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100 cents of every dollar for WI state workers' pensions paid for by the state workers themselves

Which make Walker (and his enablers in our famously free press and in both legacy parties) nothing but common thieves. Quelle surprise. David Cay Johnston:

Out of every dollar that funds Wisconsin' s pension and health insurance plans for state workers, 100 cents comes from the state workers.

How can that be? Because the "contributions" consist of money that employees chose to take as deferred wages – as pensions when they retire – rather than take immediately in cash. The same is true with the health care plan. If this were not so a serious crime would be taking place, the gift of public funds rather than payment for services.

Thus, state workers are not being asked to simply "contribute more" to Wisconsin' s retirement system (or as the argument goes, "pay their fair share" of retirement costs as do employees in Wisconsin' s private sector who still have pensions and health insurance). They are being asked to accept a cut in their salaries so that the state of Wisconsin can use the money to fill the hole left by tax cuts and reduced audits of corporations in Wisconsin.

It's exactly the same scam that Pete Peterson and Obama are running with the Cat Food Commission at the national level, but just more crude, as befits Rs at the state level: They are stealing money, from us, that we have already paid into the system.

NOTE What the elite believe: All your money are belong to us. If there's a pile of money lying around somewhere, our elite is going to loot it. That's why they do; that's what they are paid to do, and are promoted for doing. That, and lying about it. Via DU.

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Submitted by wlarip on

true in every state.

Required employee pension contributions are a pay-cut in 'shared sacrifice' clothing.
But there is a more draconian motive afoot.

Without collective bargaining, the quality of state worker jobs will be constantly eroded until no one wants them. Exceptions will be carved out for firefighters and cops. Teachers will be allowed to retain their jobs by 'teaching the test' and the test is designed by the administration. After all, evolution is just a theory.

The ultimate goal is the elimination of state workers in their entirety. Jeb Bush's orgasmatron really is 'empty state buildings'.

Here in Florida, the R's have been at this since Bush's election to Governor in '99. The idea is to promote privatization at every level with commensurate reductions in the size of the state workforce.

If state government doesn't have to make pension contributions and pay for healthcare, they can afford to pay more for the work and still save(make) more money than if they had to provide a decent standard of living for the state workforce.

Managers like because it eliminates a lot of paperwork(along with worker's rights) and they immediately fire anyone who doesn't please them (for any reason).

At one point, State Purchasing purged the Approved Vendors List to (about) 7 large names who(coincidence of coincidences) were all large R's contributors. The incest between business and politics, at that time, was a sight to behold. Fortunately, the biggest was not the best and they failed miserably. It was the same demeaned state employees who picked up the slack
(as they always do).

This is the same game, 2011 style. It is not a game we can afford to let them win.

Submitted by jawbone on

worker protections. It's the conservative holy grail.

And, with a small, controllable middle class, many of whom will totally dependent on the Uberwealthy, it will be difficult for the great Unwashed to develop political clout. We may well be there right now. What clout do we have with Obama et al???

There may still be responsiveness at the local and state level. Dems are standing pretty strong in Wisconsin right now, Indiana. But...the goal is to make winning elections more and more possible only with big, big expenditures, provided by Big Money with big strings attached. Strong, inescapable strings....

Submitted by Fran on

Fighting the Foreclosure Fraud has been most effective in the courts and at the state level.
Single Payer HC is making inroads at the state level........etc.

We still need to work at the Federal level simultaneously, but it takes longer, Congress is more heavily paid off, etc. In addition, many situations are addressed at the state level. (for example, in PA, the fracking issue and the fact that oil companies are not even taxed.) Plus, state reps are closer to their constituency.

I read, somewhere, that a goal in WI is to make it a 'Right to Work' state. Since I live in a 'Right to Work' state, I know that is a step back. It means you can legally be fired anytime for any reason - you have no protection except for discrimination covered by the EEOC.

Submitted by Fran on

Benefits are part of a salary/ compensation package. Benefits are not a gift! Even individuals, not just unions, can negotiate a compensation package with an employer.

Besides that, the state worker unions in WI have already said they will take that salary cut - by paying more for their negotiated benefits!!! So that is not even the issue.

It is a red herring to hide, or distract from, all the other things going on in the bill and in the budget plan. Among other things, Walker does not even want workers to be assured of safe working conditions.

Generally speaking - at least it used to be the case that - if you took higher benefits, your wages would be less; lesser benefits meant higher wages. It is a trade-off. Our County jobs pay low wages, but have great benefits. A temp employee should get more per hour because they have no benefits. That hourly rate is not as good as it looks at first!

Anyway, it is all an effort to break labor and the middle class. The private sector has already lost its unions and benefits. The government workers are the last line of defense for labor in this country. The media are making this a fight between private and public sector workers. Divide and conquer again.

Submitted by jawbone on

a trade-off between lower wages/salary and better benefits, including pension. The employer is paying for work performed; part of that pay can be deferred into pensions.

Additionally, for some employees if they pay into a pension plan they cannot pay into SocSec. Reducing these pensions reduces them to possible penury.

This point needs to be made over and over and over again.

Maybe in LTE's! ASAP!

And, forgot where I read this, but iirc it came from Shakesville:

If you're unionzed, you can negotiate; if you're not, you beg.

Aeryl's picture
Submitted by Aeryl on

Like the one for my state. United We Stand, Divided We Fall.

So the motto, is United We Bargain, Divided We Beg.

Submitted by Lex on

Here in MI, our new venture capitalist, off shoring, Republican governor is proposing to tax pension benefits. Since most of the people collecting today are on a fixed income that's gonna hurt; worse yet, many (most?) of them contributed from net income. So they're going to get taxed twice.

You see, we have to pay for the new 6% flat corporate tax that will replace the recently enacted business tax that was argued for because the business tax before last was "draconian".

Take from the poor and give to the rich, while half the poor cheer your ass on...what a country, eh?