Now there’s a headline you won’t read anywhere else. Amidst all the hollering and blathering and the staking of ground, the reality that the budget bill is a moot point now has yet to occur to either side, or to the mainstream media. The bill was designed to generate just $137 million in savings. Now let’s think about what’s been lost in all the hoopla:
- So far, three days of Madison School District federal funding, which districts receive based on whether they are open or not, and the number of students on any given day. If a child isn’t there, the funding for that child is cut for the day. If the school is closed, the funding for that school is cut for the day. I have no idea what that total would amount to, but to give you an idea of what’s involved, the annual budget for the district two years ago was over $412 million.
- Lost revenue in other state services for four days so far, as well as the cost of catch up once workers return.
- Hundreds of extra police and safety officers on the ground in Madison for four days so far, 500+ today, some from outside the jurisdiction who’ve been asked to lend a hand. You can bet there is a significant amount of overtime involved.
- Clean up. Madison held about 70,000 protesters and counter-protesters today.
That’s just off the top of my head. I’m sure there will be more costs associated with all of this. There’s no doubt that the combined total of what this will cost the state of Wisconsin will far exceed the $137 million in savings. That’s really the most salient fact, but nobody is paying attention to it. I guess that’s because there will surely be more pain and sacrifice required as a result, something I doubt the protesters have even considered.