Erase Illinois from the U.S. map, columnist contends
The best thing lllinois can do at this point is disappear, a Chicago Tribune columnist said on a Chicago-based radio talk show recently.
John Kass told Dan Proft and Amy Jacobson, co-hosts of "Chicago’s Morning Answer" radio show, that drastic times call for drastic measures.
Proft is a principal of Local Government Information Services, which owns this publication.
“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,” Kass wrote in a recent editorial.
Kass started #DissolveIllinois after deciding that Gov. Bruce Rauner is walking away from many of his campaign promises, like statutory spending caps, spending cuts and tax cuts. He said all he has seen is politics as usual, and he warned Rauner and all Illinois lawmakers about their fiscal choices.
“Telling me you are going to hold off on tax increases for four years without making any substantial cuts and without making any real reform, all that says is I’ve got a couple weeks before I have to move to Indiana,” Kass said.
In his op-ed, "What to do with a broken Illinois: Dissolve the Land of Lincoln," Kass compared Illinois with Venezuela, a country that has essentially run out of money and goods for its people.
People who voted for Rauner in the suburbs are getting squeezed and many don’t understand that voting for any Democrat is actually a vote for House Speaker Mike Madigan, Kass said, adding that while Rauner understands Illinois politics and is trying to find balance against the political insiders, the people advising him are leading him down a path voters don’t like.
“They don’t want capitulation," Kass said. "They want him to fight or go."
Kass described Madigan as the boogeyman, but added that even if Madigan were to retire, someone like him could potentially take over.
Illinois hasn’t had a budget in years, its credit rating has dropped, it's spending money it doesn’t have and taxpayers will have to foot $251 billion in unfunded pensions, according to Kass.
He concluded that even loyal Illinoisans are struggling with what to do.
“People want to stay," Kass said. "They want to live in their towns, they like their neighborhoods, and they don’t want to get driven out."
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