Walker Slammed By Weishan For Trying To Fix Pension

County Supervisor John F. Weishan, Jr. wrote an op-ed that appeared on a blog at biztimes.com this morning. In it he slams County Executive Scott Walker for attempting to find a solution to the county’s pension troubles.

Walker’s pension bonding plan is too risky – John F. Weishan, Jr. @ BizTimes.

Weishan promises to vote against Walker’s attempt to help fix the pension problems while offering no real solution of his own. He even states his opinion that ordinarily plans like Walker’s are sound solutions to problems like this but he just doesn’t like the long-term outlook right now. Sounds like a petty political grudge is keeping him from supporting a plan he would normally be in favor of.

Weishan’s hypocrisy is that he voted for the pension!!! Does he think we’ve forgotten? He bears the blame for getting us into this mess in the first place and instead of coming up with solutions to help fix his mistake he attacks every attempt by the County Executive to do so. If Weishan truly wants to fix the pension that he broke why hasn’t he put any effort into it over the past 8 years? Scott Walker has tried repeatedly to come up with solutions and he has been faced with opposition from the County Board and Supervisor Weishan every step of the way.

Supervisor Weishan, it’s time to either put up or shut up. If you can’t come up with a plan to fix the pension without raising our taxes then stop trying to sabotage the ideas of those who are working to fix this problem.

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15 Responses to “Walker Slammed By Weishan For Trying To Fix Pension”

  1. Chris Liebenthal Says:

    “Show me a member of the county employees’ union who pays more in taxes than they are paid by the county. They are net receivers of tax money at the county level and so increasing county taxes to pay their wages and benefits doesn’t hurt them as it does non-county employees.”

    That makes no sense. Do you pay your employer for your job? I don’t think so! Yet public employees do, and they’re fine with that because they realize that it goes to better the community, and not just one person, which is what you seem to be advocating.

    You have also failed to address my original comment. Do you plan on doing so?

    • milwaukeecountycomment Says:

      Chris – Thanks for posting under your real name and dropping the nickname. I appreciate knowing who I’m dialoging with.

      Public employees pay taxes just like the rest of us. You are missing the point.

      When a government entity raises taxes to pay higher wages and benefits to it’s public employees then those employees are the direct recipients of that tax money. Since taxes are paid by everyone there is a net increase of money flowing out of the pockets of the general population and into the pockets of the public employees. This makes non-public employees poorer while making public employees richer. Since the public employees realized this long ago they vote en mass to support elected officials who support this increasingly lopsided transfer of wealth.

      Since this is my blog and you’ve decided to get all snarky on me I’ll reply to your original comment whenever I feel like it.

      • Chris Liebenthal Says:

        Using that line of logic, employers should not allow any discounts to their employees.

        For example, car manufacturers will need to stop giving discounts to their employees, because that makes the cost of cars go up for everyone.

        Any break you get from your employer costs me, as a member of the consumer class, more money. The same goes with your raises, your health benefits, your vacation, etc. Are you willing to give all those up, since that is not fair to those of us that might do business with your company?

        On a side note, I think my name will appear differently, depending which website I am logged in on. Blogger has me with my nickname, but WordPress has me under my real name. If my name flips around, it is not intentional. Odds are it will appear as “capper” more often.

        • Matt Muelver Says:

          Nope, wrong again. This line of logic cannot be applied to private enterprise.

          Private companies should be free to set their benefits however they see fit. We as consumers have the freedom to patronize them or not for any reason we choose. We don’t have to do business with them, we can essentially vote with our dollars. The great part about this is that successful private businesses will operate in a way that provides value for their customers and their employees. Those who don’t provide value sufficient for the customers will go out of business and be replaced by those who do. The market at work is a beautiful thing.

          When government is involved we don’t have the same freedom. We don’t get to vote with each dollar we spend, we only get to vote once per election cycle. Further, if your vote happens to be among the minority and your candidate loses then your vote is completely lost and your money is spent in ways that you don’t support in spite of your objections.

        • Chris Liebenthal Says:

          The comments are acting up for me, but to your latest comment, that is utterly false. I don’t have a choice about my electric company, and the rates almost doubled last year.
          Heating costs have gone up with all companies, and one needs heat. Have you forgotten the gas prices last summer? Where did you go last summer to find reasonably priced gas?

          We need food, and you might be able to shave a dollar of two, if you watch your ads and clip coupons, but on the whole, food has gone up at a high clip. How do you vote against food?

          Furthermore, I don’t have a say on how We Energies spends my money. I don’t have a say on how the oil companies spend the money I give them.

          Then there is healthcare and a slew of other areas that are overcharging. One cannot say that they will have their heart attack treated later, when the prices may go down. Nor will they sit there and do research to see who may be cheaper.

          If anything, I have more say with the government, by voting, and my contacting my legislators to tell them my concerns, my wants or my anger. I can’t do that to the private companies. There the best you could do is switch the names, not the problems.

