Uh oh….looks like someone needs to read something other than Scott Walker talking points…

Here’s a question – Why should you get your health insurance and pension for free? What makes you so special?

The “you” Randy Hollenbeck is referring to would be Wisconsin’s public employees.

What’s curious is that I’ve been a public employee for over ten years, and I can’t remember a time where I’ve ever had my health insurance and pension benefits provided to me for free. In fact, the share of my health insurance and pension benefits that I’ve had to pay has steadily risen every year I’ve been a public employee, while my wages have stagnated, failing to keep up with increases in the cost of living. Obviously I can’t speak to whether or not there may have been some public employees who received free health insurance and pension benefits, but the vast majority of public employees that I know have never had free health insurance and pension benefits.

Later in his blog entry, Hollenbeck doubles down on the Republican talking points, saying,

“Furthermore, we will need to offload part of the burden of YOUR benefits off the backs of the taxpayers so you will have to pay a small portion yourself!”.

To borrow a line from Randy Hollenbeck, “Anti-intellectuals are always demonstrating how desperately they need to invent their own demons to throw stones at,” and in Randy’s case his demons seem to be public employees.

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79 Responses to Free health insurance & pension benefits for public employees?

  1. oldabe says:

    Mr. Hollenbeck:

    You are correct federal workers ( and state) have better benefits then the private sector. WOW thanks for posting that. Now take 15 minutes out of your life and and dig deeper. The benefit levels for the country at large include places like your BFF employer WalMart and a myriad of other entry level employers with minimum wage jobs. What kind of Federal jobs are we comparing those to? Usually advanced degree type jobs.

    I hope the guy at NASA working on space exploration gets good benefits,the same with a CIA analyst who has a Masters degree in Middle Eastern Studies. I am sure you and Mr. Ryan are not complaining about the lifetime benefits and generous retirement packages our veterans have access to ( by the way I am a veteran). The truth is most state and federal jobs require a higher level of education and knowledge then many of the jobs they get compared to. If the goal of the populace is to make government jobs undesirable so that we get functional morons working for my tax dollars we can certainly do that. I personally would rather pay a decent wage and assume my tax dollars are being used productively.

    By the way, reading your description of yourself is interesting. I spend a lot of time actively doing things in Cudahy and have no idea who you are. Saying you are an activist and being one are two different animals. It is easy to manage the city from the internet, it is a little harder to actually get your hands dirty and be involved. I look forward to the day when Randy Hollenbeck’s resume includes serving on a board or commission.

    • Randy Hollenbeck says:

      Oldabe,

      I nearly spit up my Cheerios when I read your post because it was so funny and just a lie!

      You claim you don’t know who I am and that is a lie! You have emailed me!!!! Have you forgotten?

      Now you can stop with the lies.

      If you go to any City type of meeting, they all know who I am. Just ask!

      Boards and Commissions – Ask McCue or Day about that one or is it you don’t know who they are either? If I would just drop my silly blog I could be on many of them as they have both told me!

      Your attempt to minimize me isn’t going to work!

      NASA has become a joke and Obama wants it gone! That is the only thing he wants to privatize!

      • Little Fish says:

        Randy, why do you constantly feel the need to mention how many people know you in City Hall? Does that make you feel important?

        Does it make you feel important to ride in a convertible in the Cudahy Fourth of July parade as if you’re some dignitary?

        You strike me as someone who desperately wants to be more important than you really are, and you also strike me as someone who’s perfectly content to attack others without actually trying to be part of the problem.

        For instance, if you’ve got such a problem with individuals in City Hall, why don’t you run for office? I’m betting I know why you won’t run, because you know what everyone else knows: you’d never get elected.

        • Randy Hollenbeck says:

          Little fish,

          Why not use your real name?

          Attention is not needed by me and YES down at City Hall they do know who I am. All of them! That is just a fact and no more!

          Riding in the parade, you too can do it, it is free! Fill out the paperwork! Cudahy prides itself on having one of the best parades. I have my daughter in the car with me and it is more for her. Have a snarky comment about that?

          Don’t hate me because of you!

          Time will tell. Could I get elected??? Hmmm. Not sure on that one!

          I stick my neck and name out there which is more than I can say about you!

