Zero Hedge reports:
With just 10 days to go until Illinois enters its third year without a budget, resulting in the state’s imminent downgrade to junk status and potentially culminating in a default for the state whose unpaid bills now surpass $15 billion, Democratic Illinois Comptroller Susana Mendoza issued a warning to Illinois Gov. Rauner and other elected officials on Tuesday, saying in a letter that her office has “very serious concerns” it may no longer be able to guarantee “timely and predictable payments” for some core services.
In the letter posted on her website, Mendoza who over the weekend warned that Illinois is “in massive crisis mode” and that “this is not a false alarm” said the state is “effectively hemorrhaging money” due to various court orders and laws that have left government spending roughly $600 million more a month than it’s taking in. Mendoza said her office will continue to make debt payments as required, but indicated that services most likely to be affected include long-term care, hospice and supportive living centers for seniors. She added that managed care organizations that serve Medicaid recipients are owed more than $2.8 billion in overdue bills as of June 15.
“The state can no longer function without a responsible and complete budget without severely impacting our core obligations and decimating services to the state’s most in-need citizens,” Mendoza wrote. “We must put our fiscal house in order. It is already too late. Action is needed now.” …,
But the biggest insult and injury is to the near-insolvent state is that Illinois is facing a full-blown crisis just one day after chronic defaulter Argentina managed to pull off a 100 year bond offering, which was 3.5x oversubscribed.
Which makes the Chicago Tribune’s John Kass admit:
Illinois is like Venezuela now, a fiscally broken state that has lost its will to live, although for the moment, we still have enough toilet paper.
But before we run out of the essentials, let’s finally admit that after decade upon decade of taxing and spending and borrowing, Illinois has finally run out of other people’s money.
Those “other people” include taxpayers who’ve abandoned the state. And now Illinois faces doomsday.
So as the politicians meet in Springfield this week for another round of posturing and gesturing and blaming, we need a plan.
And here it is:
Dissolve Illinois. Decommission the state, tear up the charter, whatever the legal mumbo-jumbo, just end the whole dang thing.
We just disappear. With no pain. That’s right. You heard me.
The best thing to do is to break Illinois into pieces right now. Just wipe us off the map. Cut us out of America’s heartland and let neighboring states carve us up and take the best chunks for themselves.
The group that will scream the loudest is the state’s political class, who did this to us, and the big bond creditors, who are whispering talk of bankruptcy and asset forfeiture to save their own skins.
But our beloved Illinois has proved that it just doesn’t deserve to survive.
So why not let our friendly neighbors like Indiana, Wisconsin, Iowa, Missouri and Kentucky just take the parts they want?
As you can see by the excellent “Kevorkian Illinois” map that accompanies this column, this plan is visionary.
The alternative is hell. Illinois hasn’t had a state budget for years. The state continues to spend money it doesn’t have, and the state’s credit ratings have dropped, increasing the cost of borrowing more money we don’t have to keep the rotten shebang going.
Bills pile up; Moody’s Investor Service says taxpayers are on the hook for $251 billion in unfunded public union pension liabilities.
Boss Mike Madigan, king of the Democrats who control things, wants tax increases but no real structural reform to bring stability to The Venezuela of the Midwest.
And the whispers of bankruptcy won’t help the average (remaining) taxpaying chumbolones like you and me who don’t want to leave our homes but who’ll get stuck with the bills.
Since our neighboring states are doing better, taking Illinois jobs and businesses and Illinois workers and taxpaying families, they might as well just take the rest of Illinois, too, dammit.
Wisconsin can have Chicago and begin calling it “South Milwaukee.”
Naturally, Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel will fight this. He needs a job. And he’ll most likely beg his friends at The New York Times and the Washington Post to write angry editorials to save him. And these will be full of concern for the republic and those dispossessed Midwestern salt-of-the-earth taxpaying Americans, as if.
Sadly, Wisconsin probably won’t want Rahm, either. So to spare hurt feelings, I propose carving out 40 acres around the mayor’s home so Rahm might be prince of his own country:
And Cook County Board President Toni “Taxwinkle” Preckwinkle will fight it, too, so she needs something to soothe her ambitions:
A grant of land as large as a case of the soda pop she taxes, so that she might stand on it and proclaim herself Queen of Taxwinkletopia.
If there are portions of Illinois that the other states don’t want, they may be left as federal territory, a wilderness where only the strong survive and peasants and friendly propagandists kneel and beg for crumbs. You already know the name of this wasteland:
And in return for taking care of our politicians, Wisconsin will probably demand assets. Like the Milwaukee Cubs. The Beloit Blackhawks. The Sheboygan Bulls and the Fond du Lac Bears.
Indiana may want a large curvy slice of the former Illinois, so the state will be shaped more like a basketball. This will please Hoosiers to no end.
And Indiana also gets the Indianapolis White Sox and the hottest soccer team in America, the Indianapolis Fire.
Why not? Indiana is a great state, with friendly people and Mitch Daniels and Kilroy’s in Bloomington.
Iowa can have part of the west. Missouri may also get a small piece. Kentucky can take southern Illinois, considering many on both sides of the border share Kentucky DNA, as did Abraham Lincoln.
A colleague told me he had reservations about sharing Illinois with the Bluegrass State.
“I wouldn’t give Kentucky anything because A) it’s the South and the former Illinois needs to stay in the Midwest, and B) their state government is a mess, too, with a governor who refuses to talk to certain reporters.”
But beggars can’t be choosers. If Illinois is dissolved as planned, we won’t have a say in anything.
And though some in Kentucky might not respect “the media,” the state does have excellent bourbon. I would allow Kentucky to send me countless barrels of its fine sipping spirit so that I might hold it in escrow, to make sure everything goes as planned.
Northwestern Illinois is attractive, with vestiges of the Driftless Area and the Mississippi River. Northeastern Illinois is not necessarily attractive, but there’s money there, which often gets spent on our side of the state line anyway on weekends and in the summer. Flatlanders — I mean, our new friends from the former Illinois — might be interested in experiencing what winning football looks like too.
On the other hand, is there some way we can give Chicago — I mean, Rahmonia and Taxwinkletopia — Milwaukee? It is, after all, the source of most of the state’s social dysfunction, and at least as many Wisconsinites view Milwaukee as unfavorably as they view Madison, for good but different reasons.