Wisconsin, long one of the most liberal of states and along with its neighbor, Minnesota, the incubator of the Progressive movement in America, has at long last made a major contribution to political and economic reality. The ongoing budget battle has drawn back the curtains for all to see the impact of the self-serving interests of the public sector unions and their paid-for toadies in the Democratic Party.
In an excellent op-ed piece in the Wall Street Journal, Professor Robert Costrell exposes yet another taxpayer rip-off perpetrated by the Wisconsin teachers unions.
The showdown in Wisconsin over fringe benefits for public employees boils down to one number: 74.2. That's how many cents the public pays Milwaukee public-school teachers and other employees for retirement and health benefits for every dollar they receive in salary. The corresponding rate for employees of private firms is 24.3 cents.
The average Milwaukee public-school teacher salary is $56,500, but with benefits the total package is $100,005.00.
The list and cost of benefits exposed by Professor Costrell is astounding and nearly unbelievable. But with the unions essentially negotiating with their bought politician over taxpayer money when the taxpayer is not represented it is not surprising.
That is why Governor Walker is determined to restrict collective bargaining to salaries not benefits and revoke the mandatory payment of dues by union members.