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Larry Kaufmann should cite his sources

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Larry Kaufmann should cite his sources

Postby Uncle_Leaver » Thu May 26, 2011 3:54 pm

Regarding this week's opinion piece by Larry Kaufmann, Defending the budget repair bill (Vol. 36, No. 21). Defending Governor Walker's requirement that state employees contribute 5% of their wages to WRS, Mr. Kaufmann states:

But how many people know that eve before this bill, state law actually required public employees to pay about half the costs of their pensions? The budget repair bill simply eliminates the government's ability to pick up this tab, as it has agreed to do under collective bargaining agreements with state workers.


This makes it sound as though collective bargaining agreements have been in violation of state law, which specifically prohibits this arrangement, all this time. Why am I always suspicious of right-wing apologists who quote from state law without actually citing the statute? Oh ... this is why:

s. 40.05 (6) (b)
In lieu of employee payment, the employer may pay all or
part of the contributions required by par. (a), but all the payments shall be available for benefit purposes to the same extent as required contributions deducted from earnings of the participating employees. Action to assume employee contributions as provided under this paragraph shall be taken at the time and in the form determined by the governing body of the participating employer.


Anyone who can read will note that the statute itself makes a provision for the employer to cover the employee share to WRS and therefore no requirement, such as Kaufmann describes, exists. The above is taken directly from the Wisconsin State Statutes, which can easily be searched online. This specific statute can be found here:

http://legis.wisconsin.gov/statutes/Stat0040.pdf

Why does Isthmus persist in publishing misleading tripe by lazy would-be writers who refuse to do due diligence to back up their (in this case, exceedingly weak) arguments? The above is an example of a little thing called fact checking, Isthmus, and it's what good editors are supposed to do.

Moreover, I love how Mr. Kaufmann summarily dismisses raising taxes (he does not bother to specify whose taxes he refers to) as an alternative solution to our budget woes. "The state's per capita income has fallen below the national median," he moans. "Raising taxes will not help our already struggling state prosper in an increasingly competitive environment." he whimpers.

Tell me, Mr. Kaufmann, what effect does reducing every WI civil servants salary by 5% through Walker's plan have on the state's per capita income? Have you done the math on that one, Mr. Economic Consultant?

The title is laughable, if not bordering on outright fraud. This weak-ass article penned by this partisan shill should be all the proof you need to move along to the next name in the Yellow Pages should you ever find yourself in need of economic consulting services.

Next time, do your homework, Kaufmann. Or better yet, leave the journalistic pursuits to somebody with at least a remedial level of skill with a search engine. For the sake of your clients, I hope you work an adding machine better than you do a computer.

Extremely Sincerely,

James Leaver
Madison, WI
WPEC (AFT Local 4848) to the bitter end.
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Re: Larry Kaufmann should cite his sources

Postby TheBookPolice » Thu May 26, 2011 4:28 pm

But--but--to quote Teen Talk Barbie, "Math class is tough!"
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Re: Larry Kaufmann should cite his sources

Postby jman111 » Fri May 27, 2011 10:31 am

Uncle_Leaver wrote:
But how many people know that eve before this bill, state law actually required public employees to pay about half the costs of their pensions? The budget repair bill simply eliminates the government's ability to pick up this tab, as it has agreed to do under collective bargaining agreements with state workers.


This makes it sound as though collective bargaining agreements have been in violation of state law, which specifically prohibits this arrangement, all this time. Why am I always suspicious of right-wing apologists who quote from state law without actually citing the statute?

I'll be honest. When I read Leaver's post ysterday, I was gonna defend Kaufmann based solely on the quote included. I didn't think that quote "sounded" the way Leaver described it. But, I hadn't read the whole opinion piece yet. After reading it, especially this part (emphasis mine)
Amending the law to ensure that existing statutes are actually implemented probably wouldn't strike the average voter as a "radical" move, but that's exactly what the bill does.

I can say that I agree with Leaver in his criticism. Kaufmann seems to imply that the current arrangement violates existing statutes. That's BS.
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