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Tuesday, February 24, 2015

WRS ... this is where/how #HiddenAgenda Walker will strike next ? WI Retirees be alert!

@#$%^&* -> October 15/2015 ... Legislature note ... evidently considering dramatically changing the structure of the Wisconsin Group Insurance Board to allow more direct "political interference" in coverage and rate setting for state employees and retirees ... need to find out more!!!???  There was a quick brief note on WPR this morning.

September 2015 ... state employees and retirees get income cut by Walker -- again

WRS News OnlineVol.1, No. 3 - September 2015

Go to the index of article headlines.Key    Go to the next article.Next    PrintPrint

Health Insurance Program Changes for 2016

Family camping photoThe Group Insurance Board approved medical, pharmacy, and dental benefit changes to the state and local group health insurance programs for 2016. All changes apply to all participating state and local employees, retirees, and continuants.
In general, the 2016 program changes center on increased cost sharing for members in the forms of:
  • Added deductibles
  • New office visit copayments
  • Increased out-of-pocket limits
  • Coinsurance for certain prescription drugs

One rotten apple ... how about a 2/3 of a barrel.  Backing off until the next time!


Budget motion #999 adds to this mess fresh attacks local control. It grants the Milwaukee County Executive even more powers to privatize. It even takes a swipe at the Wisconsin Retirement System.

Out of the blue, the proposal would redefine the Joint Survey on Retirement Systems, replacing investment experts and members of the public with favored legislators chosen by the party in power.
This may sound obscure, but we need to be vigilant about anything with the potential to politicize the process of managing Wisconsin’s retirement system.
The reason Wisconsin’s Retirement System is strong today precisely because it has been protected from undue political meddling. 
AFSCME Lobbyist Susan McMurray has been chasing down answers about this proposal all day. You can read what she found out right here.

Sorry to say I told you so!

From WEAC (5/18/2015) via Blue Cheddar Blog

MILWAUKEE, WI - Referencing annual reports by the Wisconsin Department of Employee Trust funds, as well as a study of the Wisconsin Retirement System ordered by Governor Walker in 2011, the Wisconsin Coalition for Retirement Security warns that the proposal to privatize Milwaukee Public Schools - currently under consideration by the Legislature's Joint Finance Committee - will have serious repercussions for state retirees and taxpayers.

WRS participants in MPS contribute about $36.75 million to the WRS each year, or about 2% of the entire system. Turning over neighborhood public schools to the private charter industry would destabilize the retirement system nationally recognized as the best in the nation.

"This is a system which has worked for decades under the leadership of Republican and Democrat Governors, why put that at risk in the current budget?" asked Rob Golla, a jailor in Stevens Point.

If today's Milwaukee school employees are no longer part of the WRS, it will cause an unfunded liability of at least $210 million over the next 30 years. This money would have to be made up through increased taxes, or will be borne by the employees who dedicated their careers to public service.



Christie still determined to cut pension benefits. Bloomberg:“[Christie] will present a spending plan Tuesday that seeks to contribute $1.3 billion to New Jersey’s government-employee pensions for the year starting July 1, according to a figure released by his office. That’s less than half the $2.9 billion it was scheduled to pay … The state’s failure to set aside enough money to cover employee benefits has contributed to a record eight credit-rating downgrades under Christie…”

Wall Street makes money off your money and they want those fees!

Your health is another target.  Raising premiums, co-pays, etc., is another way by default to cut wages for everyone and retirement benefits on the "sly".  The "hidden agenda" calls it "efficiencies".  

WI 1848 Forward: #WRS #Pensions ...this is where/how #HiddenAgenda #Walker will strike next ? WI #Retirees be alert!

WI 1848 Forward: Assault on #Retirees #WRS #Pensions ...this is where/how #HiddenAgenda #Walker will strike next ? 

WI 1848 Forward: Assault on #Retirees #WRS #Pensions ...this is where/how #HiddenAgenda #Walker works - in darkness 

WI 1848 Forward #WRS " #political interference" in coverage & rate setting for state employees & #retirees

Monday, February 23, 2015

Walker pushes WFL: Work For Less - calls it RTW

2015/02/25 - ANTI - Right to  Work For Less Rally - Madison WI - Capitol

A primer on the lies, deception and truth of (right-to) work-for-less 2/20/2015

After you read this, use this --

JAKE'S ECONOMIC TA FUNHOUSE (see full blog entry)

From the above ... 
Here's something I wrote last month that went over a study from a Marquette University economist which showed that (right-to) work-for-less would cost Wisconsinites billions of dollars. Take a look at Dr. Abdur Chowdhury's analysis, and you may remember this specific passage.
The potential net loss in direct income to Wisconsin workers and their families due to a RTW legislation is between $3.89 and $4.82 billion annually. Using a conservative estimate of an impact multiplier of 1.5, the total direct and induced loss of a RTW legislation is estimated between $5.84 and $7.23 billion annually. Based upon the two estimates of lost incomes and an overall effective tax rate of 4.0%, the economic loss in state income taxes is estimated between $234 and $289 million per year. 

