|Boots and Sabers Blog|
|Hot Air Blog|
|Jim Ott's Hot Air Report|
|Media Research Center|
|Real Clear Politics|
|Wall Street Journal|
|WisPolitics Budget Blog|
Act 10 was a reaction to cities and states going deep into the red funding lavish, outlandish benefits for public employees. Unions drove the cost of pensions and benefits incredibly high. Even a left-leaning blog like Gawker understands the problem:
This excellent Reuters report on San Bernardino provides one strong clue: when you are the poorest city of your size in your state, yet your police and firefighters can retire at the age of 50 with a pension that is 90% of their final salary, you are a strong contender for bankruptcy, sooner or later. One small example of the municipal largesse that eventually dragged San Bernardino into a hole it could not climb out of:
In 2009, patrol lieutenant Richard Taack retired at the age of 59, after 37 years of service. He took home $389,727 that year, including $194,820 in unused sick time and $33,721 for unused vacation time, according to city payroll records. Shortly after Taack retired - on an annual lifetime pension of $128,000 - he was hired part-time by [longtime city attorney James] Penman's city attorney's office, at $32 an hour.
That was long after the city had already seen its tax revenues collapse, along with the economy as a whole. Municipal unions seeking opulent contracts are certainly complicit in San Bernardino's downfall. But the real blame rests with elected officials who voted this entire unsustainable system of lavish payments and pensions into place.
The story wraps up, seeing that corrupt officials in the pocket of the unions won't end well for the taxpayers.