In Obamacare, it was mandated that health insurance companies spend 85% of premiums on care (vs. marketing, profits, and overhead) or else they owe their customers a refund. So if the same standard was applied to unions, how much of their dues would they have to refund?
For example, according to the most recent federal filings, the Michigan Education Association — the state’s largest labor union — received $122 million and spent $134 million in 2012. They averaged about $800 from each of their 152,000 members.
According to union documents, "representational activities" (money spent on bargaining contracts for members) made up only 11 percent of total spending for the union. Meanwhile, spending on “general overhead” (union administration and employee benefits) comprised of 61 percent of the total spending.
The union appears to have spent nearly the entirety, or $119 million of their $122 million in dues, just supporting their leadership (and various politicians) in grand style. They actually had to borrow $12 million to do their job of representing their members.
By Obama's standard of good management (core activity costs = 85% of total customer dues paid) then the union should have taken only $17.4 million from their members, and owe them a $104.6 million refund.