Forbes Excerpt: (Rick Ungar)
If the Wisconsin governor and state legislature were to be honest, they would correctly frame this issue. They are not, in fact, asking state employees to make a larger contribution to their pension and benefits programs as that would not be possible - the employees are already paying 100% of the contributions. more
There is no denying taxpayers pay the total compensation package for public employees. But it is earned compensation diced up and negotiated for through union contracts. It's the "negotiation" part of the benefits they want to get rid of - those pesky unions.
Some folks think that because public employees total compensation package comes from the taxpayer, Ungar's statement is misleading. Yet, if you truly believe that public employees contribute nothing to their benefits package, then you must also believe that private sector workers contribute NOTHING to their health care and benefits package too. Since all of the money they've earned and contributed to their benefits also came from their employer as well. In that construct, all workers, public and private, contribute the same amount to their benefits - nothing. It's little more than a shell game, but the shell game is not the real issue here. The issue has been framed to be about the state budget and how much taxpayers are led to believe they over-contribute to public employee's benefits.
Unfortunately, because of the American mediacorpse many Wisconsin taxpayers wrongly believe that public sector workers are gifted with excessive taxpayer paid benefits and pensions they don't deserve or are far better than those offered in the private sector. When in fact it is private sector employers who are feeding at the taxpayer trough in order to pay for a large portion of their employees health care costs.
Have you given thought to who really pays a major portion of a private sector worker's health care package? Taxpayers do! That's right. In the form of a $2,500 tax credit for individuals and about a $5,500 tax credit for families that the employer picks up annually from the good ol' U.S. government. What has the private sector done to earn or negotiate for this often unnoticed government "entitlement?" Absolutely nothing! Why, they didn't even do community service to work for the tax credits. So, a large portion of private sector benefits are actually subsidized - not earned. While the public sector compensation packages are negotiated earnings - not subsidized.
If we really wanted to cut state and federal government deficits, we should instead be eliminating the health care tax credits employers like Koch Industries pick up from U.S. taxpayers for each of their employees. Exactly how else do you think certain private employers accumulated their billions? Through hard work and sweat? Oh please.
Instead, Big Corpse and their bought and paid for stooge politicians are playing us for fools. They have us tearing our communities, families and friendships apart over a phantom menace, while their profits soar. Heartless zombies laughing all the way to the bank.