Comparable private-sector figures are difficult to calculate, in part because few private-sector employees have government-style defined-benefit plans; some have no pensions at all, while others enjoy 401(k)s, IRAs, profit-sharing, or defined-contribution plans. However, specifically among workers with 401(k) accounts, the latest available data indicate that, on average, employers in 2009 financed 21.9 percent of these employees’ 401(k) contributions, while employees in 2006 covered 78.1 percent of such expenses themselves.
As for health insurance, Walker envisions Wisconsin taxpayers’ slice of the cost of government workers’ premiums dropping from 94.4 percent to 87.4 percent. State employees would pay the 12.6 percent balance, up from 5.6 percent now. According to the Kaiser Family Foundation’s Employer Health Benefits: 2010 Annual Survey
, private employers on average paid 70.1 percent of their workers’ health-care premiums, while employees paid 29 percent. (For my spreadsheet with further analysis, please click here
Next, rather than have state government serve as the unions’ bagman, Walker wants public employees to pay their union dues on their own. Why does this terrify union members, to the extent of getting fraudulent notes for “Walker pneumonia” from compliant doctors so they can skip work and scream in the streets? If the unions truly deliver excellent service, their members should be happy to pay monthly dues directly to their union bosses. The fact that this terrifies unions reveals their deep-seated lack of confidence in what they offer.
Walker also wants to let state employees decide annually if they wish to remain unionized. Why do Democrats so vehemently oppose a woman’s right to choose whether or not to join a government workers’ union? And shouldn’t male state employees also enjoy the right to choose? Again, if the unions are doing such splendid work, why do they tremble at the prospect of annual recertification elections?
Meanwhile, the civility police — who virtually planted a smoking gun in Sarah Palin’s hand as they raced to blame conservatives for the January 8 Tucson massacre — are as absent as the Fearful Fourteen. They have been as silent as tombstones while leftists compared Walker’s Budget Repair Bill to Adolf Hitler’s deployment of cattle cars, gas chambers, and crematoria to incinerate 11 million people, including 6 million European Jews. Can you say, “Extreme rhetoric”?
One protester carried a sign that read “Kill the Bill,” complete with a drawing of Walker’s legislation sporting a bloody bullet hole. Another sign depicted Walker’s face covered with — you guessed it — a rifle’s crosshairs. The photos here demonstrate that expectations of civility only apply to the political Right. The Left does whatever it damn well pleases in American public life — and with nary a peep of criticism from the commentators who swarm like hornets whenever a conservative and/or Republican says anything short of soothing.
As the Daily Caller’s Matthew Boyle reported, a union thug yanked the wires from the sound system at the Tea Party’s pro-Walker rally Saturday. “A gentleman came up and ripped the cord right out of the speaker,” Chicago tea-partier Steve Stevlic said. “A couple people came and tried to stop him from doing that, and he was pushing and shoving.” Police arrested and then released the unidentified Big Labor henchman.