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Sunday, February 27, 2011

Two Lies Exposed: Collective Bargaining & Taxpayer Contributions to Pensions

Two big lies have been shot down, regarding states and issues behind the public employee salaries and pensions.
The actual truths instead of the myths:
Here are examples of no public unions states and higher deficits:
from "The New Republic," "What's Really Going on in Wisconsin?
The assault on collective bargaining isn’t about the deficit—it's about politics"
But now, in the midst of the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression, conservative, anti-labor politicians like Governor Walker are trying out a new and potentially more potent anti-union argument: We can no longer afford collective bargaining. The wages, health benefits, and pensions of government workers, these opponents say, are driving states into deep and dangerous deficits.

Yet this contention is every bit as bogus as the alarmist arguments put forth by the anti-union crusaders of the 1970s. Contrary to Walker’s assertion, there is no direct correlation between public-sector collective bargaining and yawning state budget deficits. According to data gathered by the Center for Budget and Policy Priorities, while Wisconsin projects a state budget deficit of 12.8 percent for FY 2012, North Carolina, which does not allow government workers to bargain, faces a significantly higher deficit: 20 percent. Ohio, whose Republican governor John Kasich has also made clear his desire to roll back collective bargaining, has a deficit that is only about half the size of non-union North Carolina’s. Clearly, then, state budget deficits we are now witnessing are not the product of collective bargaining, but rather reflect the differential impact of the current recession on individual states, as well as the integrity of state fiscal practices (such as whether they raise enough in taxes to pay for the essential services they provide).

Such facts apparently matter little to Walker, Kasich, and their ilk. They have taken to heart the famous quip by the right wing’s bête noire, Rahm Emanuel: “You never want a serious crisis to go to waste.” Exploiting the suffering of so many during this “Great Recession,” they are seeking to turn hurting private-sector workers against their supposedly “privileged” public-sector counterparts in a perverse new form of class warfare, the end results of which will only accelerate the downward pressure on incomes and benefits that has contributed to a new gilded age of wealth inequality in America.

What proponents of the rollback in public-sector bargaining rights are unable to explain is how taking rights away from some American workers will improve the lot of others . . . .

"The Wisconsin Lie Exposed – Taxpayers Actually Contribute Nothing To Public Employee Pensions"
Pulitzer Prize winning tax reporter, David Cay Johnston, has written a brilliant piece for exposing the truth about who really pays for the pension and benefits for public employees in Wisconsin.

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, creates 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.

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