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Kirk Releases Report On Illinois’ Debt Crisis

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U.S. Sen. Mark Kirk (CBS File Photo)

U.S. Sen. Mark Kirk (CBS File Photo)

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CHICAGO (WBBM) – Senator Mark Kirk says Illinois can forget about federal assistance, if it goes to Congress saying it’s broke and needs a bailout.

WBBM Newsradio’s Bob Roberts reports that Kirk has released a report showing that Illinois state government is teetering on the edge of insolvency.

The report shows the state’s debt is so massive that it’s the equivalent of $78,000 per household.

LISTEN: WBBM Newsradio’s Bob Roberts reports

The report’s author – venture capitalist Henry Feinberg – says those debt levels are unsustainable. He says that, if Illinois were a privately-owned business, its auditors would declare it insolvent.

“Can Illinois go bankrupt? By law, it cannot. However, does it have all the symptoms of bankruptcy? Absolutely,” he said. “Illinois’ political leadership has ignored the obvious in recent history and, as a result, has plunged Illinois into a self-perpetuating destructive cycle of debt.”

His report says Illinois already has kicked the can down the road so often during the budget process, that when broken down by household, the state’s debt is twice that of Indiana, Iowa or Missouri and three times that of Wisconsin or Michigan.

He also says the state has started sliding down the same chute as desperately indebted European nations like Greece.

Feinberg added that the state’s worsening credit rating also hurts the credit ratings of local government bodies that have no problems of their own paying bills.

Feinberg says that the end result is that every unit of local government ends up paying more in interest, which means higher taxes and drives people and businesses to move elsewhere.

Kirk said Congress has already signaled it won’t bail out insolvent state governments.

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