Fact Check

 
 
 FACT CHECK
 
:60 Commercial
 
Storm clouds Wisconsin union protesters
 
VO: They told us the sky would fall. And Wisconsin would end as we know it.
 
Clear skies, followed by shot of familyPhoto of State Capitol. TEXT: “Wisconsin Budget Reforms”
 
VO: But the sky’s still there. And Wisconsin is stronger than ever.Thanks to our budget reforms.
 
Bar Graph depicting $3.6 billion deficit (Revenue vs. Spending)VO: Facing a $3.6 billion deficit, Wisconsin was out of money. 1
Animate the raising of taxes vs. the cutting of spending.
 
VO: So instead of raising taxes...we cut spending.
 
2Pie Graph: Government Employees – 12% contributions for health care (Pensions at 5.8%)3
Pie Graph: Everyone Else – 21% contributions for health care (Most don’t have Pensions”) 4
 
VO: By asking government employees to contribute to their own pensions and benefits 3...like everyone else. 4
 
Balancing Scale: Unions on one side, Taxpayers on the other. The word “Abuse” is on the Union side, making it heavier. It is then removed from the scale to shift the weight to the Taxpayers.TEXT: “Taxpayers back in control”
 
VO: And reining in abuses of collective bargaining privileges, to put taxpayers back in control. 5
 
Bar Graph: $3,598 deficit (in millions) animates down to $0.TEXT: “Eliminated the deficit”
 
VO: Today, Wisconsin eliminated its deficit, 6 reducing the strain on local governments.Photos of vital services (police, fire, schools) TEXT: “Efficient.” TEXT: “Protected.”
 
 
VO: Now, local officials have the flexibility to reduce spending, while protecting vital services. 7
 
Zoom into a map of local news stories HEADLINE: “Kaukauna schools project $1.5M surplus after bargaining changes” 
VO: From a $1.5 million surplus in Kaukauna 8.
 
(The Post Crescent, 6/30/11)
NEWS QUOTE: “a move expected to save taxpayers at least $25 million a year” (Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel, 7/26/11)TEXT: “Wauwatosa School District: Taxes will drop, no programs will be cut” (Wauwatosa Patch, 6/27/11)10
 
VO: ...to $25 million saved in Milwaukee. 9
 
VO: Taxes are going down, programs are being saved.
 
The map pulls out to reveal the whole state.TEXT: “Ashland School District: A health insurance provider switch saved Ashland School District nearly $378,000.” (Ashland Daily Press, 7/18/11) 11
 
TEXT: “Racine County: save over $1.5 million for Racine County taxpayers” (The Journal Times, 9/14/11) 12TEXT: “Hudson School District: save the district an estimated $1.1-1.2 million annually.” (Hudson Star-Observer, 10/10/11) 13
TEXT: “Oshkosh School District: taxes will go down nearly one percent” (The Oshkosh Northwestern, 9/14/11) 14TEXT: “Manitowoc County: save taxpayers $500,000” (Manitowoc Herald Times Reporter, 9/13/11) 15 TEXT: “Hartland-Lakeside School Board: saved taxpayers $690,000” (Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 6/30/11) 16
TEXT: “Fond Du Lac School District: A balanced budget, class sizes will remain intact” (WGBTA- TV, NBC 26, 7/28/11) 17
 
VO: And the success stories just keep on coming.
Imagery of workers and families LOGO: It’s Working TEXT: ItsWorkingWisconsin.com” DISCLAIMER: Paid for by Americans for Prosperity Foundation and the MacIver Institute”
 
VO: Wisconsin budget reform. It’s working. Get the facts...at ItsWorkingWisconsin.com
 
 
 
FACT CHECK
 
Citations:
 
1 Milwaukee Journal Sentinel - State Budget Deficit Grows to $3.6 billion
 
http://www.jsonline.com/news/statepolitics/115501969.html http://media.journalinteractive.com/documents/DOA_memo.doc
 
 
 
2 Wisconsin Gov. Seeks $4.2 billion in cuts
 
http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748704506004576174413551008574.html
 
 
 
3 Conference Committee Report on Special Session Assembly Bill 11,
 
http://www.jsonline.com/news/statepolitics/117735163.html
 
 
 
4 Kaiser Family Foundation – Employer Health Benefitshttp://ehbs.kff.org/pdf/2010/8085.pdf
Pension Benefits
 
http://www.bls.gov/ncs/ebs/benefits/2010/ownership/civilian/table41a.htm
 
 
 
5 Conference Committee Report on Special Session Assembly Bill 11,
 
https://docs.legis.wisconsin.gov/2011/proposals/jr1/ab11 http://legis.wisconsin.gov/lfb/201113Bills/2011_03_10_WILeg_CC.pdf
 
 
 
6 “Sky isn’t Falling” – Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
 
http://www.jsonline.com/news/opinion/127339738.html
"So it turns out that the sky isn't going to fall on all local governments in Wisconsin. The numbers now starting to come in show that Gov. Scott Walker's "tools" for local governments apparently will help at least some of them deal with cuts in state aid imposed by the state budget.”
 
 
 
7 "It will give us flexibility, yes," said Dan Thompson, executive director of the League of Wisconsin Municipalities.
 
http://host.madison.com/wsj/news/local/govt-and-politics/article_1c4f8840-3ef6-11e0-84f0001cc4c002e0.html#ixzz1boAdrdFg
 
 
 
8 “Kaukauna schools project $1.5M surplus after bargaining changes” (The Post-Crescent, 6/30/11)
http://www.postcrescent.com/article/20110629/APC0101/110629072/Story-documents-Kaukauna-schools-project-1-5M-surplus- after-contract-changes?odyssey=tab|topnews|img|FRONTPAGE
 
 
 
9 “a move expected to save taxpayers at least $25 million a year” (Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel, 7/26/11)
 
http://www.jsonline.com/news/milwaukee/126202303.html
 
 
 
10 Wauwatosa Patch, 6/27/11
 
http://wauwatosa.patch.com/articles/school-board-quietly-passes-budget-based-on-sacrifice
 
 
 
11 Ashland Daily Press, 7/18/11 
 
http://healthwithinsurance.com/health-insurance/health-insurance-provider-switch-to-save-ashland-school-district-nearly-378000/
 
 
 
12 The Journal Times, 9/14/11
 
http://www.journaltimes.com/news/local/govt-and-politics/article_0d6dae00-dec5-11e0-8205-001cc4c002e0.html
 
 
 
13 Hudson Star-Observer, 10/10/11
 
http://www.hudsonstarobserver.com/event/article/id/44071/14 The Oshkosh Northwestern, 9/14/11 (link no longer available online)
 
 
15 Manitowoc Herald Times Reporter, 9/13/11 (link no longer available online)
 
 
 
16 Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 6/30/11
http://www.jsonline.com/news/waukesha/122529354.html
 
 
 
17 WGBTA-TV, NBC 26, 7/28/11
http://www.nbc26.com/news/local/126364503.html
 
 
DOCUMENTATION FOR OUR SECOND COMMERCIAL
 
 
STEVE:
In a small business, you make a budget – and you live within your means.
 
 
TAMRA:
It’s the same with our families.  We’re all doing more with less.
 
Shouldn’t our government?
 
AMANDA:
Thanks to recent reforms, Wisconsin’s government is working more effectively and efficiently
 
 
STEVE:
Wisconsin put an end to abuses of collective bargaining – putting taxpayers back in control.(1)
 
AMANDA:
The state has cracked down on sick leave scams that led to skyrocketing overtime costs...(2)
 
 
TAMRA:
…And now we have the flexibility to pay teachers based on performance -- not merely seniority (3)
 
 
BOB:
Taxpayers saved hundreds of millions…
 
 
 
STEVE:
From $25 million saved in Milwaukee to budget surpluses in Kaukauna and Wood County…
 
 
AMANDA:
…We’re headed in the right direction – and vital programs are being preserved. 
 
 
BOB:
Wisconsin has also avoided the mass layoffs of public workers that we’ve seen in other states.
 
 
STEVE:
And we did this.
 
TAMRA:
We did all this
 
 
AMANDA:
We did all this.
 
BOB:
Without raising taxes. 
 
AMANDA:
Wisconsin’s government is working smarter.
 
TAMRA:
There’s more to do…but the facts show: Reforms are working
 
STEVE:
Get the facts...at ItsWorkingWisconsin.com
 
SOURCE: 
(1) 2011 Wisconsin Act 10
 
SOURCE: 
(2) Chippewa Herald, 10/27/11
 
SOURCE: 
(3) 2011 Wisconsin Act 10
(3)La Crosse Tribune, 8/14/11
 
SOURCE:
(4)Non-partisan Legislative Fiscal Bureau Comparative Summary - 2011 Act 10
 
HEADLINES:
Milwaukee to See Net Gain From Budget
Kaukauna schools project $1.5M surplus after bargaining changes
Wood County budget starts with surplus 
 
SOURCES: 
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 8/8/11
Appleton Post-Crescent, 6/30/11
Wisconsin Rapids Daily Tribune, 9/5/11
 
Fact Check for DId It Right/Back In Control

REVISED AFPF & MACIVER INSTUTUTE TV:60 – “BACK IN CONTROL”

Revised 2/20/12, 5:37 pm

 

VIDEO

AUDIO

 

 

NAME ID:
Bill

Wisconsin Home Owner

 

(MUSIC UP & UNDER)

 

BILL:

Here in Wisconsin, we’re still facing economic challenges…

 

 

NAME ID:
Gail

Wisconsin Small Business Owner

 

GAIL:

But unlike many other places – Wisconsin’s reforms are working.