  2. Randy Hollenbeck says:

    Zach you missed, on purpose, the whole intent of my post that the reason you didn’t have a contract was because your union didn’t want to pay a portion of health and pension increases that then Governor Doyle asked for and your union said NO. Governor Doyle wanted the same thing Walker wanted, but Doyle couldn’t get it done because of the Collective Bargain privilege in place. So Doyle blazed the trail that Walker took and learned from his failure.

    If memory serves me correct you paid just 6% of your premium for health insurance and nothing if you had the lowest rung health insurance instead of the gold plan.
    How many plans were offered? 3

    I would call 6% as just about FREE…

    Who much were you contributing towards your pension?

    AND the YOU I referred to and clearly stated are the State Workers in the PUP (Public Union Party) and of course those suffering from Walker Deraignment Syndrome!

    • Phil Scarr says:

      Envy is an ugly trait… Or so FoxNews keeps telling the 99%. Apparently you envy the benefits public sector workers have negotiated for themselves. Why is that?

      Perhaps if you spent more time advocating for the rights and benefits of working people instead of being a shill for the 1%, you might get the benefits you deserve. But I suppose you’d miss being envious…

      • Randy Hollenbeck says:

        Not envy whatsoever and they negotiated it with themselves or close to it and you know what I mean!

        Why do they deserve it? What makes them so special? Who are they negotiating against?

        Care to comment about my main topic of why no contract and what Gov Doyle wanted?

    • Zach W says:

      No Randy, you said, and I quote, “Why should you get your health insurance and pension for free?”

      If your point was something else, then perhaps you should have written what you meant. You asked why public employees should get their health insurance and pension for free, which we don’t and haven’t.

      “Just about FREE?”

      Give me a break Randy; no matter how you now try to spin what you said, the facts are the facts – you asserted public employees received free health insurance and pensions when we didn’t.

      The FACTS are that for as long as I’ve been a public employee, I’ve paid for my health insurance and pension benefits, and I was willing to pay even more. The issue here (at least for me) is the effective loss of collective bargaining rights.

      Randy, I’m not really entirely sure why you hate public employees so much, but it’s unfortunate that you’re so eager to demonize people who work day in and day out to make your community a better place to live, work, and raise a family.

      It’s also unfortunate (and says a lot about you) that you seem to take such delight in attacking middle class folks just because they dare to fight for wages and benefits that will allow them to carve out their own little slice of the American dream.

      • Randy Hollenbeck says:

        Zach,

        Those that took the lower rung health insurance instead of the gold plan do get it for free. You didn’t answer that fact nor did you answer what you were paying towards your pension. Facts are facts and you are not given any!

        Don’t take something out of context and just expect your readers to go to the sourced link.

        “This Goes Out To The Public State Workers In The PUP!

        The reason for the state government is NOT to provide JOBS, it is to provide services that otherwise in the private sector could not be provided! If it can be done in the private sector, there is NO reason to have it being done by the public sector!

        One thing public workers often forget is, they do work for the taxpayers via MPS, MATC, UW System, State of Wisconsin and etc, not the Union Bosses, but they work for Harry Hardworker and Jane Q. Public!

        Have you heard of “The Peter Principle”?

        The Peter Principle states that “in a hierarchy every employee tends to rise to his level of incompetence”, meaning that employees tend to be promoted until they reach a position at which they cannot work competently.

        Do you fall in that category?

        Do you owe your job to nepotism, favoritism, and political pull?

        Life is change, growth is optional, choose wisely

        Let’s take a moment and reflect on 2008. The good old years when Governor Doyle was in office.

        Your friend and pal.

        Yes the good old days…

        Now it has been reminded to me many times that the Public State Workers worked without a contract for a few years and thus saw no raises! Not that those people are being presumptuous in that every year or contract wages WILL go up because they are!

        Raises????

        Where does the money come from to hand out raises?

        Here’s a question – Why should you get your health insurance and pension for free? What makes you so special?

        Romans also had a strong sense of superiority. Anyone outside of the empire was thought to be a “barbarian.”

        Don’t worry, the PUP and its members will directly answer the questions!

        Not!!!

        Now let’s look at why they worked without a contract…

        The TRUTH and NOT this lie the PUP want us to remember! They are real good at rewriting history to suit their needs, desires, and wants!

        …the truth cuts like a knife

        Governor Doyle wanted them to pay more for their Insurance and to pay a portion of their Pension. Now where have we recently seen that?

        Beware of those that trim facts to fit wants instead of needs or truth.

        Oh, yeah, how they have forgotten that they said, “No way in hell will we pay that! We will just work without a contract!”

