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The Vanguard

Jefferson Davis is a longtime resident of Menomonee Falls. He is the proud parent of two wonderful boys. He enjoys singing, volunteering, reading, gardening, politics, antiques, history, guitar, violin, piano, officiating, helping neighbors and yard work. He served as Village President of Menomonee Falls from 2003-05. He is a member of Northbrook Church and serves on the Advisory Council for the Salvation Army Rehabilitation Center. He is an independent registered representative practicing in the areas of insurance, investments and retirement.

S.O.S. (... _ _ _ ...) Menomonee Falls, Waukesha County and Wisconsin

Walker Budget Repair Bill

Similar to the international distress code S.O.S. (... _ _ _ ...), which was first used by the German Government for radio regulations in 1905, the Village and School District of Menomonee Falls, Waukesha County and the State of Wisconsin are in an all out distress mode being held hostage by public unions and Senate Democrats and their unwillingness to work with the legislature and governor to help correct decades of financial and spending missteps by both parties.

Just The Facts Please

Here are some of the facts that partially got the State of Wisconsin in the financially irresponsible mess that it currently finds itself in:

  1. The State of Wisconsin will spend about $54 billion every 2 years for its biennium budget and will have a $3.6 billion structural deficit for the 2011-13 budget (http://articles.cnn.com/2011-02-18/us/wisconsin.budget_1_budget-bill-state-budget-budget-deficit?_s=PM:US).  Wisconsin is required to have a balanced budget by its constitution (http://www.wisconsinbudgetproject.org/primer_balancedbudget.html). 
  2. Wisconsin is currently projected to have a $137 million budget shortfall by June 30, 2011 (http://www.startribune.com/local/116596493.html) that needs to be closed.
  3. Wisconsin owes Minnesota $58 million for prison payment agreements that Wisconsin is over 3 months late on with its payment (http://www.rivertowns.net/event/article/id/233609/).
  4. Wisconsin wants to refinance a big chunk of its debt, which was nearly $20 billion in 2006 (http://www.wpri.org/Reports/Volume%2020/Vol20no9/Vol20no9p2.html), to save $165 million in interest payments (http://www.fox11online.com/dpp/news/wisconsin/wisconsin-debt-restructuring-plan-deadline-is-friday-february-25) by Friday, February 25, 2011.
  5. The courts have ordered the State of Wisconsin to repay $200 million to the Patient Compensation Fund  (http://www.wisbar.org/AM/Template.cfm?Section=News&CONTENTID=94589&TEMPLATE=/CM/ContentDisplay.cfm) that Jim Doyle raided to put some bubble gum and band aids on to treat his spending dysfunction.
  6. Medicaid is $1.8 billion short for the next biennium and $150 million short for the next 6 months (http://statehousenewsonline.com/2011/02/09/medicaid-costs-strain-state-finances/).

These are just a few of the many examples that Governor Walker and the Legislature are finding themselves having to deal with to get Wisconsin's fiscal house in order before more drastic measures have to be taken.

Governor Walker will not raise taxes to make up for the shortfall like the State of Illinois and the democrats have (http://www.nytimes.com/2011/01/13/us/13illinois.html).

Governor Walker will not lay off employees and will eliminate the 16 furlough days for State Employees if the Budget Repair Bill is approved in its present form.

If the Budget Repair Bill is not approved, lay off notices will be sent out as early as next week and could affect some 10,000 - 12,000 employees statewide at all levels (http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2011/02/20/12g-state-workers-fired-budget-deal-wisconsin-governor-warns/).

Menomonee Falls State Legislators Are in Support of Governor Walker's Budget Repair Bill

The Vanguard has contacted and has received confirmation from of all of the State Legislators representing Menomonee Falls that they are in total support, without any compromises, of Governor Walker's Budget Repair Bill realizing the imminent need to get the State of Wisconsin's financial house in order without raising taxes and burdening businesses and taxpayers with an even more oppressive state of affairs.

Please immediately contact the following State Legislators representing Menomonee Falls to ask for their support of Governor Walker and getting Wisconsin's financial house in order before it's too late:

  1. State Senator Alberta Darling (Sen.darling@legis.wisconsin.gov (608) 266-5830)
  2. State Senator Rich Zipperer (Sen.Zipperer@legis.wisconsin.gov (608) 266-9174) *
  3. State Representative Dan Knodl (Rep.Knodl@legis.wisconsin.gov (608) 266-3796)
  4. State Representative Don Pridemore (Rep.pridemore@legis.wisconsin.gov (608) 267-2367) *
  5. Governor Walker (scott walker <govgeneral@wisconsin.gov>; (608-266-1212)

*Zipperer and Pridemore represent the far southwest corner of Menomonee Falls.

