Scott Walker Challenger Tom Barrett Calls for Wisconsin State Worker Benefit Cuts

Even Walker's opponent realizes government employee compensation is out of control.

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PORTAGE — Every campaign evolves away from core talking points, but Democratic Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett is sticking by a plan that could mean up to $14,000 in compensation cuts for state workers.

After a campaign rally here Monday, as Barrett attempts to energize his supporters ahead of Tuesday's recall election, he stood by his plan to "Put Madison on a Diet," a 67-page document he issued during his 2010 run for governor.

"The underlying tenets are still there," Barrett told Wisconsin Reporter about the plan. "They're very much what we're looking at."

If the plan is still on the mayor's mind, it's nowhere to be found on his campaign website. A search of his 2012 site,BarrettforWisconsin.com, fails to reveal any mention of the strategy. The direct link for the plan — BarrettforWisconsin.com/Diet — leads to a "Page not found" warning.

In 2010, however, the government spending reduction playbook featured prominent billing as one of the mayor's top platform issues. Hewrote an editorial about it and made reducing government spending the subject of his second 2010 television ad.

"I have a plan to put Madison on a diet that will immediately save Wisconsin taxpayers more than $1 billion every year in specific spending cuts and savings," Barrett wrote July 9, 2010.

The strategy also included reducing health care for state prison inmates, improving state and local government purchasing power, and cracking down on Medicaid fraud. All told, Barrett said his plan would save taxpayers more than $1.1 billion annually. 

Perhaps the reason the mayor is mum on the topic is that it could offend some of his most fervent supporters: public workers and their unions.

As part of the plan, Barrett says he wants to "rightsize" — see also: layoffs — state government and put public-worker pay and benefits more in line with private-sector compensation.

"We can change the culture in Madison by … keeping state employee compensation and pensions in line with the private sector," Barrett wrote on his 2010 website. 

If Barrett wins Tuesday and follows through on his pay equality objective, state workers could be in for a shock.

Even after Republican Gov. Scott Walker's Act 10 reforms — legislation to curtail collective bargaining rights and require public workers to pay more for pensions and health care — public employees still fare much better than their private counterparts., resident scholar,

A May 30 study by American Enterprise Institute's Andrew Biggs, resident scholar, and Jason Richwine, senior policy analyst, showed that "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."

In all, the report said, public workers make about 22 percent more than the state's private employees.

To put all workers on a level playing field, public workers would be in for a drastic benefit and compensation cut.

"In dollar terms, the average Wisconsin state worker after Act 10 receives total compensation including benefits equal to $81,637 versus $67,068 for a similarly-skilled private worker, a difference of $14,569," wrote the researchers from the think tank.

Barrett didn't comment on the specifics of his plan, as questioning ended immediately after the mayor answered questions about his state government diet plan.

Still, he said, the people want a fiscally sound government, and that's what he plans to offer.

"That's what people expect, and that's what we will deliver," Barrett said.

Walker leads Barrett by at least 3 percentage points in the latest count, though the mayor's campaign says the race is a virtual tie. 

This article originally appeared at WisconsinReporer.com

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  1. Hmmm. I like the ‘unzip your genes’ snorgtees redhead too. She is a dead ringer for a gf I once had.

    1. Those genes look pretty good. They would look even better on my floor…

      1. Who are you to judge anyone’s taste in “women”? Your favorite is Brienne of Tarth.

        1. She will give me many mighty sons and increase the glory and honor of House SugarFree.

      2. At least Southernboy was the pitcher.

    2. Did you start this thread?

      http://boards.straightdope.com…..p=13603615

    3. All of the pictures Snorg seems to run on Reason feature what should be attractive women looking like they were recruited out of a Special Ed class and dressed by a misogynistic gay man.

      1. ^THIS^

      2. They know how to target a demographic, don’t they?

      3. Doesn’t this describe nearly every fashion ad?

        1. There’s that other t-shirt company that runs one of a very well endowed girl who is a bit beaky, but it looks like it was shot by someone who didn’t hate her. The jeans girl and the meh girl look like they were photographed by their nemesis (nemeses? nemesi? nemesises?) to look as unattractive as a young, healthy wellbuilt girl can look without being covered in filth.

          1. The correct plural form is nemeses.

            And yes that other girl is Boobtastic! but I just can’t get over her face. I know she’s making that expression as part of “being the shirt,” but it creeps the hell out of me.

            1. Is she the brunette with the ugly glasses on?

              1. No, the redhead sprawled on her back on the floor.

                1. Never seen her. I have only seen this one.

                  http://girlfriendinprogress.bl…..3/meh.html

                  1. The Meh girl looks as if she has a vacuum cleaner hose instead of a pharynx. Also, she is either showing a very large clit or a very small dick through her panties.