        The best way to lie is to tell the truth, carefully edited truth.

        Everyone has photographic memory; some just don’t have the film.

        A double helping of half-truths does not equal the truth!

        Hmm….

        Choose what you want to hear and you will miss the truth!

        So, even their good old friend Governor Doyle was asking them to make those concessions that many of them falsely said they were willing to take but Scott Walker didn’t give them a chance!

        Really???

        When you had the chance you said NO and even attempted to rush a contract through and the Dems blocked it. Remember that in December 2010!

        Now that I pointed it out you can just imagine the wailing and gnashing of teeth from the likes of the PUP.

        Do you not hear the outcry of injustice here? No since there isn’t one, but you can hear the PUP whining and throwing a TT! Acting like the spoil bratty child they are! Putting up a fuss doesn’t mean it is right!
        The thing about the PUP and those suffering from WDS is they say and claim one thing, but their actions tell the real story. The truth and the truth is my defense!!!

        Time doesn’t change a man’s word, but you learn his sincerity of action during it!

        It’s the details and truth that always complicate life.

        I know, I know, the PUP will say, “details, schmetails, we don’t care!”

        Folks, this just in from the Great OZ: majority of PUP members want Governor Walker to fix the budget by magic and fairy dust.

        Obviously, while some feel we should be looking for intelligent life in outer space, there’s somewhat of a lack of it on certain parts of Earth.

        The PUP is selling make believe because they live in fairyland!

        Leprechauns and unicorns too!

        Earth to the PUP, Welcome! Is this your first time here?

        We are seeing fake drummed up outrage because the PUP leaders tell the PUP members so!

        Anti-intellectuals are always demonstrating how desperately they need to invent their own demons to throw stones at. And Governor Scott Walker is that demon to the PUP and the WDS.

        In part so am I! I have been told I have minions!!!!! Ha, Ha, Ha, Ha!

        (go back and read that sentence and say it in an evil laughing voice)

        Walker isn’t a GOD or the next coming, but he is a Boy Scout!

        Think of Scott Walker as the adult Ward Cleaver and the PUP as the sneaky Eddie Haskel!

        “You just can’t have it your way and get raises we don’t have the money for that! Furthermore, we will need to offload part of the burden of YOUR benefits off the backs of the taxpayers so you will have to pay a small portion yourself!”.

        We finally have adults back in control.”

        • Zach W says:

          Randy, I’d love to see your evidence that “Those that took the lower rung health insurance instead of the gold plan do get it for free. ”

          There is no such thing as free health insurance for state employees on any of the tiers available, and there hasn’t been for the over ten years I’ve been a state employee. You haven’t given any evidence to back up your claim, which is ironic considering you criticized me for doing the same. If you have evidence to cite, then post it.

          Oh, and cutting and pasting your entire blog entry into someone else’s comments thread is bad form. I provided a link to your blog for interested parties to read precisely so they could read what you wrote if they were interested.

          • Randy Hollenbeck says:

            Check with HR as the info came from someone you work with. You do have more than one health plan!

            Pension?? What did you pay?

            Cut and paste was needed as you refrence it back and forth and face it most readers will not go and read it!

            • Zach W says:

              Who in HR gave you that information?

              Hearsay isn’t evidence, so provide something to back up your claim.

              Actually, forget it; I’ll do your work for you. Here’s a link to the health insurance enrollment brochure showing that all three tiers of health insurance for state employees require employees to contribute towards their health insurance.

              (You’ll want to consult page 25)

              • Randy Hollenbeck says:

                Zach,

                that is what it is NOW, not before ACT 10!!!

                Come on, you know that!

                • Zach W says:

                  It was the same before Act 10.

                  (You’ll want to check page 30)

                  Is there anything else you’d like me to debunk?

                  • Randy Hollenbeck says:

                    Zach,

                    Page 30 of the doc states “This page intentionally left blank.” Page 30 of the PDF states “The map on the following page shows which health plans are available in each county.” And no reference to before Act 10, so not debunked unless no info is debunked info.

                    How much did you pay towards pension??? Are you going to answer it?

                    • Zach W says:

                      Randy, I stand corrected; it’s page 29.

                      Since you’re averse to actually finding the EVIDENCE for yourself (instead relying on a mythical person in HR), here’s what you need to do:

                      Click on the link I provided, then in the little box that lists page “__” of 97, type 29. Press enter, and you’ll see a table at the bottom of the page listing the contributions employees made towards their health insurance costs for each of the three tiers.

