Kass: Dissolve Illinois!

The day before a special session of the Illinois legislature, Governor Bruce Rauner made a televised address pleading for unity and compromise in trying to pass the state's first budget in three years.

The governor called Illinois lawmakers back to Springfield for a 10-day special session set to begin Wednesday as the state’s two-year budget impasse continues.

"Republicans in the General Assembly have laid out a compromise budget plan that I can sign,” Rauner said in a video announcing the special session, noting, "It is a true compromise – and one I hope the majority in the General Assembly will accept.”

Illinois has been without a budget for two years, and if a deal isn’t reached by the end of the fiscal year on June 30, then lawmakers are predicting massive cuts and potential shutdowns to help deal with the financial shortfall.

With nearly $15 billion in unpaid bills and a fiscal crisis never before seen in a U.S. state, Illinois is teetering on the precipice of default and bankruptcy.

Rather than let that happen, longtime Chicago Tribune columnist John Kass – one of the sharpest and funniest columnists in the nation – has an alternative suggestion: dissolve the state, and let other Midwestern states absorb the pieces.

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.

Indeed, assisted suicide may be a win-win for everyone.

Kass calls Illinois the "Venezuela of the Midwest" because the Democrats want tax increases without any reforms.  He says the big difference between us and the "socialist paradise" in South America is that Illinois still has toilet paper – for the moment.

So what would the new Midwest be like if other states took over the dead body of Illinois?

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:

Rahmonia.

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:

Madiganistan.

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.

This is a priceless column from one of Chicago's – and Illinois's – most enjoyable writers.  Read the whole thing.

The day before a special session of the Illinois legislature, Governor Bruce Rauner made a televised address pleading for unity and compromise in trying to pass the state's first budget in three years.

The governor called Illinois lawmakers back to Springfield for a 10-day special session set to begin Wednesday as the state’s two-year budget impasse continues.

"Republicans in the General Assembly have laid out a compromise budget plan that I can sign,” Rauner said in a video announcing the special session, noting, "It is a true compromise – and one I hope the majority in the General Assembly will accept.”

Illinois has been without a budget for two years, and if a deal isn’t reached by the end of the fiscal year on June 30, then lawmakers are predicting massive cuts and potential shutdowns to help deal with the financial shortfall.

With nearly $15 billion in unpaid bills and a fiscal crisis never before seen in a U.S. state, Illinois is teetering on the precipice of default and bankruptcy.

Rather than let that happen, longtime Chicago Tribune columnist John Kass – one of the sharpest and funniest columnists in the nation – has an alternative suggestion: dissolve the state, and let other Midwestern states absorb the pieces.

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.

Indeed, assisted suicide may be a win-win for everyone.

Kass calls Illinois the "Venezuela of the Midwest" because the Democrats want tax increases without any reforms.  He says the big difference between us and the "socialist paradise" in South America is that Illinois still has toilet paper – for the moment.

So what would the new Midwest be like if other states took over the dead body of Illinois?

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:

Rahmonia.

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:

Madiganistan.

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.

This is a priceless column from one of Chicago's – and Illinois's – most enjoyable writers.  Read the whole thing.

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