            2. And yes that other girl is Boobtastic!

              Not for long.

              http://thechive.com/2010/12/22…..17-photos/

              1. Not the Snorg girl. The other company’s model.

    1. Suzy Ormond,because nothing says stable retirement like government bankruptcy. The irony of Ms. Personal Financial never lease a car or have a credit card, supporting Obama may have just destroyed my monitor.

      I guess it is okay to spend your kid’s college fun as long as you support gay marriage.

    2. Speaking of stupid gay people, Ladies and Gentlemen, L.Z. Granderson!

      1. President Barack Obama’s Affordable Care Act was characterized by many as “socialized medicine.” Well, why aren’t those same critics leading the charge against the nation’s expanding waistline, seeing as how taxpayers pay the price when the cost comes due?

        It is almost like he doesn’t understand the objections to socialized medicine or something.

        1. Taxpayers pay the price for Medicare when the cost comes due. Kill all the old people!

        2. The proponents of socialized medicine think that you can take the same system used in Europe or Canada, apply it here on a larger scale, and healthcare costs will automatically go through the floor.

          They simply don’t understand that, at this point, what they want is simply impossible. If healthcare is a “right,” it shouldn’t matter how fat Don’Trell or BillyBob down in Mississippi gets–they should still be given every resource available. And that can’t happen in a socialized system, because in order to keep costs down, full treatment for every conceivable ailment won’t be provided. There isn’t enough money to pay for it all.

          We’d be better off dumping all socialized healthcare systems in this country, going back to a cash system, require hospitals to provide a price list of their services, and limit insurance to catastrophic coverage only.

      2. And yet, Granderson will no doubt scream in the next breath that healthcare is a “right” that only rich people should be liable for.

    3. Speaking of stupid. Today on ESPN their count down celebrating Title IX features Tracy Austin.

      Tracy Austin was a teenage professional tennis player. He success had nothing to do with Title IX which forced colleges, ones which Austin as a professional was ineligible to compete for, to fund women’s sports.

      1. It’s ESPN, anything other than straight box scores from them is generally idiotic.

      2. They should celebrate Title IX by showing Andy Kaufmann’s pro wrestling matches with women.

  2. Ah yes, if I ever believed politics was about issues not gaining and holding power, this would help dissuade me.

  3. Also, it looks like an edit didn’t get cleaned up:

    “Even after Republican Gov. Scott Walker’s Act 10 reforms ? legislation to curtail collective bargaining rights and require public workers to pay more for pensions and health care ? public employees still fare much better than their private counterparts., resident scholar,

  4. More topically: Let the spin begin.

    “With only about four hours into the Election Day voting, members of the Milwaukee Democratic Party claim that calls are going out to voters telling them if they’d signed the recall, they didn’t need to vote today.”

    Those tricksy Rethuglicans!

    1. If people are stupid enough to believe that, they probably shouldn’t vote.

    2. 50/50 its a false flag operation run by Dems, who placed a few calls to folks that they can trot out to the cameras.

      1. I bet so. And even if it wasn’t, what Mr. Simple said.

  5. quasi-OT: Bill Clinton: Still Pimpin’

  6. “WisconsinReporer.com”? That’s the third typo I’ve seen this morning, and I’m not even looking. If you guys want to hire a telecommuting part-time proofreader, let me know.

  7. Is this the plan referred to in the article?
    http://www.scribd.com/doc/3262…..-on-a-Diet

  8. OT: I just watched a cop back into a vehicle in a parking lot.

    So far, he hasn’t shot a dog, but the day is young.

  9. On-topic, but it’ll make your eyes bleed:

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/…..70357.html

    Where’s a plane crash when you really, really need one?

  10. Perhaps the reason the mayor is mum on the topic is that it could offend some of his most fervent supporters: public workers and their unions.

  11. Even after Republican Gov. http://www.ceinturesfr.com/ Scott Walker’s Act 10 reforms ? legislation to curtail collective bargaining rights and require public workers to pay more for pensions and health care ? public employees still fare much better than their private counterparts., resident scholar,

  12. If the plan is still on the mayor’s mind, it’s nowhere to be found on his campaign website. A search of his 2012 site,BarrettforWisconsin.com, fails to reveal any mention of the strategy. The direct link for the plan ? BarrettforWisconsin.com/Diet ? leads to a “Page not found” warning.

  13. government purchasing power, and cracking down on Medicaid fraud. All told, Barrett said his plan would save taxpayers more than $1.1 billion annually.

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