For a complete listing of Senators and Representatives outside of Menomonee Falls please use the following link to find your personal representative (http://legis.wisconsin.gov/).

The State Assembly is scheduled to vote on the Budget Repair Bill on Thursday afternoon February 25th.

If the bill is passed in the Assembly, which it appears that it will be, the bill will immediately then be sent over to the Senate for a vote if the Democrats will return home to do their job that they were elected to do.

The Senate needs 20 senators for a quorum to vote on fiscal matters before the Senate.

The republicans have 19 senators which is just short of having a quorum in order to vote on the Budget Repair Bill.

Contact the Village Board, School Board and County Board to Support Governor Walker  

For decades, the local elected officials of Menomonee Falls and Waukesha County have carped about having their hands tied due to collective bargaining along with mediation/arbitration laws mandated by the Legislature.

If the Assembly and Senate pass the Governor's Budget Repair Bill, these local officials will no longer be able to use that excuse as they have for so many years.

Governor Walker gives true local control with his Budget Repair Bill back to the local level with flexibility being given to local governmental entities to negotiate benefits without the hammer of the unions coming down on elected officials through collective bargaining.

The unions will maintain their collective bargaining for wages tied to the CPI (Consumer Price Index).

The Governor is only asking State Employee Unions to contribute 5.8% to their Pension Plans and 12.6% to their health care plans (http://www.boulderweekly.com/article-4489-revolution-comes-to-the-midwest.html) which will come out to approximately $5,000 a year for the average employee making $50,000 a year.

These contributions will save $30 million by June 3, 2011 (http://img.rushlimbaugh.com/home/daily/site_022111/content/01125110.guest.html) and another $68 million if the teachers would use the State Health Pool instead of the WEA Trust Union Plan (http://host.madison.com/wsj/news/local/education/local_schools/article_78dbd12c-3fa5-11e0-9aed-001cc4c002e0.html).

Public employees will get their contributions to their pension plans back when they retire on a guaranteed basis which is unheard of for private sector employees (http://etf.wi.gov/). 

The Wisconsin Retirement System covers over 570,000 participants and has over $80 billion in assets under management (http://etf.wi.gov/).

Most public employees can retire at age 55, some at 52 or later and will then go out and get another job while drawing their full-time pensions for 2 salaries in retirement.

Governor Walker will open up HSA's (Health Savings Accounts) for public unions to save millions of dollars for taxpayers similar to what Governor Daniels did in Indiana for public union employees that saved taxpayers and employees in Indiana millions of dollars (http://www.heartland.org/healthpolicy-news.org/article/27312/Indiana_Government_Workers_Taxpayers_Saving_Big_Through_HSAs.html) while providing great health care plans.

The Vanguard disagrees with the Governor for his exempting police, fire and public safety officials. 

Everyone should share in fixing this mess.

Local governments are given the flexibility to negotiate with their local unions as they see fit for benefits.

Here is the contact information for the following local officials in Menomonee Falls:

  1. Village President and Village Board (http://menomonee-falls.org/index.aspx?nid=292) along with their email addresses (villageboard@menomonee-falls.org <villageboard@menomonee-falls.org>).
  2. Menomonee Falls School Board (http://board-of-education.sdmf.schoolfusion.us/modules/groups/group_pages.phtml?gid=1479193&nid=123339&sessionid=9c06cad387f6748901bd931468855255).
  3. Waukesha County Board (http://www.waukeshacounty.gov/defaultwc.aspx?id=37664).

Some Truths About Public Unions in Wisconsin

While there is a ton of misinformation being purposely put out by the unions to confuse the issue to get their base fired up, The Vanguard will simply tell the truth and let the chips fall where they may.

