Monthly Archives: February 2011

Contrary to GOP Line, WI Public Employees Pay for Their Benefits

Unsurprisingly, the Big Media, for reasons of laziness, incompetence or complicity, have been taking the press releases from Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, and the Republican Party, as fact. Consequently, much of the public erroneously believes that benefits and pensions of Wisconsin public workers are ‘free’ — in other words, paid for by the taxpayers. Surprisingly, PolitiFact has been doing the same; apparently relying for their ‘facts’ on tainted information provided by the Governor’s office. Here, David Cay Johnston at clears the air:

Really Bad Reporting in Wisconsin: Who ‘Contributes’ to Public Workers’ Pensions?

David Cay Johnston
Feb. 24, 2011

When it comes to improving public understanding of tax policy, nothing has been more troubling than the deeply flawed coverage of the Wisconsin state employees’ fight over collective bargaining.

Economic nonsense is being reported as fact in most of the news reports on the Wisconsin dispute, the product of a breakdown of skepticism among journalists multiplied by their lack of understanding of basic economic principles.

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, created 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. [ ed.: Emphasis mine.]

Read the rest here.

In Cash We Trust, but Unions We Bust

Arnold Chevalier, left, of Stoughton, Wis., shouts inside the State Capitol, Feb. 21, 2011, in Madison, Wis.

Written by Gene Lyons for

Scott Walker zeroes in on the real enemies of the common man: Teachers, nurses and the guys who drive snowplows

Recent events in Washington and Wisconsin have me thinking that maybe we should just go ahead and change the national motto to something more truly reflective of today’s America. Forget “e pluribus unum” with its elitist overtones. Also, what people who make a big thing over “In God We Trust” really mean isn’t so much that they approve of the deity, as that God approves of them.

Anyway, here’s my suggestion: “Money Talks.”

Think about it. In Washington, GOP Speaker John Boehner, asked about the near-certain loss of several hundred thousand jobs should severe Republican budget cuts go through, responded, “So be it.”
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