WI Budget Bill Now a Moot Point

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:

  1. 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.
  2. Lost revenue in other state services for four days so far, as well as the cost of catch up once workers return.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.

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3 comments on “WI Budget Bill Now a Moot Point

  1. Lola-at-Large says:

    This resonated with me:

    Meanwhile, progressive voices in the media fanned the flames, spreading misinformation and outright falsehoods with a zest that would make Glenn Beck blush: Gov. Walker wants to crush unions with the National Guard; he manufactured a budget crisis to justify his attack on unions; he proposed cutting union workers’ pay 20 percent. Neutral sources have debunked it all, but as far as I know only Ezra Klein among these tribunes of truth has seen fit to correct the record.

    And, of course, thousands of teachers have abandoned their classrooms to join a boisterous crowd intimidating and obstructing the elected state legislature in Madison — in scenes reminiscent of the Tea Party’s mobbing of Democrats on Capitol Hill during the health-care debate.

    This is hypocrisy on an epic scale. I can’t think of a more overwhelming refutation of the claim that incivility is the unique province of the American right — as opposed to what it really is and always has been: a two-way street with both right and left lanes. No wonder so many Americans in the broad center of the political spectrum are turned off by both parties and their sanctimonious “bases.”

    I don’t ultimately agree with his thesis, but he’s got this right. http://voices.washingtonpost.com/postpartisan/2011/02/tyranny_in_wisconsin_part_4.html

  2. ralphb says:

    Charles Lane isn’t usually my cup of tea but he’s got a great point there. It’s an obvious point but still good.

    You’re right about the costs, something else will have to pay for this largely useless bit of protest.

    • Lola-at-Large says:

      I’m with you on Charles Lane. I don’t like his fake PostPartisan pose. But this seemed a good point to make to make and a well-made one; a point the right has made, but much less coherently.

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