          If you chose not to utilize your rights as a citizen, that is your issue. But you don’t get those rights with the private sector. You just get a different name giving you the same deal.

  2. capper Says:

    “Yes, I disagree with putting off the responsibility of making a plan to other people. I think Weishan, who voted for the pension mess, should be taking the responsibility to propose his own solutions to the problem that he created.”

    Then I guess you should be mad at Walker for wasting all those tax dollars trying to sue Mercer. Of course, Walker, as usual, talks out of both sides of his weasel mouth, blaming the board one minute, but then suing the actuary, claiming it is their fault.

  3. Dave Reid Says:

    Matt,
    I’d agree it isn’t much of plan either but I’d just like to point out that the taxpayers are not left out of Supervisor Weishan’s plan. Read the list again. “Elected officials” <– they represent taxpayers.

    • milwaukeecountycomment Says:

      Dave,

      When the elected officials are people like Weishan then they don’t represent the taxpayers as much as they represent the voters. There is a difference. Not all voters pay taxes. Weishan is a union shill and since the unions vote lock-step he will always do what they want even at the expense of the taxpayers.

      I think he proved to us that he’s not looking out for the taxpayers when he voted for the pension. That vote is what put the county government into the state it is today where there’s not enough money to pay for transit & parks. Weishan et al like to blame Walker but the truth of the matter is that there was mismanagement before the pension, then the pension hit and everything had to get cut to meet the obligations to the union members who began retiring in droves.

      • Dave Reid Says:

        Matt,
        Actually I’m quite certain everyone pays taxes. They may not pay income taxes, but you can’t avoid paying sales, gas and property taxes. Yes even renters pay property taxes… Further union members ARE taxpayers.

        • milwaukeecountycomment Says:

          Show me a member of the county employees’ union who pays more in taxes than they are paid by the county. They are net receivers of tax money at the county level and so increasing county taxes to pay their wages and benefits doesn’t hurt them as it does non-county employees.

        • Jeramey Jannene Says:

          @Matt (to which the software won’t let me respond, perhaps too long a thread).

          If they paid more taxes than they earned, why would they go to work? Your statement doesn’t make any sense. No one pays more in taxes than they earn.

          Just because they’re paid with tax dollars doesn’t make them non-taxpayers.

          Everyone who lives in Milwaukee County pays taxes in one way or another to the County. Passed through their landlord, via sales tax, income taxes that are sent back from the state. Gas tax money that comes back.

          The fact that you’re trying to prove someone isn’t a taxpayer is just absurd. Honestly absurd. Give it a rest. Everyone pays taxes.

          If you want to fight for lower taxes, that’s great. No qualms there. But give this taxpayers aren’t represent rhetoric a break. You elect people to represent you, and every vote that was cast was cast by a taxpayer.

  4. Jeramey Jannene Says:

    No he does have a plan, and he laid it out from the start, and you disagree with it.

    That’s perfectly fine. You are allowed to disagree. But, he does have a plan.

    Is it a long shot plan? Yes, it would require compromise from people who haven’t shown any desire to yet.

    Is Walker’s a long shot plan? Yes. Think about it, what does Walker know that we don’t that allows him to make 8%? There is risk in that plan, like Weishan said. In reality, if you could borrow at 6% and return 8%, wouldn’t you borrow until you couldn’t anymore?

    Both of these guys have a plan. I’m not sure either are great ones.

    • milwaukeecountycomment Says:

      Yes, I disagree with putting off the responsibility of making a plan to other people. I think Weishan, who voted for the pension mess, should be taking the responsibility to propose his own solutions to the problem that he created. He has not done that and quite honestly I don’t expect him to do that. Fixing the pension would upset the unions and the unions have Weishan in their back pockets, he is a total union lackey.

      Weishan has got to go. He’s not interested in representing the people who hired him (the taxpayers), he’s interested instead in representing his fellow employees. He’s willing to spend taxpayer money to benefit himself and his union supporters. He is the status quo personified.

  5. Jeramey Jannene Says:

    “The true solution to Milwaukee County’s pension funding problem is to convene a roundtable summit that represents all stakeholders, including retirees, employees, union leaders and elected officials. I believe that, with the right strategy, we can develop a viable long-term plan that respects taxpayer investment and the pensions earned by Milwaukee County employees.”

    I’m not saying it’ll be successful, but it sounds like that is his plan.

    • milwaukeecountycomment Says:

      Notice who he left out of the list of stakeholders…. The TAXPAYERS!!!

      If I’m not mistaken it was people on the list he wants at the roundtable that brought us this pension problem in the first place! If he thinks that this is the way to find a solution then why hasn’t he convened such a summit already? Why isn’t one scheduled?

      The truth is he doesn’t have a plan to fix the problem, he has a plan to get other people to come up with a plan for the “right strategy”. How much more wishy-washy could that be?

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