Ultimate cost from Jan. 6 will be taxing

The total cost to American taxpayers for the Jan. 6 riot at the U.S. Capitol isn’t destined to be known for some time — maybe not even this year.

The bill continues to increase each day, however, not only in terms of repairs to physical damage inflicted by the rioters, but also for the increased security, including National Guard presence, that has been necessitated by that deeply troubling day.

The time is not in sight when, not only the seat of American government, but also the people of America in general, will be confident that the security situation in and around the Capitol is secure and that the overall prospects for more trouble are markedly less.

One especially troubling reality is that many of the people who would do harm to the halls and chambers of Congress, going forward, as well as threaten elected and appointed officials and other government employees, harbor little semblance of understanding regarding the orderly workings and responsibilities in play under the Capitol dome.

That work within government is not rooted in physical strong-arming, but instead in debate and negotiation and, yes, mutual respect, although it might seem at times that respect is buried somewhere not in close proximity to the Nation’s Capital.

But there’s another important point that the Jan. 6 rioters failed to contemplate as they stormed the Capitol, allowing nothing or no one to stand in their way: That fact was/is that, in the end, they or their neighbors, relatives or friends will have to help pay the Jan. 6 repair costs, as well as for the ongoing security outlays since the riot, through the federal taxes that they pay.

The money in question could be put to much better, productive use than what will be possible as a result of what occurred about 3½ weeks ago.

No doubt some of the rioters also are among those people who are critical of government spending in general and things that are perceived to be examples of government waste.

“Waste” is a good word to be associated with what occurred on Jan. 6.

Then, this past Wednesday provided more cause for alarm. The federal Department of Homeland Security issued a national terrorism bulletin warning of the potential for lingering violence from people motivated by anti-government sentiment and emboldened by what occurred on that horrendous day during the first full week of the new year.

The bulletin says “information suggests that some ideologically motivated violent extremists with objections to the exercise of governmental authority … as well as other perceived grievances … could continue to mobilize to incite or commit violence.”

The Associated Press reported on Wednesday that the bulletin in question, issued through Homeland Security’s National Terrorism Advisory System, is notable because it effectively places the Biden administration into the politically charged debate over how to describe or characterize acts motivated by political ideology.

While making a judgment call like that one represents an important undertaking, so does ascertaining the actual financial burden that the Jan. 6 incident has inflicted — and still is inflicting — on the federal treasury.

It is safe to speculate that the numbers to come will anger any right-thinking U.S. taxpayer.


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