|Kirk: Illinois could become economic drag on the U.S.|
|Written by David Marquis, Daily Vidette Staff Writer|
|Tuesday, 26 July 2011 16:37|
Two weeks ago, the junior U.S. senator from the state of Illinois Mark Kirk reportedly said that Illinois could cause the nation more economic problems if it did not address its ever increasing debt.
Kirk seems to be on target as Illinois is one of the worst fiscally positioned states in the union. A Daily Beast article from January 26, posted by Newsweek, listed Illinois as the fourth most likely state to file for bankruptcy, stating the debt of $57 billion dollars in 2009 and underfunded pension and health care programs as significant evidence for this claim.
Oguzhan Dincer, assistant professor in economics thinks this is ridiculous. “We do have a national problem, but it was not created by the individual states. What happened at the national level affected the states.”
When national spending was cut, or rather redirected toward more military spending, the states were left with little national support, “You cut the tap off to the states and they suffered,” said Dincer.
Kirk noted Illinois’ spending and borrowing as the main reasons for debt, and the state needs to reduce spending and stop borrowing in order to recover prior to the state becoming a national problem.
Dincer warned that cutting spending might be the worst thing the state can do in the current economic climate, “We can go into a deeper recession if you cut spending today. The miniscule growth that we have right now will be reversed.”
Additionally, Dincer said politicians do not look at both sides of the economic crisis. Spending is only one side, revenue is the other, “If you spend more than you make, you will be in debt. Show me how you’re going to generate funding.”
“During times of crisis you do not cut taxes, you increase taxes on the upper income bracket moderately,” Dincer added.
“In my mind [Gov.] Quinn is the only serious governor in the United States. He realized that we needed to increase revenue and was willing to adapt a moderate tax increase,” Dincer added.
There is a significant crisis in regard to debt in the U.S. However, how that crisis is resolved is unclear.
Republicans envision meaningful reform.
“We must stand up for our principles and deal with our problems rather than pushing the problem until tomorrow. To solve the national debt, we need a gradual reduction [15 to 20 percent over the next five years] of federal spending, but most importantly we need entitlement reform,” Andrew Larson, president of the ISU College Republicans said.
“If the president and the Democrats continue to play scare tactic politics then these programs won’t exist for benefit younger generations and that is a shame,” Larson added.
“Republicans seem to think that shrinking government will solve our budget problems. But when you think about it, ‘government’ is simply a word we use to describe the things we like to do together. Government has an instrumental role to play in solving this problem. It is the tool we need to strengthen our economy, educate our young people, and invest in a brighter future,” Matthew Tomlin, president of the ISU College Democrats, said.