, who founded the Campaign for Working Families back in the ‘90s, said that all families need help in a "down" economy. 

“When a liberal talks about helping working families, usually that means income redistribution,” Bauer said. “That is, they are going to take money from one group of individuals or families and give it to a favorite bloc, also made up of families. That’s bad for the country. That doesn’t stimulate economic growth. That just makes things worse. I hope that the new administration spends its time trying to figure out how to get the economy growing – and the best way to do that is to lower taxes for everybody.”
The task force will include the four Cabinet members – the secretaries of labor, health and human services, education and commerce -- as well as the heads of the National Economic Council and the Office of Management and Budget.

Change to Win, by the way, represents the Teamsters, Laborers International Union of North America (LIUNA), the Service Employees International Union (SEIU), the United Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners of America, the United Farm Workers of America, the United Food and Commercial Workers International and UNITE HERE -- an amalgamated union of industrial, textile, hotel and restaurant employees.