The state of Illinois has long been a shining example to the rest of the US of how not to run a state. Plagued by corrupt politicians, ever-increasing taxes, and worrisome borrowing habits, Illinois is now in danger of having its statehood revoked. It would undoubtedly be a somber day for all Americans to not be able to sing “fifty nifty United States”; “forty-nine states” just doesn’t have the same ring to it. Unfortunately, that seems to be the direction Illinois is headed.
As of 2013, the state had already accumulated a whopping $127 billion in debts. In the five years since, that debt - and consequently the tax rate - has only climbed. Families are leaving in droves, relocating to states with more promising economic futures. College students are choosing to attend public universities in surrounding states - particularly Iowa and Minnesota - because Illinois’ debt has made the cost of in-state tuition at the University of Illinois among the highest in the nation. Entire universities have been shut down, and teachers continue to get laid off.
Rather than standing by idly and watching Illinois run itself to the ground, some politicians and economists have talked about making the preemptive strike. Their solution: annex Illinois into the adjacent Lake Michigan, effectively turning it into an island.
Illinois governor Bruce Rauner held a press conference on Monday to update the media and citizens on the state’s status and detail how the plan would be executed. Precise measurements are still being taken, but essentially the lower half of Illinois, where most agricultural endeavors take place, would be given to Iowa.
“Iowa has the appropriate climate, geography, and expertise to take on Illinois’ agricultural sector. Best of all, they aren’t drowning in debt like we are. I have full confidence in their ability to cultivate Illinois’ land and flourish as a bigger and better state,” Rauner assured the conference attendees.
What about the northwest corner of the state, which includes Chicago and its suburbs? Chicago is the third-most populated city in the nation, but given its alarming gun violence and murder rates, Rauner reminds us that we shouldn’t be sad to see it go. The northwest corner will be sanctioned as an island for Lake Michigan visitors to enjoy. The city skyscrapers will be demolished, and the urban population will be deported to other states based on job and housing availability.
Leaders believe that this is the best solution for us all. “With Illinois citizens already having left the state in droves, I’m sure those who are left won’t mind getting out of here either. Go, save your family. Explore new frontiers. Find a career you’re passionate about. There are forty-nine other states in this great nation that offer much more prosperity and possibility than Illinois,” Rauner declared. His statement seemed to imply that eliminating Illinois would make America a better nation as a whole.
President Trump agreed with these sentiments. In a Tweet posted Monday evening after the press conference, he wrote: “Governor Rauner knows just how to Make America Great Again. As usual, Dems are idiots for thinking the demolishing of Chicago is an act of racism.” If the plan fails to go through within the next two years, Trump will reportedly run for reelection on a delete-Illinois platform. Considering the state is hundreds of billions of dollars in debt, this is one issue most reasonable Americans would have trouble disagreeing with Trump on.