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Wisconsin Budget Coverage Suffers from Bad Reporting, Tax Journalist Writes Wisconsin Budget Coverage Suffers from Bad Reporting, Tax Journalist W...

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Politics

Wisconsin Budget Coverage Suffers from Bad Reporting, Tax Journalist Writes

photo of Rebecca Kaplan
February 25, 2011

Pulitzer-prize winning journalist David Cay Johnston is on a mission to spread the word that the reporting about Wisconsin’s budget battle has been, well, nonsense.

Reporters writing about Gov. Scott Walker’s budget-relief plan have repeated his assertions that he wants state workers covered by collective bargaining agreements to “contribute more” to their pension and health insurance plans, under the assumption that taxpayers pay a large portion of their benefits.

“Out of every dollar that funds Wisconsin' s pension and health insurance plans for state workers, 100 cents comes from the state workers,” Johnston writes. “Because the ‘contributions’ consist of money that employees chose to take as deferred wages – as pensions when they retire – rather than take immediately in cash. The same is true with the health care plan.”

 

What Walker is actually proposing amounts to a salary cut for public sector workers so money would be freed to close budget deficits, Johnston argued.

Read Johnston’s analysis of budget battle here. He formerly covered taxes for the New York Times and now writes for the website tax.com.

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