                      Frankly, I’m disappointed that someone who attacked “anti-intellectuals” couldn’t actually cite me some HARD EVIDENCE to back up their claims of free health insurance for public employees.

                    • Randy Hollenbeck says:

                      Zach it stgates 2012 rates which would be after Act 10!!

                    • Randy Hollenbeck says:

                      Should be states 2012

              • Randy Hollenbeck says:

                Are you not going to answer the questions and just keep ignoring them? What does that say to your readers?

                What did you pay towards your pension?

                Are fees taxes???

    • Zach W says:

      Oh, and as for your “Walker Derangement Syndrome” line, I get that you’re trying to be funny/clever as you attack anyone who dares oppose Scott Walker, but I’m not deranged; in fact I’m far from it.

      I’ll fully admit that my union isn’t perfect – just like nothing in life is perfect. However, in your eyes Scott Walker can do no wrong, and that’s stunning to me.

      I can’t wait to see you write something critical of Gov. Walker for the 6 consecutive months of private sector job losses in Wisconsin.

      Or better yet, how about you attack Gov. Walker for increasing fees in his biennial budget? After all, you’re fond of noting that “fees are taxes,” so why don’t you write about how according to the Legislative Fiscal Bureau Gov. Walker’s budget increases fees.

      Here’s just a few examples of fee increases proposed by Gov. Walker:

      • Specify that all nonprofit organizations be charged $7 per criminal record name search, instead of $2 per search, effective July 1, 2011.
      • Require licensed lenders to receive a certificate from DFI in order to make motor vehicle title loans and pay an
        annual fee of $5,000.
      • Increase the vehicle title fee by $9, from $53 to $62, first applying to fees collected for original titles or title transfers on the general effective date of the bill.
      • Require DOT, upon request of a qualifying applicant who has been issued a firefighter or emergency medical technician license plate, to issue a replacement plate of the design issued prior to January 1, 2007, providing the applicant pays a $40 issuance fee, in lieu of the current $10 replacement plate fee.

      Remember Randy, “fees are taxes!”

      • Randy Hollenbeck says:

        Zach,

        You didn’t answer my questions, plus do you think fees are taxes?

      • Randy Hollenbeck says:

        Zach,

        I have spoken out about Scott Walker in the past, I beat him up about wanting to give raises and you can do a search for that post. I also said in a post that I didn’t like the no bid power plant deal.

        Has Walker done anything right in your eyes?

  3. james booth says:

    Phil, you’ll forgive me for just now learning that you are a government employee. Kinda new around here. That sure explains a lot about why you think the way you do about Walker. I’m not burdened with that bias. I just want what’s best for Wisconsin.

    When people talk about the 99%, I think that group is more aligned with the 94% who don’t work for the government in Wisconsin. And it’s true that most of those don’t have to pay for their insurance and pensions. That’s because they don’t even have them.

    collective bargaining for public employees should NEVER EVER have been put in place. It’s nothing more than “the people” bargaining with themselves.

    • Zach W says:

      When did Phil say he was a government employee? Did I miss that part of the conversation?

      As to your point about wanting what’s best for Wisconsin, are you trying to say that public employees don’t want what’s best for the state we call home?

      • Randy Hollenbeck says:

        Zach,

        He doesn’t say he isn’t a goverment employee either!

        Schroedinger’s Cat!

        We have to say he is both until more information!

        • Zach W says:

          He’s not a government employee. I know that for a fact.

          • Randy Hollenbeck says:

            Zach,

            Until Phil tells us that it is true it is either second hand info or an assumption. Either way you would be working with facts, if it is the truth, that others don’t know so James’s comment would still be valid – Facts not in evidence.

            • Zach W says:

              No, james asserted Phil was a government employee, saying “Phil, you’ll forgive me for just now learning that you are a government employee. ”

              How exactly did james learn that Phil was a government employee? He didn’t, he just made a wild assumption.

              • Randy Hollenbeck says:

                No, you are assuming as well Zach.

                Only James can tell us how he learned of it. Until the two parties answer their own statements will we know otherwise you, I and others are just speculating!

                Are you going to answer the questions?

                How much did you pay before and are fees taxes?

