My column arguing for requiring government employees to kick in more for their retirement benefits appeared in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel yesterday. It has undoubtedly riled state employees who have become accustomed to the generous retirement benefits offered by the taxpayers.
It seems, however, that state and local government employees should be willing to make a fairly small concession in exchange for saving their jobs. It seems that most on the left argue vehemently that fewer government employees makes for worse government. This issue exposes the schism between conscientious liberals who believe in effective government versus those who merely see taxpayers as a way to pad their own wallets.
In the article, I mention that the issue of requiring more employee retirement contributions is “an idea that nobody is talking about.” In fact, a requirement that new employees pay a portion of their pension was in the Assembly Republican budget that passed in 2007, and Representative Mark Gottlieb e-mailed me to point out that he introduced legislation on this in each of the last two sessions (2007 AB 449, and 2005 AB 267).
The Legislative Fiscal Bureau has an informative paper on the Wisconsin Retirement System which can be read here. The section on employee contributions begins on page 37.