Madison - St. Clair Record

Friday, August 23, 2019

If it could, Illinois should declare bankruptcy

Our View

By The Madison County Record | Jan 18, 2017

Democrats and Never-Trumpers have had a lot of fun scoffing at Donald Trump's self-proclaimed business acumen by pointing to his multiple bankruptcies. Trump's response, for what it's worth, is that he simply took advantage of the laws as written, just as other businessmen have done and will continue to do as long as the option remains available.

In ages past, our new president might have gone to debtor's prison. Fortunately for him and for anyone else struggling to make ends meet, those days are gone and bankruptcy proceedings offer a less onerous way to get out from under an insupportable burden.

The rules are the rules, you didn't make them, but you do have to play by them, and sometimes they can work to your advantage. Fair enough.

It's too bad that option is not available to the State of Illinois, because we could surely use it. We wouldn't be in the fix we're in if our elected representatives had not acted imprudently for decades, not to mention unethically and in some cases, criminally. But here we are, and the only solutions left are drastic ones.

Bankruptcy, if it were an option, might be our best choice. If Mark Glennon, founder of WirePoints Illinois News, has his way, it will be.

Our state is suffering from “fiscal malfeasance run amuck,” says Glennon. “We have to do something dramatic to break the death spiral.”

Glennon wants Congress to amend the U.S. Bankruptcy Code to allow for bankruptcies at the state and local level.

“It is becoming increasingly clear that some kind of bankruptcy procedure is going to be necessary for the state, and that means that the primary focus should be on fixing the bankruptcy code at the federal level to make it as workable a solution as possible for towns, cities and the state,” he argues.

Bankruptcy, Glennon says, should be accompanied by significant government pay cuts, layoffs, hiring freezes, pension reform, etc.

Anyone got any better ideas?

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