      • james booth says:

        @Zach: I wouldn’t say you don’t want what’s best for Wisconsin. But the public sector is predicated completely on the health of the private sector. The public sector is NEARLY completely funded by the public sector. So therefore it’s our right as the 94% to question the workings of the public sector. To say you work just as hard as I do, or that you care just as much as I do is not germane to the discussion.

        If the only thing that comes out of Walker’s administration that makes it a complete bonus for the taxpayer, it’s the elimination of WEA trust’s stranglehold as the insurance provider for public employees. UP UP UP UP UP every goddamn year and there was no stopping it because their influence was largely responsible for getting the people elected to keep that gravy train rolling forever!

        As for job losses, whatever they are…can you imagine how much worse it would be under someone like Doyle or Falk?? The mere mentioning of their names make businesses want to pack up and leave! The fact is, Wisconsin is part of a larger problem economy-wise. And until Obama (a president that can’t go one speech without bragging about how he want’s to tax job creators more!) is voted out, things won’t get much better.

        • james booth says:

          oops! meant PRIVATE sector is completely funded by the public sector. you catch my drift.

        • Zach W says:

          james, just one point I’d like to make. You referenced the stranglehold WEA Trust had as the insurance provider for public employees, when in fact WEA Trust was just one of several options available to state employees. I’m betting you’re referring to teachers when you referenced public employees, because I know WEA Trust wasn’t the only option available to many public employees.

      • james booth says:

        I’ll stand corrected on that assumption. My apologies to Phil.

        • Zach W says:

          Thanks james.

          As to your comments about the larger economy, we’ve now had two consecutive months of private sector job gains (over 200,000 jobs each month), not to mention 22 consecutive months of job growth, so I’d argue the economy is moving in the right direction – it’s just taken longer than most had hoped.

  4. Randy Hollenbeck says:

    James thanks for your side and now we just need to hear from Phil and then we will be able to move on.

    Zach since you know so much, perhaps, does his significant other work in the Public Sector?

  5. james booth says:

    I find that nearly all the overly zealous opinionated libs out there that are waving recall clipboards, banging 5 gallon buckets, screaming at the top of their lungs at legislative sessions, all have a “sugar daddy”. And that daddy is the government. Yeah, I know…we need government employees. I know…they probably work hard. But it makes intelligent debate about the issues nearly impossible because they’re too blinded by their bias. And they don’t fuckin’ read! And they trust their unions too much.

    Walker was elected fair and square. Just like Doyle was. “But Walker didn’t say he was going to take away our collective bargaining when he campaigned!!” So?? Doyle didn’t campaign on raiding state transportation funds and raising taxes a billion dollars either. But he was elected fair and square too! So let’s see how this plays out until 2014! You can kick his ass out then if it all looks shitty for Wisconsin.

    I just love how you guys are all like, “look! more jobs lost last month!” As if we exist in a vacuum. Were you keeping such great score when Doyle was chasing companies out of the state? Give it time. Things will get better in the private sector under Walker. I know the business community believes that. I would give you specifics on why I know that but you assholes would gang up on me and run me out of town like only blue fisters can!

    • Zach W says:

      Did you really need to refer to us as assholes?

      Really?

      And here I thought we were finally having a good discussion.

      • james booth says:

        Ugh…I get a little excited sometimes. My apologies AGAIN. I’ll tone that down in the future. Pinky swear.

        • Zach W says:

          james, it happens. I’m as guilty as anyone of getting a little too passionate from time to time; I just don’t want this to degenerate into name calling, because I was actually enjoying the back and forth with you.

      • Randy Hollenbeck says:

        Zach,

        I agree about the verbage, just have everyone hold back even the TEA party gutter talk as that doesn’t add any value to the discussions.

  6. Zach W says:

    Randy, work on the reading comprehension skills the link I provided is from the 2010 health insurance decision guide, and just above the table it clearly states, “Non-represented employee contribution rates and premium amounts for calendar year 2010 are provided below,”

    Furthermore, the VERY FIRST PAGE of the decision guide note that it’s the 2010 Decision Guide and that open enrollment runs from October 5-23, 2009.

    Seriously Randy…I know you don’t want to admit you’re wrong, but you are. if you did talk to someone in HR (which I highly doubt at this point), you were given grossly inaccurate information. Contrary to what you want to believe, you’re not always rights.

    • Randy Hollenbeck says:

      Zach,

      that page shows me and all of us “Non-represented” which would not have been you as you are represented!

      Come on Zach!!!!

      • Zach W says:

        Randy, without a union contract during that time period (as you yourself have noted), we were subject to the non-represented rates.

