Monday, February 28, 2011

On, Wisconsin!

As a native Wisconsinite transplanted in Texas, I've been following the news out of Madison with much interest and enthusiasm.  I talked with my mother today, who lives in my Wisconsin hometown, just east of Madison.  She said that yesterday, she felt she just had to get out and show her support for the capitol protests.  So, she made a sign that read, "Negotiation is the heart of democracy" and, together with my dad, who held a peace sign, bundled up and went downtown to join a vigil with several friends.  They roused many more honks than thumbs down, my mom said.  In their mid-eighties, my folks are still active and engaged citizens, models of participation.  Yes, they can!

My folks and I also often talk about the solutions we see for the money crunch.  Wisconsin has a $3.6 billion shortfall this year.  US military operations in Iraq are expected to cost $3.8 billion per month this year.  Costs for US military operations in Afghanistan this year are projected to run $9.5 billion per month.  In 2008, the cost of the Iraq war was approximately $16.5 billion per month.

States rely on many sources of federal funds.  When war drains billions from the federal budget, states feel the sqeeze.  Add to that the direct costs of war to state budgets -- Wisconsin National Guard troops sent abroad, health care costs of injured veterans and 130 Wisconsin troop deaths in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Stop funding war.  Schools will have everything they need.

photo by John Hart from the Wisconsin State Journal

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