 

NAME ID:
Shannon

State Employee

 

TEXT:

Working Together

Wisconsin Saved

Thousands of Jobs

 

 

SHANNON:

I’m a state employee, and while I’m paying some of my insurance and retirement costs now, I know, I have better benefits than most.

 

VOICE UNDER: And working together, we saved thousands of jobs

 

 

ON CAMERA: – like mine.

 

NAME ID:
Jody

Police Officer

 

NAME ID:
Brad

Police Officer

 

HEADLINE:

Statewide Property Taxes See Smallest Increase in 15 Years, Tax Research Group Says

 

SOURCE:

Wisconsin State Journal, 1/15/12

 

JODY:

We’ve kept the cost of government in check…

 

BRAD:

… and property taxes saw their smallest increase in 15 years.

 

 

GAIL:

In fact, my property taxes actually went down…

 

BILL:

Mine dropped by 4% -- with no reduction in services…

 

TEXT:

School Tax Levies

Down for the First Time in

6 Years

 

SOURCE:

Wisconsin Taxpayers Alliance, December 2011

 

 

 

JODY:

…and school tax levies are down for the first time in 6 years.

 

 

SHANNON:

How did we do all this?

 

SOURCE: 

2011 Wisconsin Act 10

BRAD:

One big reason is Wisconsin’s reform plan.

 

TEXT:

Taxpayers Have Saved

Hundreds of Millions

 

SOURCE:

Non-partisan Legislative Fiscal Bureau Comparative Summary - 2011 Act 10

 

SHANNON:

Our taxpayers saved hundreds of millions…

 

 

 

HEADLINES:

Guards Use Sick Days to Inflate Salary

 

Commission Targets State Overtime Pay

 

SOURCE:

Journal Sentinel, 5/4/08

Rhinelander Daily News, 7/12/11

 

GAIL:

Wisconsin put an end to collective bargaining abuses…

 

HEADLINE:

Wisconsin Schools Buck Union to Cut Health Costs

 

SOURCE:

Washington Examiner, July 2011

 

GAIL:

...putting the taxpayers back in control.

 

TEXT:

Those Savings Helped

Wisconsin Avoid Massive Tax Hikes

and

Layoffs of Public Workers

 

SOURCE:

Reuters, 3/11/11

 

JODY:

Those savings helped Wisconsin avoid the massive tax hikes and layoffs other states have seen.

 

 

BILL:

There’s more to do, but the facts show…

 

PERSON #5:

…the reforms are working.

 

IT’S WORKING! LOGO

 

WEBSITE:

ItsWorkingWisconsin.com

 

AFPF LOGO & MACIVER INSTITUTE LOGO

 

PAID FOR BY AMERICANS FOR PROSPERITY FOUNDATION & THE MACIVER INSTITUTE

 

JODY:

Get the facts…

 

GAIL:

Get the facts…

 

BILL:

Get the facts...at ItsWorkingWisconsin.com 

 

 

 

 

 

 

DOCUMENTATION

 

 

BRAD:

… and property taxes saw their smallest increase in 15 years.

 

 

DOCUMENTATION:

Statewide property taxes see smallest increase in 15 years, tax research group says

Link to the Article Here:

http://host.madison.com/wsj/news/local/govt-and-politics/statewide-property-taxes-see-smallest-increase-in-years-tax-research/article_5efdc042-3fab-11e1-b6a5-0019bb2963f4.html

 

 

 

JODY:

…and school tax levies are down for the first time in 6 years.

 

 

DOCUMENTATION:

State school taxes drop for first time since 2006

Statewide school property taxes on December tax bills are dropping 1 percent from $4.69 billion last year to $4.65 billion this year. According to a new report from the Wisconsin Taxpayers Alliance (WISTAX), the decline is the first since 2005-06, when levies fell 0.5 percent.