        Seriously, arguing with you is like arguing with a brick wall.

  7. Randy Hollenbeck says:

    NO, it goes back to the old contract!!!!

    It is you that is a brickwall!!!!

    • Zach W says:

      *Sigh*

      Let’s just do it this way: cite some concrete EVIDENCE to back up your claim that public employees got free health insurance, since you don’t want to believe the information I’ve provided.

      Go ahead Randy, show us your IRREFUTABLE PROOF that public employees received free health insurance, because I’ve got years worth of check stubs to prove we didn’t.

      I want PROOF – and your assertion you were told that by a likely fictional HR person doesn’t count.

  8. Randy Hollenbeck says:

    Well, the person works with you and reads your blog. If they want to come forward so be it.

  9. Randy Hollenbeck says:

    They can come forward and you didn’t disprove it or answer my questions.

    Pension????

    • Zach W says:

      LOL.

      Actually, unlike you I can prove my assertions. However, when you say public employees got free health care, I’d like you to clarify the time period you’re referring to.

      Once you’ve done that, I’ll provide evidence (something you’re incapable of doing) to back up my assertion that I’ve never gotten free health insurance during my time as a public employee.

  10. Randy Hollenbeck says:

    Please correct the you in your post as it is Public State Workers in the PUP and not simply puplic wokers as you state.

    You are incorrect!

  11. Jeff Simpson says:

    Why is the term “deferred compensation” so hard for those on the right to understand? Shouldnt you have a simple understanding of econ 101 before you start writing about the economics of our state? No one gets “free healthcare” not even Rebeccaforreal (whose taxpayer subsidized healthcare saved her life) but hey those are just details.

    By the way in many instances the unions negotiated with elected officials. I know that republicans despise local control(unless they are the ones in local control) but as someone once said

    A double helping of half-truths does not equal the truth!

    FYI in case you want to actually do some research next time you write:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Deferred_compensation

  12. Olaf Jacobi says:

    @Zack I have to agree with Randy the evidence you provide doesn’t pertain to you as is clearly stated that Collective Bargain is going to change this an to obtain your info elsewhere as you are Represented. Non-represented workers are non-union workers. Your attempt to pull the wool over everyone’s eyes isn’t uncommon when people think they know something and in reality they don’t.

    @ Randy Zack knows he wasn’t adding anything to his own pension which is why he will not answer that question.

    • Zach W says:

      “@ Randy Zack knows he wasn’t adding anything to his own pension which is why he will not answer that question. ”

      Erroneous. You’re making assumptions.

      Further, I’ve got years of paycheck stubs to prove what I’ve paid towards health insurance, which is more evidence than Randy has, because phantom HR people don’t count as evidence.

  13. Tanya says:

    I was a state employee for 19 years. I actually remember a time when I did not pay anything for my health benefits. But then health insurance and health care costs skyrocketed and the employees were asked to make contributions. That was okay because we were still getting raises (sometimes as high as 3%), so the salary increase offset the insurance premium. Health care costs continued to increase rapidly and state employees were asked to contribute more toward their premiums. The raises stopped, resulting in a lower rate of take home pay. I left state service a year ago to join the private sector. I accepted a 30% pay INCREASE to leave my “overpaid” state job. I’m with oldabe for pointing out “If the goal of the populace is to make government jobs undesirable so that we get functional morons working for my tax dollars we can certainly do that.” As more people like me decide they just can’t afford to work in public service, we will be left with government programs that cease to function. But I think that’s the real goal of the right wing, isn’t it?

    Rick Perry let the cat out of the bag when he stated in a debate that his goal was to make government as inconsequential as possible. Think about that next time you wait for hours at the DMV to renew your license, drive a road so riddled with pot holes it’s like an obstacle course, or turn on your faucet expecting drinkable water to come out.

  14. Olaf Jacobi says:

    @ Zack you have me at a disadvantage as we are left to believe you but your instance on not answering the pension digs the nails into it that you are less than honest. A better question is: Do you think you are paying alot for your health coverage?

    • Zach W says:

      By your logic, Randy’s refusal to provide any EVIDENCE to back up his claims means he’s less than honest.

      Thanks for playing.

      • Olaf Jacobi says:

        @Zack you didn’t disprove it with all your huff and puffing and links. You provide a link to non-union workers and claim that it represents you. That is a lie!

