Wisconsin Teachers: Accept Cuts or Be Fired

Thursday, 24 Feb 2011 08:51 AM

By Wayne Allyn Root

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Ronald Reagan stood up to striking air-traffic controllers by simply firing them all. Can you imagine?

And we never noticed. Supervisors filled their shoes for months, while new ones were trained. Not a single accident. What happened to those air-traffic controllers who lost today’s equivalent of $100,000 per year jobs?

Few probably ever found a job with that kind of pay again.

It’s time for a Reagan moment in Wisconsin. The average Milwaukee teacher compensation at retirement age is about $100,000 per year. Yes, I said $100,000. That’s not being reported on the nightly news, now is it? And, what good is all that bloated compensation doing?

Milwaukee has a depressing 68 percent graduation rate. Two-thirds of Wisconsin eighth graders read below grade level.

That $100,000 annual teacher’s compensation is the highest in the Midwest. Yet, during a 10-year period, while Wisconsin teacher salaries rose dramatically, students saw no improvement. None. Proving once again, taxpayers, students, and parents get nothing in return for higher teacher pay.

Who spends the most on teacher pay? California and Washington D.C. — all for dismal results.

Government employee unions, teacher unions in particular, have to be the only business (or should I say “racket") that asks for raises for horrible performance. The worse they do, the more they ask for.

It’s always “the money.” The teacher unions never mention that private and Catholic school teachers make far less, with far superior results.

What drove GM and Chrysler into bankruptcy was not the bloated salaries for blue-collar union workers. It was the gold-plated pensions and free lifetime healthcare that killed the automakers. Wisconsin (and every other state in the United States) faces the same problem with their public employee unions.

Today, a teacher reported retiring at age 55, after working part-time for five short years. She gets “only” about $250 per month for life from the taxpayers of Wisconsin. Receiving $250 per month doesn’t sound like much, until you do the math.

If this teacher lives to the average age of 78, she’ll be paid over $65,000 in pension. With cost of living increases it probably goes to $75,000. Perhaps that doesn’t sound like much. But, when you realize her entire five-year working salary was $35,000, taxpayers will pay her twice that much in retirement. But what if she lives to 100? Perhaps triple or quadruple her working pay.

Now, think about all the full-time teachers in Wisconsin making $100,000 (or more) who have not paid a penny toward their retirement, but will get handed multimillion dollar pensions for 25 to 40 years of not working.

But, it gets worse. Wisconsin taxpayers also pay all their post-retirement healthcare costs, and pay for new teachers to replace them. Ever wonder why America is broke, busted and insolvent? That is why.

Here’s the irony. While these government employees get gold-plated pensions and free lifetime healthcare, the taxpayers who are paying their bills struggle to survive.

Why should taxpayers work their fingers to the bone until the day they die to support teacher and other public employee bloated wages and pensions? It’s time for anger and revolt alright. It is taxpayers who need to go on strike!

It’s time for Gov. Walker and other governors across America to invoke Ronald Reagan. The message is simple: Accept these modest cuts and end abusive collective bargaining by public employees or YOU’RE FIRED. And be sure to charge the teachers at the protests who hold fake doctor notes with fraud.

Good luck finding any job in the private sector paying $100,000 (or even $50,000), to work 8 to 3 with weekends, holidays, sick days and two months off in the summer, then retire young with a bloated pension and healthcare for life.

It’s time to stop being polite and politically correct.The national debt and unfunded liabilities now totals $100 trillion. The clock on America’s survival is ticking.

Look at the test scores. It can’t get worse. I bet we can get the same results for 30 percent less. Heck, bringing in fresh blood with new, creative ideas might improve the results. How can we find out if we don’t give it a try?

Oh, did I mention my daughter, Dakota, was home-schooled and is now a freshman at Harvard? Where’s my pension?

Where’s The Donald when we need him? Wisconsin teachers union — YOU’RE FIRED!

Wayne Allyn Root is a former libertarian vice presidential nominee. He now serves as chairman of the Libertarian National Congressional Committee. He is the best-selling author of "The Conscience of a Libertarian: Empowering the Citizen Revolution with God, Guns, Gold & Tax Cuts." His website: ROOTforAmerica.com

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