I probably should have put this in with today’s Scramble, but I think I closed the books on that just before the expanded version went live at her blog. In any case, Michelle Malkin nails the essence of the argument once again:
The lowdown: State government workers in the Badger State pay piddling amounts for generous taxpayer-subsidized health benefits. Faced with a $3.6 billion budget hole and a state constitutional ban on running a deficit, new GOP Gov. Scott Walker wants public unions to pony up a little more. He has proposed raising the public employee share of health insurance premiums from less than 5 percent to 12.4 percent. He is also pushing for state workers to cover half of their pension contributions. To spare taxpayers the soaring costs of Byzantine union-negotiated work rules, he would rein in Big Labor’s collective bargaining power to cover only wages unless approved at the ballot box.
As the free-market MacIver Institute in Wisconsin points out, the benefits concessions Walker is asking public union workers to make would still maintain their health insurance contribution rates at the second-lowest among Midwest states for family coverage. Moreover, a new analysis by benefits think tank HCTrends shows that the new rate “would also be less than the employee contributions required at 85 percent of large Milwaukee_area employers.”
In addition to my open to today’s Scramble, where I outlined some very-recent history of The Union/Democrat Axis trying to grab the last of the loot and power on their way out the door, I’ll bring in the Milwaukee Teachers’ Education Association’s attempt to force the Milwaukee Public Schools to restore erectile dysfunction benefits. That’s right, back in 2002, MPS offered coverage for Viagra and that class of drug. By 2005, after a massive abuse of the privlege, MPS pulled it back, and the MTEA has been battling since to restore the benefit. By the summer of 2010, after arbitrators, administrative law judges and ultimately the state Labor and Industry Review Commission ruled in MPS’s favor, the MTEA filed suit rather than fight more vigorously for the teachers that had been laid off that summer.
Oh, did I mention that the MTEA shut down MPS today to set up a 4-day weekend?