While considerable efforts are being made by certain legislators to pass the RTW law in Wisconsin, the empirical evidence on the effect of adopting such a law does not support prescribing it as an economic policy tool. Overall, this study shows that RTW legislation would provide no discernible economic advantage to Wisconsin, but would impose significant social and economic costs. Low wages would weaken consumption. Higher rates of labor turnover and adversarial labor-­‐management relations would decrease productivity. It would also burden the state with higher ‘mop-­up’ costs [costs for social programs such as child care and food stamps].
That same post also includes a similar analysis from Bruce Thompson in Urban Milwaukee, which shows that states that don't have this stupid legislation have higher incomes than states who do, and a lot of those allegedly booming "right-to-work" states are places like North Dakota and Texas that were seeing benefits from the oil boom. A boom that has now busted. 

#1% #Koch WI 1848 Forward: #Walker pushes #WFL: #99% Work For Less - calls it #RTW

#1% #Koch WI 1848 Forward: #Walker pushes #WFL : #99% Work For Less - calls it #RTW  - WFL is very similar to WTF

Friday, February 13, 2015

Walker, Blank, Cross miss the point: It's the Wi Idea not the money.

Walker has cynically engineered a financial crisis and used it to privatize the UW while still maintaining control on the cheap.  UW executives (hard to write leadership) have rolled over on a critical relationship between the citizens of the state and generations of their children.  The "political element" has been on this track for years so it is hard to blame Walker alone.

But he is the one by the same technique used in 2011 to create the crisis.  How long will it take for citizens of the state to see his policies are intended to put a price on everything and deny everyone in the middle class and below access to an education unless you have the money or are willing to borrow huge amounts to get one.

We don't have jobs.  We don't have significant economic growth.  Walker is pursing policies that will strongly disadvantage all of us and compromise the future of the state.  We will have regional recessions.

Unemployment will rise; there will be more poor;  there will be fewer with an education.  For what purpose.

... and we will have diary farms with 5000 cows - California cows are not happy when they never see daylight.

#1% #Koch WI 1848 Forward: #Walker , #Blank , #Cross miss the point: It's the Wi Idea not the money. The #UW is what makes this state hang together!

#Koch WI 1848 Forward: #Walker #Blank #Cross miss the pt.> It's the Wi Idea not the $$. #Platteville #Novak #Marklein

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

WI Legislature Viewer - A few clicks to telephone, email or address your representative

More Motivation -

In general "boards" are probably a good way to stop swerving all over the highway.  When a policy making politician (Walker) serves a longtime they end up appointing all the members.  This is all well and good so long as the public really is involved in electing that politician.  If you bias the process by voter suppression (intimidation, id requirements, moving polling places, changing registration requirements, making registration expensive)) or vote gerrymandering it is an insidious corruption ... pure and simple.

SCOTUS is like a board and it's current makeup a little bit questionable.  Let's hope they can change the vote manipulation process and determine a way to prevent all these forms of corruption.  Validating "efficiency gap" would at least be a start.

The map below is static but by clicking on this link -

Wisconsin State Legislature Viewer   

You can use it to easily send/call your representative a message (or any other representative).

Just click anywhere on the map and details unfold - you can zoom too!

(You can be sure lobbyists contact everyone!)

An static example for Steven's Point

If you move the cursor and click on the name you see more information.

Other useful links to members of WI Joint Finance via maps and lists

Save the Wisconsin Idea MAP

Save the Wisconsin Idea FB page WI Legislature Viewer - A few clicks to telephone, email/mail your representative WI Legis Viewer -A few clicks to telephone, email/mail your representative #EauClaire  #Oshkosh #RiverFalls #Stout #LaCrosse #Parkside #Platteville #Milwaukee #StevensPoint #Superior

Make them Accountable #TheWisconsinIdea FB ... like it

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Wisconsin Idea (Privatize It) - Gov. Scott Walker - Everybody Knows

I believe Leonard Cohen was being quite satirical, even cynical or even allegorical so I don't think he will mind?  Takes a little substitution here and there.  A better "theme" song for Scott !

Given the "Wisconsin Idea" being a drafting error in Walker's new budget ... are the Koch Brothers doing the drafting?

What do Brian Williams and Gov. Walker have in common? They both lied.

C-Span video link seems to not be available any longer ... Walker lied in IOWA.  And now it seems to be back again?!

That’s right. Wisconsin teacher Claudia Klein Felske caught the Republican governor in a total lie. Even better, she’s not only the factual recipient of the Outstanding Teacher award, she also happens to be a former classmate of Walker’s at Marquette University.
In response, Felske penned a blistering open letter calling Walker out for his lies and blasts him for attacking the public education system. She even points out how ironic it is that a man who never graduated college is attacking education as the Governor of Wisconsin.
Wisconsin Teacher Pens Blistering Open Letter To Governor Scott Walker Busting Him For Lying (VIDEO)

What do Brian Williams and Gov. Walker not have in common?  Walker will not take himself out of the picture even for a few days.

WI 1848 Forward: Gov. Scott #Walker - Everybody Knows

 #1% #Koch Money #PayToPlay > Gov. Scott #Walker - Everybody Knows -WI 1848 Forward:

#WisconsinIdea (Privatize It) - Gov. Scott #Walker - Everybody Knows -WI 1848 Forward: