State Senator Mary Lazich (R-New Berlin) represents parts of four counties: Milwaukee, Waukesha, Racine, and Walworth. Her Senate District 28 includes New Berlin, Franklin, Greendale, Hales Corners, Muskego, Waterford, Big Bend, the town of Vernon and parts of Greenfield, East Troy, and Mukwonago. Senator Lazich has been in the Legislature for more than a decade. She considers herself a tireless crusader for lower taxes, reduced spending and smaller government.
One of the key reasons why state and local spending is out of whack in Wisconsin is the high cost of benefits. The non-partisan Wisconsin Taxpayers Alliance (WISTAX) has analyzed the numbers, and they are astounding.
WISTAX reports, “State-local government employees in Wisconsin received an average of $12,171 in fringe benefits in 2005, exceeding benefits for private sector workers by more than 50%. Public benefits cost Wisconsin taxpayers $4.62 billion in 2005, or an average of more than $800 per person.
In every state, public benefits are greater than those in the private sector. However, Wisconsin’s gap (50.1%) was much larger than the nation’s (34.9%). It was also larger than the gaps for all states bordering Wisconsin: Illinois (34.5%), Iowa (45.8%), Michigan (18.4%), and Minnesota (30.1%).
If Wisconsin’s state-local employees received the same level of fringe benefits as the state’s private workers, Wisconsin governments would have spent $1.54 billion less in 2005.”
Here is the WISTAX news release.