Skip to comments.Athens in Mad Town A seminal showdown between public unions and taxpayers.
Posted on 02/18/2011 8:04:13 AM PST by mandaladon
For Americans who don't think the welfare state riots of France or Greece can happen here, we recommend a look at the union and Democratic Party spectacle now unfolding in Wisconsin. Over the past few days, thousands have swarmed the state capital and airwaves to intimidate lawmakers and disrupt Governor Scott Walker's plan to level the playing field between taxpayers and government unions.
Mr. Walker's very modest proposal would take away the ability of most government employees to collectively bargain for benefits. They could still bargain for higher wages, but future wage increases would be capped at the federal Consumer Price Index, unless otherwise specified by a voter referendum. The bill would also require union members to contribute 5.8% of salary toward their pensions and chip in 12.6% of the cost of their health insurance premiums.
If those numbers don't sound outrageous, you probably work in the private economy. The comparable nationwide employee health-care contribution is 20% for private industry, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The average employee contribution from take-home pay for retirement was 7.5% in 2009, according to the Employee Benefits Research Institute.
Mr. Walker says he has no choice but to make these changes because unions refuse to negotiate any compensation changes, which is similar to the experience Chris Christie had upon taking office in New Jersey. Wisconsin is running a $137 million deficit this year and anticipates coming up another $3.6 billion short in the next two-year budget. Governor Walker's office estimates the proposals would save the state $300 million over the next two years, and the alternative would be to lay off 5,500 public employees.
None of this is deterring the crowds in Madison, aka Mad Town, where protesters, including many from the 98,000-member teachers union, have gone Greek.
(Excerpt) Read more at online.wsj.com ...
The ‘rats are receiving bad optics on this.
Was there “thousands” at the protest? I hope there’s a good show of support by the Tea Party tomorrow.
Speaking of the French... something about the battle tactics of the WI senate Dems seems familiar.
LOL! Loved Evan Sayet’s line: “How often do the French have to walk under the Arch de Triumph with their hands in the air before they decide that maybe they need to rename it.”
Finally an news article gets the right comparison..I’m sick of the Egypt comparisons. It is Greece and France. Publicly paid employee demands...nothing more.
Just lay them off and be done with it....
“Im sick of the Egypt comparisons.”
Given the unholy alliance between radical Islam and the left, it’s more apt a comparison than you would think.
All they need to do is start raping women and looting, while blaming Israel and it will be a perfect comparison.
** The great public-sector pension rip-off **
From The Economist print edition
July 9, 2009
JOIN a private-sector company these days and you will be very lucky if you get a pension linked to your final salary. In Britain almost three out of four companies that retain such schemes have closed them to new employees. The cost of paying such benefits, which are partly linked to inflation and offer payouts to surviving spouses, is simply too high now that many retirees are surviving into their 80s.
Yet most new public-sector employees in Britain and America continue to benefit from pensions linked to their salaries. The pension costs facing the public sector are roughly the same as those facing the private sector; their employees are likely to live just as long. But because of the presumed largesse of future taxpayers, governments seem under much less pressure to reduce their pension costs. In 2005 a reform package in Britain raised the retirement age for new state employees, but still left existing employees able to retire at 60.
Go PATCO on ‘em!
‘.....Wisconsin is running a $137 million deficit ....’
Wisconsin faces a budget shortfall between $2.2 and $3.3 billion,
Union Fascist Brown Shirts on display!
Private sector unions know that they can only push so far until the company they work for lands in bankruptcy. In dire circumstances, they will make concessiones to keep the company afloat - otherwise they’re unemployed.
Public sector unions have no such barriers. If the government doesn’t have the money, then they demand tax hikes.
This is a real opportunity to drive a wedge between public and private sector unions. The membership of UAW, AFL-CIO, Teamsters, etc have all had to pitch in for their health care and pensions- why should the NEA, FOP, SEIU be any different?
“...How often do the French have to walk under the Arch de Triumph with their hands in the air before they decide that maybe they need to rename it.
QUOTE DU JOUR!!!!!!!!!!!!! Hahahaha!!! Excellent!