 

Published December 17, 2011, 10:45 AM

 

Link to the Article Here:

http://www.hudsonstarobserver.com/event/article/id/45535/

 

 

AND

 

School Taxes Drop for First Time Since 2006

Wisconsin Taxpayers Alliance Report

December 9, 2011

 

Link to the Report Here:

http://wistax.org/docs/press_releases/11-25-release.pdf

 

 

 

SHANNON:

Our taxpayers saved hundreds of millions…

 

DOCUMENTATION:

 

Non-partisan Legislative Fiscal Bureau Comparative Summary - 2011 Act 10

Legislative Reference Bureau Fiscal Estimate, Special Session Assembly Bill 11 – page 8:

State of Wisconsin Annual Savings (All Funds) - $308,630,000.

50% Municipal and School District Employee Contribution Toward Pension Costs - $481,738,572.00

 

 

MI Report Chronicles Success of Wisconsin Budget Reforms -- How Wisconsin’s School Districts are Saving Money as a Result of 2011’s Act 10 Legislation

2011 MacIver Institute Report

 

Link to the Report Here:

http://maciverinstitute.com/2011/09/mi-report-chronicles-success-of-wisconsin-budget-reforms/

 

 

 

Wisconsin GOP poised to cut worker rights in budget fix

Green Bay Press-Gazette, 2/15/11

 

Link to the Article Here:

http://www.greenbaypressgazette.com/article/20110215/GPG0101/110215073/Wisconsin-GOP-poised-cut-worker-rights-budget-fix

 

Excerpt:

 

Walker’s plan would make workers pay half the costs of their pensions and at least 12.6 percent of their health care premiums. State employees’ costs would go up by an average of 8 percent. The changes would save the state $30 million by June 30 and $300 million over the next two years.

 

 

 

GAIL:

Wisconsin put an end to collective bargaining abuses...putting the taxpayers back in control.

 

 

DOCUMENTATION:

 

HEADLINE:

Guards Use Sick Days to Inflate Salary

 

Link to the Article Here:

http://www.jsonline.com/news/wisconsin/29511574.html

 

 

 

HEADLINE:

Commission Targets State Overtime Pay

 

Link to the Article Here:

http://www.rhinelanderdailynews.com/main.asp?SectionID=6&SubSectionID=47&ArticleID=48468&TM=34235.45

 

 

 

HEADLINE:

Wisconsin Schools Buck Union to Cut Health Costs

 

Link to the Article Here:

http://washingtonexaminer.com/politics/2011/07/wisconsin-schools-buck-union-cut-health-costs/115972

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Changes to workplace rules coming for state employees

Chippewa Herald, 10/27/11

 

Link to the Article Here:

http://chippewa.com/news/state-and-regional/article_8f130e3c-00ee-11e1-b02a-001cc4c002e0.html#ixzz1dzjkJq31

 

 

Plan would freeze state workers' wages for two years

Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 10/25/11

 

Link to the Article Here:

http://www.jsonline.com/news/statepolitics/state-workers-to-have-wages-frozen-for-two-years-132536978.html

 

 

Excerpt:

 

Another significant change would establish that overtime could be awarded only for actual hours worked. Under the current system, workers who call in sick for a shift and then work the immediate next shift are paid one shift at their regular pay and the other at time and a half. Under the new system, both shifts would be paid at straight time.

 

In 2008, the Journal Sentinel published an investigation that showed some prison guards had boosted their overtime pay by calling in sick for their regular shift and then picking up the subsequent shift on overtime.

 

The overtime changes are expected to save the Department of Corrections $5 million a year

 

 

 

 

 

JODY:

Those savings helped Wisconsin avoid the massive tax hikes and layoffs other states have seen.

 

DOCUMENTATION:

Wisconsin enacts union curbs, rescinds layoffs

Link to the Article Here:

http://www.reuters.com/article/2011/03/11/usa-wisconsin-idUSN1122113720110311

 

 

State Worker Layoffs in Florida

WCTV, 10/20/11

 

Link to the Article Here:

http://www.wctv.tv/home/headlines/State_Worker_Layoffs_in_Florida_132278453.html

 

 

In New York, state worker layoffs to begin July 15

Stateline.org, 7/9/11

 

Link to the Article Here:

http://www.stateline.org/live/details/story?contentId=580422

 

 

Quinn: State employee layoff plans coming soon

State Journal-Register, 9/7/11

 

Link to the Article Here:

http://www.sj-r.com/top-stories/x1069108844/Report-Quinn-to-issue-layoff-notices-announce-facility-closings

 

 

Union's Progress Could Mean Ohio's Bankruptcy

BigGovernment.com 11/16/11

 

Link to the Article Here:

http://biggovernment.com/jhart/2011/11/16/union-progress-could-mean-ohios-bankruptcy/