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If Illinois Wants to Save Money

I have been giving some thought to economics lately, specifically the state of Illinois’ budget. Once again, the government is running, like the feds, a deficit. One again, like the feds, Illinois has an unemployment problem. So after a great deal of thought, I have come up with a plan to decrease one, and increase the other.
First, the budget. In order to balance a budget that is in deficit, one must reduce expenditures or increase income. There is only one way for the state to increase revenues, and that is by increasing taxes. Even when the state tries to camouflage them as users fees, the electorate is smart enough to recognize them as taxes and voice their objections. Right now in Illinois, talk about raising taxes is considered politically very risky. So I propose we reduce expenditures.
Illinois, like most states, has a bicameral legislature. That is, it has both a house of representatives and a senate. I could be mistaken, but I believe that only Pennsylvania has a unicameral legislature. Most states elected to copy the bicameral model used by the federal government. However, most states didn’t understand the reason for the federal system, and consequently we have an excess of government at the state level.
The federal system was a compromise, in fact the Connecticut Compromise, between the large states and the smaller states. Each state, as a sovereign body, had its interests represented in the senate. The individual people, based on population, were represented in, mirabili dictu, the house of representatives. This compromise balanced power between the states and the people.
An individual state, however, has no competing interests. There are no subordinate sovereign entities, and only the people need to be represented in the statehouse. Therefore, I propose that the state constitution be amended to eliminate the state senate, and ensure a unicameral legislature. This would immediately save the taxpayers the cost of the state senate, which, when you add in all the supporting infrastructure of the body, must be enormous.
There are those who will object to such a plan for a variety of reasons. However, the only reasons that would matter is whether it would reduce the people’s control over the government, or whether it would be ineffective. Any other concern is pointless. And to those  two reasons, we can point to the example of Pennsylvania, which has neither of those problems. The main objections, I’ll bet, come from the entrenched little piggies who will worry about being cut off from the feeding trough of the public pocket.
The other proposal to cut expenditures is to eliminate townships. I don’t know about other states, but Illinois has, in addition to incorporated towns and villages, counties and townships. Counties are, well, counties, and Illinois has them. They perform the same functions they do elsewhere, I suppose. They are the seat of local government, and provide police and judicial functions, as well as some welfare activities. Now, in Illinois, there are also townships, which are not subdivisions of counties. They are a subdivision of the state that runs concurrently with counties, although their boundaries are different. The township provides different services than counties, although some are complimentary. For example, some roads are maintained by the county, some by the township. Both the county and the township have some for of eldercare services.
The real problem is that both the township and the county have their own government. We elect county hacks and township hacks, in addition to the state hacks. So I propose we eliminate townships. There is no function, other than sucking up our money, that the township provides, that can’t be provided for at the county level. This would save a significant amount of money for the taxpayer each year.

This is where the problem of unemployment comes in. By eliminating these redundant levels of government, we would be putting hundreds, if not thousands, of politicians out of work. These changes would moderately increase the unemployment rate.
Granted, this would require amending the state constitution. And you can be sure that the politicians in power, and those who aspire to be, will be dead set against it. They will tell you all sorts of horror stories about the calamities that will befall Illinois should we make these changes. They’ll put up roadblocks to make it harder to change. They will tell any lie, make any bribe, or twist any arm to keep their place at the trough. But think about it. If it makes a politician worried, isn’t that alone a good thing?
And that squealing you hear? It’s just the little piggies worried about their next meal.

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