I was recently made aware of an article that appeared at Forbes.com, titled:
The Wisconsin Lie Exposed – Taxpayers Actually Contribute Nothing To Public Employee Pensions
How can this be? For those public employees whose only source of wages is a paycheck from the state, all their compensation comes from the taxpayers. So what’s going on?
The author bases his claim on something written by another person at Tax.com (url provided), who argued that Scott Walker, by saying that state workers should contribute more toward their pension and medical benefits was “casting the impression” that state workers presently don’t pay anything toward their pension plan, and that the contribution is actually an additional “gift” from the taxpayers. This author went on to say that state worker’s pensions are really funded by money that is part of the employees overall compensation package, negotiated by the union that represents them in collective bargaining. Hence, he says, employees’ pensions are really funded entirely by their own compensation, and taxpayers contribute nothing.
The Forbes author picked up on this and concluded that Wisconsin taxpayers were lied to by Scott Walker. But I don’t think anyone in Wisconsin is really confused about where a public employee’s compensation comes from, or what Scott Walker meant by contribute more. Many commenters to the Forbes article certainly weren’t confused.
The point here isn’t to argue for Dems or Repubs or Tea Party or any of that. The point is honesty in reporting. In a supposed attempt to expose a lie, the author arguably committed one. At the very least he presented a straw man argument, although his replies to certain commenters indicates he doesn’t understand why.