The fact that Milwaukee County owes its next six generations to retirees is not news, although the latest revelations never cease to amaze. The county is apparently on the hook for 1.4 billion dollars in retiree health care and nonpension benefits. This is roughly ten times the average for a county and over 50% higher than the next most profligate county government, Oakland County, Michigan.
But here is what the head of the public-spirited District 48 Council 48 of AFSCME has to say about that:
Rich Abelson, executive director of the largest county union, criticized Walker's comments as "knee-jerk" anti-unionism. The new estimate is not a serious concern, because all municipalities have to deal with the issue, he said.
"We've done very well paying as you go," said Abelson, of District Council 48, American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees.
To say that all municipalities have to deal with the issue is sort of like saying that your maxed out credit cards are not a problem because I've got to pay my thirteen dollar balance as well. I'd much rather he was honest. I'd much prefer that he say "Look, we've taken down you for everything you've got and there's not a damn thing you can do about it. Shut up and send the checks."