The first report, titled The Real Cost of Public Pensions, "refutes two of the most common arguments that public pension benefits are somehow modest." It's wonky but it's worth the read if you're into the nitty gritty of the issue.
The second report, published yesterday -- The impact of Act 10 on public sector compensation in Wisconsin -- shows that Wisconsin public employee benefits are still 4.5 times larger than pensions in the private economy and Wisconsin public employees are still paid 22% more in total compensation than their private counterparts. The Executive Summary is below:
I heard Scott Walker interviewed yesterday on the Laura Ingraham radio show (see below). The guy is absolutely amazing! I don't think there's a more well-spoken or enthusiastic advocate of property, freedom and peace anywhere on the national scene. He doesn't speak in a measured tones or hedge his opinions. He is forceful in his beliefs and knows economics like the back of his hand.After a protracted legal and political battle, on March 11, 2011, the Wisconsin state Legislature passed Act 10, the Budget Repair Act, which increased public employee contributions toward pensions and health coverage and restricted union powers of collective bargaining and dues collection. This study analyzes public sector salaries and benefits in Wisconsin, with a particular focus on disentangling the risk-adjusted value of pension benefits offered in the public sector from accounting conventions that can understate the cost and value of defined benefit pension plans.
We find that state and local government employees receive salaries roughly equal to those paid to private sector Wisconsin employees with similar education and experience or working in jobs with similar skill requirements.However, even following Act 10, pension benefits for Wisconsin public employees are roughly 4.5 times more valuable than private sector levels while health benefits are about twice as generous as those paid by larger private sector Wisconsin employers. This difference results in a combined salary-benefits compensation premium of around 22 percent for state workers over private sector workers, with varying but often larger pay advantages for local government employees.
I'd hate to deprive Wisconsin of the best governor it's had in its history, but this guy should be on the Republican ticket this year with Mitt Romney! Listen to this clip of Walker in action and see if you agree with me.
Legal Insurrection. A new poll from Marquette University, which is perhaps the most respected poll in the state, has Walker up 7 points. Lt. Gov. Rebecca Kleefisch (pictured at right), has a lead in the polls over her unionist competitor, but her lead is "statistically insignificant." She is not as well-spoken as Walker, but she is good people ala Sarah Palin.
Walker doesn't sound like a man with the election in the bag. He is a man on a mission and warns his supporters not to "spike the football on the 10 yard line!"
So, please, donate to Walker and Kleefisch and, if you're a Wisconsinite, VOTE !!!!!!!