“Squeezy the Python” now has a sequel. It’s called “Kids Don’t Have Lobbyists,” and it features a group of children looking bored while a functionary of Gov. Pat Quinn’s explains the state’s pension crisis. The children yawn, drum their fingers on tables, and complain they’d rather be doing their homework. But they’re cute enough to keep you watching for the two and a half minutes it takes to absorb these factoids:
In 2012 Illinois will spend $5 billion on pensions and only $300 million on early childhood education.
In 2012 Illinois will spend $2,269 per student in State Aid for primary and secondary education and $16,450 per employee on pension payments.
“I sold five boxes of thin mints today,” a Girl Scout says. “You mean we have to sell 1.3 million more to pay for the pensions?”
Never mind that those statistics are a little misleading. The age cohort benefiting from pensions is much larger than that receiving early childhood education. And the video doesn’t specify how many students receive public education -- or how much funding they receive overall. But it does demonstrate that Quinn has learned an important lesson of politics: whatever you’re selling, make it about the children.