Republicans may not want to bail out blue states, but they can’t afford to let them go under.
A long-simmering uneasiness between densely populated Democratic states and more sprawling Republican states has turned into open contempt, with national Republicans refusing more aid for cash-strapped states, and local and state Democrats seeing anything less than 100 percent funding as a betrayal.
As New York, New Jersey, Michigan and Illinois, in particular, struggle with the economic consequences of locking down their states to contain COVID-19, some national Republicans are pointing to them as parables of Democratic profligacy with President Trump saying that “all the states that need help, they’re run by Democrats” and Majority Leader Mitch McConnell suggesting at one point that they go bankrupt.
In return, state and local figures are equally as extreme in demanding that the federal government fund years’ worth of pre-corona mistakes. Illinois’ state Senate president has asked for a $40 billion bailout, including $10 billion for pension funds that were insolvent before the pandemic.
Photo by Justin Heiman/Getty Images