The Star's Matthew Tully has reported that Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels, too, is being completely nonchalant about the enormous mix-up as well:
Not that he's apologizing. When the state realized it had misplaced $320 million several months ago, Daniels treated it like a joke, talking like a college student who'd just found $20 worth of beer money in an old pair of jeans, as if important budget decisions hadn't been made on the faulty numbers.
And on Thursday the state put out a news release that downplayed the newest mistake, writing of "programming errors" and mentioning not the $206 million but the smaller "$13 million per month" mistake. That's like Tiger Woods telling his wife, "Hey, I averaged only one affair a month!"
I just don't get it. I understand that the state is charged with handling an incredible amount of money and that sometimes there will be some change that falls through the cracks. This isn't just pocket change, though. This is more than half a billion dollars of hard-earned Hoosier taxpayer's money. To treat this issue as anything but severe not only downplays the enormous sums of money involved, it also downplays the value of a dollar to the taxpayers to whom the money truly belongs.
Daniels, Abdul, and everyone in the state should be calling for heads to roll for these pieces of terrible financial mismanagement. I hope they revisit the issue soon and reword their attitudes on the subject.