March 10, 2011- Some states have laws to protect you from high-pressure sales men and women.
For instance, in Illinois, a person can receive a full refund on a health insurance policy if the actual certificate of coverage that they receive differs from what the agent said was in it.
But there is no law to protect voters from the "shock doctrine," arm-twisting deception of Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker.
Take, for example, Walker's ongoing scare tactic of a catastrophic pension crisis in the Badger State. Well, it doesn't exist.
According to Stateline, which is a "a nonpartisan, nonprofit news service of the Pew Center on the States," Wisconsin's pension fund is in fine shape indeed:
Studies show that Wisconsin's state pension program is one of the most solid in the country and has enough funds to cover the promises made not only to current retirees but to those in the future. Wisconsin was hailed as a "national leader" in managing its long-term liabilities for both pensions and retiree health care in "The Trillion Dollar Gap," a Pew Center on the States report last year. (Pew Center on the States is Stateline's parent organization.)
As for the public employee contribution to pension funds, union leaders have already indicated that they would be willing to pay more, even though - in a collective bargaining agreement - pension fund contributions from the employer may simply mean that workers are accepting a lower salary in exchange for a higher pension-fund contribution from their employer. In this case, the state.
So, where is the pension-fund crisis in Wisconsin? It's not there.
"It is surprising that this pension debate is happening here," says Jerry Allen, executive director of the City of Milwaukee's Employees' Retirement System, according to Stateline. "There is no crisis."
The crisis in Madison is Walker and his disingenuous ideological use of the "shock doctrine."
To further reinforce that Walker's goals are to politically crush the unions and become a possible vice presidential candidate on the GOP ticket in 2012, he detached the section of the budget bill eliminating collective bargaining for public employees to pass it in the state senate on March 9, even though he said it was necessary to lower the budget. But it's not; it's necessary to Scott Walker's strategy of establishing himself as a new "Reagan" in the GOP pantheon.