So, maybe you’re thinking to yourself, “Well, Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker is a jerk but he has a good point. Why should Wisconsin taxpayers pick up the tab for all those unionized teachers’ and public employees’ pensions and benefits? They should pick up more of that tab themselves.”
And we could have a valid conversation about that. We could debate the relative merits of union compensation and the costs to taxpayers and society in general when taxpayers are paying for the benefits and pensions of public workers and the educators of our children.
We could have that conversation if the taxpayers of Wisconsin were actually paying anything for the pensions and benefits of Wisconsin teachers and public workers.
Gov. Scott Walker says he wants state workers covered by collective bargaining agreements to “contribute more” to their pension and health insurance plans. Accepting Gov. Walker’ s assertions as fact, and failing to check, creates the impression that somehow the workers are getting something extra, a gift from taxpayers. They are not. Out of every dollar that funds Wisconsin’ s pension and health insurance plans for state workers, 100 cents comes from the state workers.
The pension plan is the direct result of deferred compensation- money that employees would have been paid as cash salary but choose, instead, to have placed in the state operated pension fund where the money can be professionally invested (at a lower cost of management) for the future.
Get that? Not one penny of taxpayer money is used for health benefits or pensions for these union members. Not. One. Penny.
Given that fact, one that has been completely unmentioned and overlooked and intentionally left out of the rhetoric coming from Governor Walker’s speeches, is there any doubt whatsoever that his actions to strip these people of their collective bargaining rights are anything but a crass power grab to bust up their unions and kneecap the Democratic party which is the main recipient of union political (and financial) support?
The answer, of course, is no.
I’m just sayin’…