It's nice to see the Chicago Trib poking fun at its subscribers who for the most part have voted democrat for decades inflicting themselves with this dilemma. This in contrast with neighbor Wisconsin and twice elected GOP Governor Walker whose state pension fund is void of this problem since limiting collective bargaining of most Wisconsin public employees.
What to do with a broken Illinois:
Dissolve the Land of Lincoln
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.
I promise to sip their bourbon and light a cigar, and hum a few sad bars from that song of the former Illinois that no one sings anymore.
Now lets hear what Lou Dobbs has to say on the subject.