I never, ever do two posts in a row about anything, but since this IS the day of Wisconsin’s recall election….I kinda gotta do this now.
One of the outcomes of the battle in Wisconsin was over the funding and viability of public sector pensions. Walker was trying to save them AND not bankrupt the state simultaneously. This was figured out by the voters, who seem to like what they see, so far. This may be the biggest reason that Walker is expected to survive the recall effort against him today.
From Rick Moran over at pjmedia.com:
Scott Walker tried to address one small part of this crisis by asking public employees to contribute more from their paychecks to the state’s pension fund. The way the unions reacted, one would have believed that Walker was trying to take their pensions away. The effort to require public employees to contribute the same amount to their pension fund as most private citizens is going to be duplicated nationwide once pension bombs begin exploding.
According to the Christian Science Monitor, “Nationwide, state pensions were underfunded by $600 billion in 2009. That accounts for about half of the $1.26 trillion gap in overall retirement benefits owed to public employees that year.” The article notes that “states have only set aside $31 billion to cover the health care of its retirees – just five percent of the $635 billion they already owe.”
And his conclusion?
Even at the brink of bankruptcy, public unions balk at taking the necessary medicine. How will the pension bomb be defused and ever-rising health care costs for retired public workers be successfully managed if the unions don’t cooperate?
Eventually, whether they want to or not, unions will be forced to give in. And this is the final reason why unions have already lost regardless of the outcome in Wisconsin. Their ideas are outmoded and unsuitable for a modern society with problems relating to an aging population and shrinking work force to support them. This final reason for their defeat might do them in entirely unless the unions wake up and work with state and local governments to pull back from the abyss and find reasonable common ground to save what can be saved from this fiscal nightmare.
Read the whole thing. The author actually highlights 4 other reasons that the Unions have ultimately lost the argument up in Wisconsin, and are in danger of losing the whole argument nationwide.