Lies and Ignorance
April 26, 2012
Democrats have stated that their 2012 recall campaigns won’t be raising the collective bargaining issues that prompted the recalls in the first place, so we won’t get to say “thanks for bringing it up.”
Instead, we’ll bring it up ourselves. Because the documented results of the collective bargaining changes say something very different from the sob stories government employee unions were telling, back when they thought it was smart politics.
The real story of public employee benefits in context with last year’s changes? The union members didn’t know then and evidently still don’t know how good they’ve got it.
Earlier this spring, HCTrends analyzed taxpayer-financed health insurance benefits in Wisconsin and neighboring states and guess what? Even after the 2011 reforms that sent them into a rage, Wisconsin public employees have a considerably softer deal than their counterparts in Illinois, Iowa, Michigan or Minnesota.
- At nearly $14,000 per state employee, Wisconsin taxpayers this year will pay nine percent more to subsidize health insurance benefits than taxpayers in Michigan—the next most expensive state—and 21 percent more than the average for all five states.
- Individual Wisconsin state employees will receive, on average, nearly $3,800 more in health care benefits than workers at large unionized private companies, and over $5,500 more than workers at large non-unionized companies.
Wisconsin state employees don’t know how good they’ve got it, and we have no doubt that in many cases, that is the literal truth. For union bosses, everything depends on the members not knowing.