Athens on the prairie
November 8, 2012
The 2012 political campaigns featured numerous references to America “becoming Greece” because of self-destructive fiscal policies, but there’s an equally relevant case study much closer to home.
Last week, a panel of experts confirmed what most of us have known for a long time about Illinois. Our neighbor to the south is a fiscal basket case, its solvency an empty illusion, thanks to policy choices by people who had every conceivable opportunity to know better. They got what they signed up for and there’s no easy way out.
If that seems to lack compassion, well, yeah. We aren‘t inclined to get all misty over the leaders of Illinois’ spending years assiduously digging the hole they’re in, while some who graduated to bigger things do the same thing to the whole country.
The new fiscal report released last week shows many things, but clearly the two most damning are that the people calling the shots in Illinois for decades knew their state was insolvent and deliberately contrived ways to hide it; and the “solutions” consistently invoked by the Liberals who create these messes only make things worse.
Long before this report came out, we’ve found frequent occasion to comment on the differences between Wisconsin’s fiscal management since January 2011 and the goings-on south of the border. One unmistakable fact leaps out: If you do in the private sector what’s been standard procedure for Illinois state government, you’re headed for prison.
For offenses unrelated to institutional fiscal malpractice, two former Illinois governors are behind bars right now and two others elected in the past 40 years have served time.
In a fair world, it appears, a majority of the Illinois legislature would be keeping them company.