Friday, March 04, 2011

Walker Makes Contrast with Illinois on Pensions

Meltdown this morning by an AWOL WISenDem on WLS Chicago when facing some reasonable questions. (No podcast yet.) We in Illinois have some familiarity with unsustainable debt. And the cost keeps piling up. In contrast, a Republican governor. Reuters:
But Walker showed no signs in the interview of backing down. He said investors should buy Wisconsin debt because its pension system is fully funded and his budget proposal would lower the state's structural deficit 90 percent by the end of fiscal 2013. This contrasted favorably with states such as Illinois and California, he said.
"We made the tough decisions to make the point to the investor that while it was tough doing it, we actually had the courage of our convictions," Walker said. "This is exactly the place you want to invest in because it is rock solid. There's nothing that is going to shake us."
Asked about the delay in refinancing the state's debt that is tied to the union dispute, Walker said he was "cautiously optimistic" that time remained to resurrect the restructuring plan.
"If they (Democrats) came back tomorrow, for example, we'd still try and see if we could talk to our bank and see if we could push this (refinancing) forward because its much better than losing $165 million in savings," he said.
Remember. He is facing a $3.6 billion deficit next year, which he is tackling. Under his plan they still would have collective bargaining on wages alone. Governor Walker is asking that public sector unions pay what amounts to about half of what the private sector pays for benefits, when previously they have gotten off nearly scot free. Their benefits have been largely hidden from the public for political reasons--they can be as large as their salaries, a practice unheard of in the private sector. Taxpayers who make much less are paying their salaries and benefits, and union bosses are garnishing members' wages for dues, then contributing to Dem lawmakers, who reward their fat donors by giving them unsustainable benefits. Corruption baked in the public union cake.

The governor is trying to stop layoffs and give members the choice to vote for a union or not. They could realize savings of up to $1,000 in dues. And the state could get back on a prosperous path, encouraging growth and new jobs.

More. Via conservativehome:
  • Peggy Noonan: "Public unions get too 'friendly': They resemble 'On the Waterfront' more than 'Norma Rae.'" - WSJ
Via RCP:The Pension-Cost Explosion Hits the States - Josh Barro, National Affairs

And: Governor Walker
An example of collective bargaining that has a fiscal impact and hinders a community's ability to deal with a blizzard.

Governor Walker
Good article that highlights the massive gap separating private and public sector benefits:

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