Here we go:

  1. The average teacher pay and benefits package in Wisconsin is between $87,000 - $89,000 (http://www.boulderweekly.com/article-4489-revolution-comes-to-the-midwest.html).
  2. Public sector pay and benefits far exceed private sector pay and benefit packages (http://politifact.com/truth-o-meter/statements/2011/feb/23/eric-bolling/fox-business-news-eric-bolling-says-wisconsin-teac/ and http://www.politifact.com/truth-o-meter/statements/2011/feb/21/george-will/george-will-says-wisconsin-governors-benefits-prop/).
  3. Most public sector employees receive an annual annuity credit of $3,000 - $6,000 for not taking the health care plan if they are covered under their spouse's health care plan (http://www.wpri.org/Reports/Volume18/Vol18no1.pdf).
  4. Most public sector employees earn $1,000,000 in retirement from their WRS Pension Plan (http://www.wpri.org/Reports/Volume23/Vol23No2/Vol23No2.html Table 23 and http://www.620wtmj.com/shows/charliesykes/116573423.html?viewAll=1) and leave the remaining payments to their spouse.
  5. Most public sector employees also get lump sum cash payouts at retirement for unused sick leave (http://www.menomoneefallsnow.com/blogs/communityblogs/82065062.html) or have their health insurance paid for in retirement with unused sick leave credits(http://etf.wi.gov/publications/et8929.pdf) costing taxpayers across Wisconsin hundreds of millions of dollars.
  6. Nearly $500 million in union dues was spent on democrat campaigns in the 2008 and 2010 Election Cycles (http://www.rasmussenreports.com/public_content/political_commentary/commentary_by_michael_barone/public_unions_force_taxpayers_to_fund_dems).
  7. The public supports Governor Walker (http://www.usnews.com/opinion/blogs/peter-roff/2011/02/25/poll-wisconsin-gov-scott-walker-winning-labor-budget-fight and  http://www.rasmussenreports.com/public_content/politics/general_politics/february_2011/48_back_gop_governor_in_wisconsin_spat_38_side_with_unions) and disagree with the Democrat Senators for fleeing the state (http://www.rasmussenreports.com/public_content/politics/general_politics/february_2011/67_disapprove_of_legislators_fleeing_wisconsin_to_avoid_vote).
  8. Teacher involuntary union dues average between $700 - $1,000 a year that primarily go to democrat campaigns (http://tarpon.wordpress.com/2011/02/20/guaranteed-union-dues-why-wisconsin-is-so-important-for-labor-bosses/).  The Governor will give union employees the option of keeping those union dues to help with their health care and pension plans.  
  9. Federal Employees do not have collective bargaining even though President Obama said that what is happening in Wisconsin is an assault on unions (http://voices.washingtonpost.com/ezra-klein/2011/02/national_democrats_werent_that.html).  Federal employees would love to have what the public employees in Wisconsin do under Governor Walker. 
  10. FDR (Franklin D. Roosevelt) was against collective bargaining for public employees (http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/chat/2675825/posts) as he was the poster child for the progressives, liberals, democrats and unions.
  11. Wisconsin has had the strongest civil service protection laws in America since 1905(http://www.civilservicecentennial.wi.gov/section.asp?linkid=260&locid=54).
  12. The union owned state health insurance plan, WEA Trust (http://www.weatrust.com/), has the most lavish and expensive comprehensive plan in Wisconsin.  The current collective bargaining allows unions to mandate this type of coverage when other more affordable and equal plans are available.  The average family plan is approaching $30,000 a year under the WEA Trust Plan.
  13. There are approximately 300,000 public union employees state wide (http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2011/02/20/12g-state-workers-fired-budget-deal-wisconsin-governor-warns/).
  14. Collective bargaining was started in Wisconsin in 1959 (http://www.wisconsinlaborhistory.org/?page_id=34).
  15. The State of Wisconsin has well over 1,500 bargaining units (http://www.foxnews.com/on-air/fox-news-sunday/transcript/gov-scott-walker-wisconsin-budget-battle-sens-mccaskill-coburn-capitol-hill-spending-figh).

The Vanguard believes in and has always supported public schools, but at a fair and equitable cost.

Private schools would love to have a portion of what public schools have in resources, pay and benefits.

Private schools will put their test results up against any public school at anytime under any condition.

What do you think?

Do you support Governor Walker and doing the right thing to fix the financial mess in Wisconsin with his Budget Repair Bill or do you support the unions in maintaining the status quo for collective bargaining and raising taxes to close the deficits?

This is the first round of cuts.

The Governor has stated that Shared Revenue and Education Aid will be next when he announces his 2011-13 Budget next week reducing state expenditures by an additional $1.5 billion (http://oshkoshhub.thenorthwestern.com/article/20110220/OSH0101/102200365/Local-governments-concerned-state-shared-revenue-cuts-may-exceed-cost-savings-Walker-s-bill-might-offer).

This is a vanguard and seminal moment for the State of Wisconsin.

It's now or never!

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