Mr. Fund flat out lies when he repeats the widespread line "Moreover, it's become abundantly clear that too many government workers enjoy wages, benefits and pensions that are out of line with the rest of the economy." When compared with workers with similar skills and education, they are less well paid, their benefits often are not protected by the PBGC, and some are not covered by social security.
This column gives me a good sense of the conservative position on the Wisconsin labor debate. As someone who doesn't naturally approach such disputes from that perspective, I learned a lot about the rational arguments in favor of Gov. Walker's plan. It is seriously lacking in factual context about the Wisconsin situation, though.
Local Wisconsin media have not given this perspective of who is financing some of the protestors. As an alderman in a small Wisconsin city, I am faced with a major cut in shared revenue in the near future which can only be balanced with more freedom to curb benefits and wages. Currently the state prevents us from going below the previous year's budget for police, fire and library expenditures, while the unions seek 3% or higher wage increases and we face 15% and higher costs for retirement and health benefits for fulltime employees.
Generous wages and benefits achieved by teacher's negotiations also put pressure on local governments which are experiencing challenges with all revenue areas as tax and utility collections ... More »