Media Coverage

Wisconsin Governor Didn't Get the Solution He Spent His Political Capital On

03/17/2011 - In all that has been written and spoken about Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, public employees and their pensions, the two words that might provide the most insight have yet to be uttered: Joe Smith.

What does a journeyman professional basketball player have to do with the political crisis that has dominated news for much of the last two months?


In the short term, Wisconsin's fiscal problem is that it spends more than it receives in taxes. That dilemma has very little to do with the public pension system. In fact, the nonpartisan and highly respected Pew Center on the States has called Wisconsin a "national leader" for its fiscal prudence in managing long-term health and retirement liabilities. Asking public employees to contribute more to their health and retirement programs will help solve the state's budget problem by bringing more money into state coffers, but public employee benefits are not the cause of the immediate crisis.

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States' Fiscal Health

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