Thursday, February 24, 2011

American Thinker: Madison and the Schoolkids

The writer asks an interesting question:
Why must some people be subjected to reality while others live like it doesn't exist? The reality of Wisconsin is that unemployment is around ten percent. My home state of Wisconsin is facing a projected $3.6-billion budget deficit. That's bigger than New York's deficit, and they have ten times more people than we do. We don't even have enough money to pay for $137 million's worth of this cycle's budget, which ends on June third.

In the real world, companies facing this proposition have few alternatives outside bankruptcy. Yet we all know that reality never affects the government, right? Wrong! Not anymore in Wisconsin. We have reached the point where we can either follow Greece into the future or make tough decisions now. We can no longer afford to pay 100% of government union pensions. Even if my union neighbor pays 5.8%, as the governor has requested in his recent bill, the taxpayer of Wisconsin will continue to pay for the rest of it.

Imagine that you are now a unionized government employee. The missing Democrat senators are found, they are escorted back to WI, and the governor's bill passes. Because the governor has asked unions to pay twelve percent (and in some situations, a few points higher) of their health care premiums, you get a call from your insurance agent. He informs you of an outstanding balance of $1,000. Thanks to Scott "Stalin" Walker, you now have to pay $120 of that balance. Your neighbor, the taxpayer, will have to pay only the remaining $880 instead of the complete $1,000.

Now you're back in the real world. Where in the nearly destroyed private sector can you get a health care premium like that?