An Illinois state senator is warning America to not bail out his state, arguing that self-serving politicians built a house of cards and that a bailout would only prolong the inevitable.
Republican State Sen. Jason Plummer made the appeal to the American taxpayer in an Op-Ed published by Fox News on Wednesday.
In the piece, Plummer made a simple but shocking plea: “Don’t waste federal funds on my state’s bankrupt system.”
Plummer pointed to Illinois’ infamous reputation as the nation’s “most corrupt state,” claiming that state politicians are begging for a bailout in an effort to prop up their crumbling system.
“The message from Illinois’ elected leaders is crystal clear: no humility, no regrets, no acknowledgment of failures, and no strings attached. American Taxpayers — bail us out!” he wrote. “Don’t let it happen. Federal dollars should not prop up Illinois’ failed system.”
“[Democratic Governor J.B. Pritzker] took to the lectern for his 2020 State of the State address declaring Illinois strong and dismissing fiscal realists as ‘carnival barkers’ and ‘doomsayers,’ receiving thunderous approval from his allies,” Plummer added.
“Now the entire nation knows we’re broke and these same politicians are pleading for a bailout.”
Despite Pritzker’s faith in the Illinois economy, the governor recently issued a 30-day extension of the state’s stay-at-home order. It’s unclear how much additional financial strain this will place on the state and its residents.
A state judge panned the order, saying it “shredded the Constitution.” The same judge ruled Pritzker’s order was illegal when applied to one citizen’s case seen by the court, opening the door for more legal challenges.
Plummer blamed Illinois’ troubles on the shortsighted politicians who control the state, claiming the leaders recklessly spent money despite financial shortcomings, and will continue to do so even if the state gets a federal taxpayer-funded bailout.
“[A] massive federal bailout won’t satiate the reckless spending habits of Illinois’ political class,” he wrote.
Illinois, as the state senator pointed out, was once the well-oiled juggernaut of America’s heartland.
“We were once the blessed economic engine of the Midwest,” Plummer wrote. “But our debts have turned us into a zombie-state lagging in every meaningful financial metric, economic statistic and population trend.”
“Here’s the harsh truth: The Land of Lincoln is no longer a government of the people, by the people and for the people. Illinois’ financial collapse reveals our government’s moral bankruptcy.”
Plummer said that the economy isn’t the only place you can see Illinois’ leadership shortcomings, either.
To him, state leaders’ moral and ethical failings are just as damning.
“Scan Illinois political headlines from the past year,” he wrote, “and you’ll see the FBI has been picking off powerful politicians and insiders for bribery, self-dealing and abuse of power.”
“A massive, systemic corruption scandal is being exposed. In the meantime, American taxpayers shouldn’t sink a dime into Illinois’ unreformed fiscal and moral quagmire,” he added.
While Plummer does have a point — that Americans from all corners of the nation should not be expected to bail out Illinois’ corrupt and crumbling system — it’s also true that the failure of Illinois to secure a bailout could be felt by residents of the state.
The way this state senator tells it, Illinois is on its last legs. Missing out on a federal bailout wouldn’t only bring the whole rotten structure to the ground faster, but could effectively hit the reset button on state politics when angry citizens get involved.
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