  15. Olaf Jacobi says:

    @ Tanya how long ago did you pay nothing for health coverage? And what percent of your coverage did you end up paying?

  16. Jeff Simpson says:

    @olaf and the Alpha Male – when you negotiate contributions to your pension and better health care coverage in lieu of pay raises then you are NOT getting either of those for free. Its a very very simple concept which I dont understand how you dont get it.

    Let me break it down for you so maybe you can understand it.

    You make a pact with your neighbor saying I will plow your driveway all winter if you mow my lawn all summer. I plow your driveway all winter and then you come to me in the summer and say I have decided I can not cut your lawn for free.

  17. Olaf Jacobi says:

    @Jeff at most you paid 6 percent for health coverage at the state level and Tanya remembers not paying anything which Zack sayes he has never heard of. Let me break it down for you, paying 6 percent is as free as it gets! That is like paying sales tax and that is a slap in the face of the taxpayers.

    • Tanya says:

      @Olaf Jacobi I honestly do not remember what year it was that state employees were asked to make a contribution to their health insurance premiums (sometime between 1997-2007). I do recall there were contract negotiations involved. I was unrepresented at the time (why I can pinpoint the decade it occurred) and those of us in that situation were watching the union negotiations closely because it was standard practice to treat non-represented employees the same. It was never a percentage calculation, it was a flat fee based on the type of coverage you had (individual or family) and your plan. I think that first year I paid about $35 per month for my family coverage, but I had gotten a pay increase, so the impact on my take-home pay was minimal. The cost has gone up considerably since then, but until Walker took office it was always part of the union negotiations.

  18. Jeff Simpson says:

    @olaf I am not a state worker nor am I in a union and I also can not go beyond econ 101 —-google deferred compensation then come back

  19. Olaf Jacobi says:

    @Jeff the comment was to Zack.

  20. Zuma Bound says:

    @ James Booth

    At 8:53 a.m. today, you wrote: “Things will get better in the private sector under Walker. I know the business community believes that. I would give you specifics on why I know that but you [amazingly intelligent, insightful and prescient progressives] would [calmly sit down with] me and [properly educate me] like only [amazingly intelligent, insightful and prescient progressives] can! ”

    In looking through the comment thread, James, I noticed that you never got around to providing the referenced “specifics”. How about providing them now?

    @ Randy

    I don’t think that you understand “Schroedinger’s Cat.”

    http://whatis.techtarget.com/definition/0,,sid9_gci341236,00.html

    I don’t think that you understand the concept of evidence, either. I suspect that explanation for that lies in the fact that you write and argue like an elementary school-age sophist.

    Game, set, match to Wiznewski.

    • Zach W says:

      That was both unexpected and sorely missed.

      🙂

    • james booth says:

      Don’t overestimate (or should I say under?) your party faithfuls. I’ve seen their work first-hand.

      • Zuma Bound says:

        @ James

        The bracketed stuff was just me having a little fun with you based upon your “assh*le” mis-step. The thrust of my comment to you, as I suspect you know, was that you promised “specifics”, and never got around to providing them. You’ve still haven’t gotten around to it.

        How about providing them now, or do I need to start using words like “disingenuous”?

        Partisan passion, while understandable, isn’t a substitute for evidence. The intellectual train-wreck better known as Randy Hollenbeck and his contributions to the comment thread above are the best evidence of that. You admittedly “lost it” in your unexpectedly frenzied and unrepresentative post from 8:53 a.m. yesterday, but at least, unlike Randy, you generally write and argue well, and you seem to have some sense of what proving a point is all about.

        Prove to me, well, to all of us here, that you weren’t just making stuff up.

        You said that: “Things will get better in the private sector under Walker. I know the business community believes that. I would give you specifics on why I know that. . .”

        Okay. Now’s your chance. How about it?

        • james booth says:

          @Zuma:

          And you don’t understand. I certainly would provide those specifics. But in so doing I would compromise my business and those employees that rely on my businesses to provide for their families. I’m not kidding when I say that I have seen the blue fisters tactics first hand if you don’t walk lock step with them on Walker.

          But I am connected to an enormous amount of self employed men and women in various industries across Wisconsin. I travel four days a week around the state and meet with dozens of business owners. And without a doubt the prevailing opinions that I hear are that we are much more likely to get to economic recovery under Walker in Wisconsin than under anyone like Falk. And those feelings transfer to the country in general as it relates to 2012 elections.

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