Today Walker pens an op-ed in the Washington Post that basically is a direct challenge to President Obama. Who would have thought that a minor political figure on a county-scale in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, could overnight turn into a national political heavyweight willing and able to challenge the President? But, then again, who would have thought that a minor state legislator from Illinois could, within four years, be the President?
Here are the key paragraphs from Walker's piece:
Contrary to what the Obama administration would lead you to believe, most employees of the federal government do not have collective bargaining for wages and benefits. That means the budget reform plan we signed into law in Wisconsin on Friday is more generous than what President Obama offers federal employees.Walker here make, in a very economical way, the main two points that need to be understood in considering the issue of public employee unions and their collective bargaining: (1) that collective bargaining by public employees is not a "right," or else the federal work force would have similar "rights"; and (2) the public employees who are fighting for their pensions and Cadillac health benefits have it very good indeed compared to the vast majority of private sector workers -- they are not "oppressed" under any reasonable meaning of the word.
Our reform plan calls for a 5.8 percent pension contribution from government workers, including myself, and a 12.6 percent health insurance premium payment. Both are well below what middle-class, private-sector workers pay. Federal workers, however, pay an average of 28 percent of health insurance costs.
It’s enough to make you wonder why there are no protesters circling the White House.
My brother is a banquet manager and occasional bartender at a hotel. He pays nearly $800 a month for his family’s health insurance and can put away only a little bit toward his 401(k). He would love the plan I’m offering to public employees.