What becomes of government credibility in the post-lockdown period? There are thousands of politicians in this country for whom this is a chilling question, even a taboo topic.
The reputation of government was already at postwar lows before the lockdowns, with only 17% of the American public saying that they trusted government to do the right thing. That was before the federal government and 43 state governors decided to turn a virus into a pretext for totalitarian closures, lockdowns, travel restrictions, and home quarantines of most people.
The lockdowns and random policy impositions by government will surely contribute to take the confidence number down to rock bottom. Already, loss of confidence has devastated consumer sentiment. No matter how many headlines blame the virus for all the carnage, the reality is all around us: it’s the government’s response that bears the responsibility.
In 2006, the great epidemiologist Donald Henderson warned that if government pursued coercive measures to control a virus, the result would be a “loss of confidence in government to manage the crisis.” The reason is that the measures do not work. Further, the attempt to make them work turns a manageable crisis into a catastrophe.
Let’s compare: Middleton and Madison Property taxes
Madison property taxes are 22% more than Middleton’s for a comparable home, based on this comparison of 2017 sales.
Fall 2020 Administration Referendum slides.
(Note: “Madison spends just 1% of its budget on maintenance while Milwaukee, with far more students, spends 2%” – Madison’s CFO at a fall 2019 referendum presentation.)
MMSD Budget Facts: from 2014-15 to 2020-21 [July, 2020]
Property taxes up 37% from 2012 – 2021.
MMSD Budget Facts: from 2014-15 to 2020-21
1. 4K-12 enrollment: -1.6% (decrease) from 2014-15 to projected 2020-21
2. Total district staffing FTE: -2.9% (decrease) from 2014-15 to proposed 2020-21
3. Total expenditures (excluding construction fund): +15.9% +17.0% (increase) from 2014-15 to proposed 2020-21
4. Total expenditures per pupil: +17.8% +19.0%(increase) from 2014-15 to proposed 2020-21
5. CPI change: +10.0% (increase) from January 2014 to January 202
6. Bond rating (Moody’s): two downgrades (from Aaa to Aa2) from 2014 to 2020
1. DPI WISEdash for 2014-15 enrollment; district budget book for projected 2020-21 enrollment
2. & 3.: District budget books
– via a kind reader (July 9, 2020 update).
2017: West High Reading Interventionist Teacher’s Remarks to the School Board on Madison’s Disastrous Reading Results
Madison’s taxpayer supported K-12 school district, despite spending far more than most, has long tolerated disastrous reading results.
My Question to Wisconsin Governor Tony Evers on Teacher Mulligans and our Disastrous Reading Results
“An emphasis on adult employment”
Wisconsin Public Policy Forum Madison School District Report[PDF]
Booked, but can’t read (Madison): functional literacy, National citizenship and the new face of Dred Scott in the age of mass incarceration