Gov. Walker Op-Ed Defends 'Wisconsin Way'

Thursday, 17 Mar 2011 01:48 PM

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The pension and benefits plan imposed on workers in Wisconsin is more generous than the one President Barack Obama provides to federal workers, Gov. Scott Walker argues in an opinion column in The Washington Post. The state plan calls for a 12.6 percent health insurance payment for state workers while federal workers pay an average of 28 percent of health insurance costs.

Walker, Wisconsin, unions, benefits,
            health, insurance, contributions
Wis. Gov. Scott Walker
“It’s enough to make you wonder why there are no protesters circling the White House,” he writes. “My brother is a banquet manager and occasional bartender at a hotel. He pays nearly $800 a month for his family’s health insurance and can put away only a little bit toward his 401(k). He would love the plan I’m offering to public employees.

“As my brother recognizes, our plan is a good deal for government workers when compared with what other middle-class workers are paying for benefits. It would be a great deal for federal workers.”

Walker argues there are four ways to solve the budget problems facing the states: cut spending, which leads to layoffs, raise taxes, do both, or adopt the “Wisconsin way.”

“The Wisconsin way allows local governments to balance the budget through reasonable benefit contributions. These reasonable contributions will save local governments almost $1.5 billion. The financial savings in our budget reforms will protect 1,500 jobs this fiscal year and 10,000 jobs over the next two years. The savings come from giving state and local governments the tools to manage benefit costs through collective bargaining reform.”

Walker concluded that “our budget repair bill is about the next generation. We are making the difficult decisions now so that our children don’t have to make even more difficult choices to balance the budget we left them.”

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