Good read by Bailey Childers, executive director, of the National Public Pension Coalition who encourages Michigan workers to not fall for the Mackinac Center for Public Policy smoke and mirrors game in attempt to hurt the credibility of the state operated pension system.

The Mackinac Center is heavily supported by the billionaire Koch brothers (who are no friends to fire fighters and unions). The organization describes itself as “dedicated to improving the quality of life for all Michigan residents by promoting sound solutions to state and local policy questions.”

But as Childers writes the “Mackinac Center is a small cog in a higher national anti-pension machine – created to make previously unaccepted policies – such as slashing taxes on the wealthy or gutting pension benefits for working people – seem acceptable.”

Their goal in Michigan is to help change the pension discussion that would cost workers hundreds of millions of dollars. In recent years, think tanks like the Mackinac Center have pushed policies on the local level that have spread to other statehouses negatively affecting our members. It is important for our members to stay vigilant and to support their best interests.

Let’s not forget in 2013, a Mackinac Center blogger questioned the city of Flint’s plan to offer fire fighters an opportunity to live in rehabilitated homes to help increase the retention rates of first responders in the city. The blogger asked, “Why do firefighters or police officers deserve a discount, but not private business owners or employees?”

The IAFF will keep an eye on what’s happening in the states and provide updates as necessary.